Hands of prisoner in jail
Hands of prisoner in jailiStock

The Rabbinical Alliance of America, an organization representing over 950 American rabbis, called on the Russian government Monday to free an American journalist jailed on espionage charges.

Evan Gershkovich, a 31-year-old Wall Street Journal reporter, was arrested two months ago, over the protests of the US State Department, which declared him wrongfully detained.

The RAA noted that Gershkovich is son of Jewish émigrés from the Soviet Union, calling his arrest” ominous.”

“It is an ominous sign that a specifically Jewish man is the only American arrested by Russians on the charge of spying since the end of the Cold War.”

Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, said, “the Rabbinical Alliance of America encourages efforts to free Evan Gerhskovich from his imprisonment. This constitutes a very important mitzvah of Pidyon Shvuyim, the redemption of an innocent prisoner held in captivity.”

“As Americans, we condemn how our fellow citizen, Evan Gershkovich, has been unlawfully arrested and detained by Russian officials. As Jews, we are offended by the apparent resurgence of governmental Russian antisemitism. As rabbis, we protest this injustice and demand that Russia does the just, moral thing and immediately frees Evan Gershkovich so he can safely return to his family. We further thank President Biden and the State Department for exerting all efforts in the release of Evan Gershkovich. We pray that the Al-mighty grant these efforts success and that we as a Jewish community are able to celebrate the release and safe return of our persecuted brother, Evan Gershkovich.”