Bat-Yam Awards Jonathan Pollard Honorary Citizenship
Justice4JP Release - October 31, 2006
As part of its 80th anniversary celebrations, the City of Bat-Yam (south of Tel Aviv) awarded Jonathan Pollard honorary citizenship. The award was made last night in Bat-Yam at a special festive assembly held in the town theater. The event featured video presentations and live entertainment, interspersed with the presentation of awards.
Esther Pollard was invited on to the stage to receive the award on behalf of her husband, Jonathan. She was warmly received in front of a filled-to-capacity audience by Mayor Shlomo Lechiani and Deputy Mayor Uri Bouskila.
Mayor Lechiani spoke with warmth and conviction of the great love and respect that the people of Bat-Yam feel for Jonathan. He expressed admiration for Jonathan's selfless service to the State of Israel and his devotion to the People of Israel. Lechiani and Bouskila blessed Jonathan for a speedily release and for health and success. Lechiani blessed Esther to receive Jonathan at home in Jerusalem "sooner than you expect!".
The theater resounded with thunderous applause and cheers as Mayor Lechiani presented Esther with a beautiful bronze plaque of Honorary Citizenship for Jonathan. Deputy Mayor Bouskila presented Esther with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and expressed the appreciation of the People of Bat-Yam for the work that she is doing on behalf of her husband.
A score of Bat-Yam citizens -- distinguished by their outstanding public service and volunteerism -- were also honored at this event. Among them were the founders of such notable institutions as Castro Industries and the Shekel Center for Mentally Handicapped Children. As well, one of the city's original founders, Rabbi Bilof (101 years old) and the first Jew to ever blow shofar at the Kotel, was similarly honored. The centenarian rabbi blessed Esther and Jonathan Pollard publicly, wishing them all blessings for a happy, healthy, productive and fruitful home and family in Israel.
Following the ceremony all of the honorees of Bat-Yam and Esther Pollard reassembled on stage for a group photo. Each of the honorees individually took the opportunity to approach Esther to bless Jonathan and to express solidarity. Esther was similarly besieged by good wishes and blessings for Jonathan's release by individual citizens of Bat-Yam after the event was over. She expressed hers and Jonathan's thanks and appreciation to this special city and its people.
Jonathan Pollard is now an honorary citizen of Gush Katif, Hebron and Kyriat Arba, Efrat, Bet-El, and Bat-Yam.