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
8/3/2015
In May, President Barack Obama donned a yarmulke and spoke in a Washington, D.C., synagogu...
8/3/2015
Passengers on an Air France flight to Paris noticed something missing from their in-flight...
8/3/2015
An Air France in-flight map omits Israel, according to a passenger who sent a photo to the...
7/31/2015
Israel and Israelis reacted with shock this morning when it learned of the horrific terror...
7/30/2015
StandWithUs strongly condemns the attack that took place at the Jerusalem Pride Parade on ...
7/30/2015
Before the 7th World Congress of Education International is a resolution blaming Israel fo...
7/30/2015
Two representatives, Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY), and Congressman Juan Vargas (D-CA) h...
7/30/2015
The more Jewish Americans know about the Iran nuclear deal the less they like it, a new po...
7/29/2015
I`ve just returned from Israel where I spent the last 2 months! ...
7/29/2015
Noisy demonstrations in New York and LA reverberate around the globe ...
7/29/2015
On Thursday, July 23, the New Jersey State Senate Committee approved legislation to rebuk...
7/29/2015
StandWithUs Canada congratulates the student representatives of the U of T (University of ...
7/29/2015
Usually, assemblies involve someone talking to large groups of people. But what happens wh...
7/27/2015
Numerous speakers during a Sunday, July 26, rally at Balboa Park passionately decried the ...
7/27/2015
STOP IRAN NOW rallies took place yesterday (July 26, 2015) as thousands gathered to prote...
7/27/2015
I want to make it clear from the outset that this is not an analysis of the Iran Deal....
7/24/2015
I am an eighteen-year-old Zionist Jew. ...
7/24/2015
High school student leaders (including StandWithUs MZ Teen Interns) speak out against the ...
7/24/2015
Governor signs landmark bill prohibiting state pension funds from investing in companies t...
7/23/2015
The world cannot afford a nuclear Iran....

 

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