Jonathan Pollard in Tel Aviv
Jonathan Pollard in Tel AvivAdi Ginsburg

Jonathan Pollard addressed hundreds of Jewish youths at Atarim Square in Tel Aviv in a symposium hosted by Tel Aviv International Salon, telling them about the importance of Jewish education and recounting how his late wife, Esther (Z"L), would praise the power of knowledge to defeat darkness.

"Esther taught me that if a Jewish child growing up in Israel doesn’t know our history and doesn’t feel a connection to the glorious tradition and heritage of our people, even the best intelligence and weapons will be of no use," said the one-time spy, who spent 30 years in an American prison for allegedly passing on military secrets to Israel.

Pollard told the audience about the moment he decided to risk his life and operate as an Israeli spy deep inside the US intelligence system in order to help Israel cope with dangers and strategic threats from Arab countries; how he was caught; and his personal journey during the long years in prison while his wife Esther dedicated her life to the fight for his release and prevented him from losing hope.

In about a month and a half, on Rosh Chodesh Shevat, it will be a year since the passing of Esther Pollard. Due to severe prison condition, Jonathan and Esther were deprived of the basic right to have children. Currently, Pollard is involved in promoting a project to commemorate Esther and continue her legacy.