Only Available for California Residents-18 Years or Older
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 citys 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, Israels emergency response agency. He ended up raising enough money to purchase an ambulance to donate to Ashkelon.

Dina and Fred Leeds, Roberts 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 councils main proponents of the Ashkelon-Sacramento sister city relationship, said in an email the following day: Ive 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
4/18/2014
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict played out on Metrobuses in Washington during the annual ...
4/17/2014
In the mailboxes of the average American 17-year-old, one might find birthday cards from r...
4/17/2014
This is the eighth in a series of stories told by former IDF soldiers about their time in ...
4/14/2014
The Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement against Israel is often seen as progressive — ...
4/14/2014
Professor Mohammed S. Dajani took 27 Palestinian college students to visit the Auschwitz c...
4/14/2014
Yishai and Ilana are students at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, but they weren`t visi...
4/14/2014
Cornell University`s Student Assembly on Thursday voted 15-8 (with one abstention) to inde...
4/14/2014
Pro-Palestinian activists have scheduled a splash of anti-Israel events on campuses around...
4/14/2014
Palestinian Authority security forces used force to disperse and arrest Palestinian activi...
4/10/2014
StandWithUs condemns Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) for planning an anti-Israel &...
4/10/2014
For the third time, StandWithUs (SWU) is countering anti-Israel messages on Washington D.C...
4/9/2014
StandWithUs welcomes two Israeli soldiers to San Diego this week as part of their “I...
4/9/2014
This is the sixth in a series of stories told by former IDF soldiers about their time in s...
4/9/2014
This is the seventh in a series of stories told by former IDF soldiers about their time in...
4/9/2014
After experiencing the terror of war in the Middle East from the frontlines of a battle zo...
4/9/2014
These days, social media is everywhere. That`s why StandWithUs has used the opportunity to...
4/8/2014
A new study shows them to be among the most contented in the Western world. What gives?...
4/8/2014
The anti-Israel movement on campus would like you to think that divestment is a form of pu...
4/7/2014
A first-hand account of how one of America`s elite schools became the latest flash point o...
4/7/2014
The pro-Israel community at DePaul University applauds Loyola University United Student Go...

 

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