“Despite the loneliness I experienced during the years of my captivity, I drew strength from the knowledge that the Jewish people throughout the world were with me, and were working to secure my release”, said Gilad Shalit to the audience gathered for the launch of the Keren Hayesod Campaign in Zurich on 7 February.
Gilad Shalit – Key note speaker at the event
“As my story has proven”, added Shalit, who was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists and held in captivity in Gaza for over five years, “and as the work all of you do with Keren Hayesod proves every day, our guiding principle as a people is Kol Yisrael areivim zeh lazeh - all of Israel are responsible for one another”.
Noting that Keren Hayesod has been practicing the message of mutual responsibility in its daily work for 92 years, Shalit, who galvanized the Jewish world and became a symbol of Jewish solidarity, stressed the importance of the work Keren Hayesod does in helping needy segments of Israeli society.
Gilad introduced a film about the Youth Futures program, which features the Ma’aleh Hagalil school in the Upper Galilee that he himself attended as a child. It is one of the 32 schools where Keren Hayesod operates Youth Futures, which works among disadvantaged youth to bridge social and economic gaps. He concluded his remarks by thanking the participants for standing by his family and him - tangible proof that am Yisrael chai – the people of Israel is alive!
(from l-r) Eliezer Moodi Sandberg – World chairman of Keren Hayesod, Gilad Shalit – Key note speaker at the event, Professor Manuel Trajtenberg – Key Note speaker at the event
He was followed by economist Prof. Manual Trajtenberg, who headed the Trajtenberg Committee appointed by the Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to propose solutions to Israel's socioeconomic problems following the massive social protests in the summer of 2011.
Professor Manuel Trajtenberg – Key Note speaker at the event
The results of the recent elections are a continuation of the social protest process, Prof. Trachtenberg stated, noting that the ultra-Orthodox community is undergoing a transformation that will lead to the integration of many more haredim in the work force. He stressed that Keren Hayesod activities and projects contribute greatly to narrowing gaps in Israeli society.
(from l-r) Carole - Maud Hofmann – Entering president of the Zurich KH committee, Sami Bollag – President of Keren Hajessod Schweiz, Eliezer Moodi Sandberg – World chairman of Keren Hayesod,Denise Sachs – Member of the Zurich KH committee, Benny Feifel – Delegate Keren Hajessod Schweiz, Ariel Wyler – Member of the Zurich KH Committee, Gilad Shalit – Key note speaker at the eventOfer Becker – Member of the Zurich KH Committee, Jonny Kremer – Key note speaker at the event, Professor Manuel Trajtenberg – Key Note speaker at the event, Thomas Wyler – President of the Zurich KH Committee, Yigal Caspi – ambassador of the state of Israel to Switzerland