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Marking Gilad Shalit's birthday
by Neil Schneider
On Wednesday, August 12 -  the 22nd of Menachem Av - the global Jewish community marked the the 23rd birthday of Gilad Shalit.  Shalit has spent his past four birthdays in captivity, at the hands of a Palestinian terrorist organization. Shalit, the son of Noam and Aviva Shalit, was raised in the Israeli Western Galilee city of Mitzpe Hila. While serving in the Israeli Defense Forces Gilad Shalit was captured by Palestinian terrorists who invaded Israel from Gaza.
Since his capture, his captors have barred the International Red Cross and every other international humanitarian organization from seeing him. On Wednesday, members of Shalit's family and activists gathered at the Kotel for a special service led by Tel Aviv's Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, in honor of Shalit's 23rd birthday.
On the third anniversary of Gilad Shalit's capture the New Orleans City Council passed a proclamation making him an honorary citizen of the city of New Orleans. As Jews in New Orleans, we feel the pain and suffering of all Jews everywhere. We hope for the safe return of Shalit to his family.
If you would like to help educate others in the community of Gilad Shalit's plight or advocate for Israel, please contact Neil Schneider at