Bar Mitzvah Boy Launches Initiative Focusing On Israeli MIA Gilad Shalit


gilad-shalitIn conjunction with his upcoming bar mitzvah, 12-year old Ari Hagler of Bergenfield, New Jersey has unveiled an innovative initiative aimed at calling attention to the plight of Israeli MIA Gilad Shalit.

Hagler, a seventh grade student at Yeshivat Noam in Paramus, New Jersey, launched a website,, and is hoping to have as many schools and shuls as possible focus on Gilad Shalit on Friday and Shabbos, December 10 and 11, 2010. People are encouraged to visit the website to register, indicate their participation, and submit program ideas.

Ari Hagler is asking schools to run a program about Gilad, to educate their students as to his plight, and to implement a hands-on project to help bring about his release. Hagler is also respectfully asking all shul rabbonim to make Gilad Shalit and the mitzvah of Pidyon Shvuyim (redeeming a captive) the focus of their drasha on Shabbos morning. According to Hagler, his goal is to have at least 100 schools and shuls participate in Shabbat Gilad.

In addition, Ari Hagler is the driving force behind a special and unique program that will take place this Sunday, November 7th, from 9:30 – 10:30 AM at Yeshivat Noam, where his father, Rabbi Chaim Hagler, is the principal. Yeshivat Noam is located at 70 West Century Road in Paramus, New Jersey.

Sunday’s program, which is an opportunity to show support for Gilad Shalit, will feature Noam Shalit, Gilad’s father, who will speak live from Israel and then answer questions from the audience. In addition, Ari Hagler will introduce Shabbos Gilad and discuss this important initiative. For more information about the November 7th program or Shabbos Gilad, email Ari at

“One day, my mother showed me a video about Gilad Shalit, and I started to think if there was any way to help him,” said Hagler. “I decided that my Bar Mitzvah parsha, Parshas Vayigash, was the parsha to focus on Gilad Shalit.”

“In Parshas Vayigash we read about how Binyamin was imprisoned in Egypt,” continued Hagler. “His brother, Yehuda, refuses to leave without Binyamin, and even asks to take Binyamin’s place in prison, so that Binyamin can be set free. Yehuda becomes the first Jew to fight for a brother in jail, and it seems like an inspiration for all of us to fight for our brother, Gilad Shalit, imprisoned and alone. I am calling on school and shuls throughout the Jewish community to please take the example of Yehuda and help me turn Parshat Vayigash this year, 5771, into “Shabbos Gilad.”

On June 25, 2006, a group of Hamas terrorists crossed into Israel via a tunnel near Kerem Shalom and attacked an army facility that was within Israel’s sovereign territory. Gilad Shalit was captured by Hamas on that fateful day, and he has been held captive in Gaza ever since.

{Noam Newscenter}


  1. Good idea to publicize his plight.
    Get the RED CROSS and UN involved in his freedom, or else take ONE for ONE with the Hamas killers.