The Jewish Federations of North America will hold a webinar on May 8 to raise awareness about Russia’s detention of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich.
Elana Broitman, senior vice president of public affairs at JFNA, told JNS that the Federation is “deeply concerned” about Gershkovich’s welfare. “His arrest on unsubstantiated charges is deeply personal to us, not only because he is an American, but because he is Jewish,” she said.
Jewish values, including that Jews pledge not to stand idly by when a community member is in danger, guide JFNA, she added. “We will continue to mobilize our communities to urge the administration and other relevant bodies to do everything in their power to bring Evan home.”
Speakers at the 1 p.m. webinar include Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Committee to Protect Journalists president Jodie Ginsberg; and Wall Street Journal D.C. bureau chief Paul Beckett.
Several Jewish communal leaders from New Jersey also plan to address the online audience. (Gershkovich grew up in the Garden State.)
Federations will also encourage participants to sign a petition to be delivered to the U.S. State Department, urging Secretary of State Antony Blinken to do all he can to bring Gershkovich home.
The 31-year-old reporter’s parents are Soviet Jews who emigrated to the United States. Russian authorities arrested him on March 29, accusing him of being a spy. The newspaper and the U.S. government strongly deny that charge.