February 1, 2013 – New York – AJC mourns the passing of former Congressman and Mayor Edward Koch. He was 88 years old.
"One of the most outspoken, personable, effective and energetic New York politicians, Mayor Koch will be sorely missed, yet forever remembered," said AJC Executive Director David Harris.
After serving five terms as a U.S. Congressman, Koch was elected Mayor of New York City.
The son of Jewish immigrants from Russia, Koch served in the U.S. armed forces in Germany during World War II. During his tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives, Koch was a fervent supporter of social justice issues, as well as of a robust U.S. foreign policy.
As Mayor of New York, his steadfast commitment to, and love of, the city helped lead to its resurgence.
Koch was also a tenacious supporter of Israel, regularly visiting the Jewish state, and an outspoken advocate for close U.S.-Israel relations. Moreover, he was active in the movement to gain freedom for Jews in the Soviet Union and was a towering figure in the global fight against anti-Semitism and all forms of racism.
"Ed Koch will always be remembered for his effusive and outsized devotion to the people of New York," said Harris. "Mayor Koch often asked people, 'How am I doing?' Looking back over the decades of his distinguished public service, we can honestly say that Ed Koch did just great. We will miss him."