Sunday, the 29th of Tevet, marks the first anniversary of Esther Pollard's death. She died without having had the privilege of being a mother.
Today, joined by hundreds of activists who took part in the fight for his release, Jonathan Pollard is launching a crowdfunding campaign to commemorate Esther's life and legacy by establishing Esther's Children Center for Jewish education.
Pollard said: "Unfortunately, I can never change the fact that Esther never had children of her own, but every child who comes to study at Esther Children's Center will be, in some ways, a child of Esther's.
Esther devoted her life to the 30 -year-long public battle for her husband's release and supported him during his difficult years of imprisonment.
Due to the harsh prison conditions, the Pollards were denied the right to have children. "During the years of imprisonment and suffering, there was nothing that pained us more than the fact that we were denied the right to have children. We appealed to every court that we could, but with no success. Not a day went by in which we did not mourn this loss."
The campaign is offering donors partial or full sponsorship of the first 1,000 children who will attend the center. Sponsorship fees were calculated based on remaining building costs deducted from the sums already raised by Pollard and his supporters.
The campaign's opening event will be held at the Ramada Hotel in Jerusalem this evening (Sunday) at 8 p.m. in the presence of Rishon LeZion Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, and many activists and supporters. The highlight of the evening will be Jonathan Pollard's speech. After that, campaign ambassadors will commit to their fundraising goals to help Jonathan realize his dream of establishing the center in Esther's memory.
Efi Lahav, former Chairman of Free Pollard Now, said, "This is a very exciting day. Thirty-seven years ago, Jonathan worked selflessly to save the lives of civilians in the State of Israel, and we knew nothing about it. After that, people in Israel, led by Esther, fought for his release, but he only heard about it from a distance. Finally, we all have an opportunity to show Jonathan the passion and energy that we felt when we were fighting for his release."