B’nai B’rith International has issued the following statement:
We mourn the loss of Ed Koch, who died Feb. 1 at the age of 88. Known for his plainspoken nature and charisma, Koch was mayor of New York City during a particularly troubled time and became the face of New York around the world.
During three terms as mayor, serving from 1978-1989, Koch connected with New Yorkers of every background. His eager query to New Yorkers, “How'm I doing?” became his signature.
Before his storied tenure as mayor, Koch served in the U.S. Congress from 1969-1977.
His forthright support for Israel, and his great pride in his Jewish faith, were always part of his persona.
So connected to New York that he insisted on being buried there, five years ago, he purchased a burial plot at Trinity Church Cemetery, the only cemetery in the city that had space. He even ordered and inscribed his tombstone, which features the final words said by Daniel Pearl, the murdered Wall Street Journal reporter: “My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I am Jewish.”
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