Donate Shop Register Volunteer


Sacramento honors L.A. teen for his gift to Israel
Sacramento honors L.A. teen for his gift to Israel


PHOTO CREDIT: George Bravo

By Emma Silvers
JWeekly
January 17, 2013


Robert Leeds, 13, never had much of a personal connection to Sacramento. He grew up and continues to live in Los Angeles. So why did the Sacramento City Council honor the teen in a special ribbon-cutting ceremony the morning of Jan. 8?Inspired by the city’s decision last summer to partner with Ashkelon, Israel as its newest sister city, Leeds decided that in lieu of gifts or money, attendees at his bar mitzvah should donate money to a fund that would go to Magen David Adom, Israel’s emergency response agency. He ended up raising enough money to purchase an ambulance to donate to Ashkelon.

Dina and Fred Leeds, Robert’s parents, are board members of the Israel advocacy organization StandWithUs, which was instrumental in getting Sacramento council members to approve Ashkelon as a sister city.

Dina Leeds wrote letters to council members supporting the resolution, and was so impressed when two of them wrote back that the donation idea began to take shape. Dina is also a board member of American Friends of Magen David Adom. Invitations to Leeds’ bar mitzvah asked attendees to “come together and do a very special act of kindness in our Holy Land. Join hands and put a lifesaving ambulance on the ground in Israel.”

The drive raised over $200,000, enough money to purchase not one but two ambulances for the MDA, one of which was dedicated specifically to Ashkelon in Robert Leeds’ honor in the Jan. 8 ceremony in Sacramento.

“At age 13, a Jewish boy becomes a man … becoming a man to me meant standing up for my brothers and sisters in Israel and helping to cushion the blows that they experience on a daily basis,” said the teen in a speech at the ceremony. “I wanted not only for the ambulance itself to save actual life, but I also wanted the very action of sending it to be the message that you do not stand alone.”

Speakers at the morning ribbon cutting were council member Steve Cohn; Arnold Gerson, CEO of the American Friends of Magen David Adom; Gideon Lustig, deputy consul general of Israel for the Pacific Northwest; and Barry Broad, a board member of the Jewish Federation of the Sacramento region and a former chair of the Sacramento Jewish Community Relations Council.

That evening, at the regularly scheduled city council meeting, the council presented a resolution honoring Robert Leeds for his commitment to Israel and to tikkun olam.

Gail Rubin, the coordinator of the Sacramento/Davis chapter of StandWithUs, who last summer gave Sacramento council members a petition with 3,500 signatures supporting the Ashkelon sister city resolution, had this to say about Leeds: “This ambulance dedication is a ‘thank you’ to the city of Sacramento for upholding its principles of sister city partnerships, despite the efforts of anti-Israel groups who opposed the resolution last August.”

Cohn, one of the city council’s main proponents of the Ashkelon-Sacramento sister city relationship, said in an email the following day: “I’ve been on the council for 18 years, but this was one of the most positive inspiring moments in my memory.”




READ ARTICLE HERE

Other stories
7/7/2015
I`ve spent the last three years witnessing and helping defeat Boycott, Divestment and Sanc...
7/7/2015
In March 2014, I and my co-teacher stood with 27 Vassar College students at the sparkling ...
7/6/2015
The United Church of Christ, one of the largest Protestant denominations in the United Sta...
7/6/2015
In March 2014, I and my co-teacher stood with 27 Vassar College students at the sparkling ...
7/6/2015
The campaign to isolate and delegitimize Israel picked up ammunition last week when the Un...
7/6/2015
Another Palestinian cleric conducted a blatantly anti-Semitic sermon and incited violence ...
7/6/2015
Stop Iran Now Rally...
7/2/2015
The United Church of Christ (UCC) this week became the latest mainline Protestant denomina...
7/2/2015
Attendees stand and sing during the Stand with Israel event at the International Christian...
7/1/2015
The United Church of Christ (UCC) on Tuesday passed a resolution that calls for divestment...
7/1/2015
THE IMPRESSIVE residential, commercial and office project adjacent to the Jerusalem YMCA a...
7/1/2015
A study in discrimination, hypocrisy and irrelevance...
7/1/2015
The students participating in the 9th StandWithUs Israel Fellowship are in final preparati...
7/1/2015
Israel advocacy group StandWithUs said today it condemns the General Synod of the United C...
6/30/2015
StandWithUs was proud to join other organizations as a leading partner in the pro-Israel R...
6/30/2015
StandWithUs condemns the General Synod of the United Church of Christ (UCC) for passing r...
6/30/2015
StandWithUs celebrated the Grand Opening of its Israel Education Center at a gala event he...
6/29/2015
In response to an address by anti-IDF group Breaking the Silence speaking on behalf of the...
6/28/2015
Rally To Support Israel In Geneva On June 29...
6/26/2015
Stop Iran Rally...

 

About Us
Get Involved
Resources
Shop For Israel
Social Media
StandWithUs Websites