About a dozen years ago, Frank Lautenberg, then the senior U.S. senator from New Jersey, was invited to serve as keynote speaker at a naturalization ceremony for new citizens that New Jersey’s Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest was hosting.
The invitation was more than a standard offer to a political leader.
The senator, who had authored an amendment to congressional legislation, the so-called Lautenberg Amendment, which helped open the doors of the former Soviet Union, got to see the fruit of his works — some 300 new Americans, most of them Jewish, who had benefited from his work. And they got to thank him.
“Without him, they would not have been there,” said Max Kleinman, executive vice president of the MetroWest federation.
Sen. Lautenberg’s legacy was praised this week across the religious and political spectrum. “A dear friend of the Jewish community,” said a B’nai B’rith International statement...more.