Photo Credit: Amit Elkayam
Leah Goldin and William Daroff discuss the Israeli held hostage in Gaza. Feb. 23, 2023

On the last day of the Conference of Presidents’ annual National Leadership Mission to Israel, delegates from the more than 50 American Jewish Organizations met with Leah Goldin, mother of Lt. Hadar Goldin (z”l) who was killed and kidnapped along with First Sergeant Oron Shaul (z”l) in combat with terrorists in Gaza in 2014, during Operation Protective Edge.

Speaking in conversation with Conference of Presidents CEO, William Daroff, Leah Goldin made an emotional plea to the delegates to make firm representation to the American – and indeed the Israeli – leadership, to work for the return of the bodies the soldiers for burial in Israel, and to work for the release of Israeli citizens Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed who were also being held by Hamas in Gaza.


Asking the American Jewish leaders to call on the US policy makers to condition any aid to Gaza on the return of the Israelis held there, she said, “The kidnapping of Hadar was a violation of international law. We went to the UN, we went to the State Department. We have done all we can as a family. We need you approach the decision makers and make something happen.”

She added, “This is not a political issue. It is a humanitarian issue. We have four sons in Gaza. One Ashkenazi, one Sephardi, one Ethiopian, and one Bedouin.”

Thanking her for her bravery, CEO William Daroff said, “All of American Jewry stands with you in this deeply painful struggle. We will continue to do all we can to promote the issue, and pray we see the return of Hadar for proper burial in Israel.”


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