An Unexpected Lesson From Prison

5Towns Jewish Times [NY] - August 6, 2009

As she went through the mail at the Shuvu office in New York recently, one particular envelope caught the secretary's eye. It was an envelope from the United States Treasury. Her bewilderment grew as she opened the envelope and saw that it contained a donation check for Shuvu for $10 from the Treasury. She then noticed that the agency name listed on the check was the Department of Justice, Bureau of Prisons, in Washington DC. (See photo below)

"How did Shuvu get a donation from prison?" Mrs. Schon asked herself. But then, as she read further, the answer became clear. The following lines read: 09185016, Pollard, Jonathan; charitable contribution.

Despite being incarcerated for over 20 years, Jonathan Pollard has not forgotten the importance of a Jewish education for the children in Israel-a Shuvu education-and with the limited funds he has access to, he made a donation to Shuvu.

Pollard's donation was in response to an emergency campaign launched recently by Shuvu to save six of its schools-and their 1,366 students-on the verge of closure due to the financial crisis. (An anonymous donor has agreed to match all donations over $100, thus making each donation even more meaningful.)

What Jonathan Pollard realizes in prison, many free Yidden do not yet realize: the future of Am Yisrael lies in the education received by the children. Only an education including strong Jewish identity and values can achieve and guarantee this future. May it be a lesson for us all.

This story can also be read here.

Photo: The $10 donation to Shuvu sent from Jonathan Pollard via the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.