Skip To Content
Get Our Newsletter
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Majority-Muslim Kosovo Puts Jewish Congressman On Stamp

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Rep. Eliot Engel has become the first U.S. congressman to be featured on a postage stamp in Kosovo.

Engel, a New York Democrat, may be the first Jewish member of Congress on a stamp, period. Bella Abzug helped inspire a 1999 stamp celebrating the women’s rights movement, but the late New York Democrat’s face isn’t on it.

Engel was among a cadre of U.S. lawmakers and public figures who urged the Clinton administration to intervene during the Kosovo war in 1999, heading off what many feared would be a genocide of Kosovo’s ethnic Albanians at the hands of Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic.

Many of the same figures were part of the push to recognize the Balkan state when it declared independence in 2008.

Among those members of Congress out front in the push to protect Kosovo were Jewish, including Engel. Ask Kosovar Albanians why, and more often than not they’ll explain that it’s because the men are Jewish: Albanians saved Jews during the Holocaust, and Jews subsequently returned the favor.

Engel’s stamp was presented to him this week when he was in the country to help open an office of the Millennium Challenge Corp., a U.S. government assistance agency. Engel’s office helped secure a $49 million MCC grant for the country.

“I’m deeply honored and surprised that this was being done. I had no idea,” Engel told JTA in an email message. “My work to promote the U.S.-Kosovo relationship has been among the most meaningful endeavors of my years in Congress. I’m happy to have helped people’s lives and promote prosperity in the region.”

It’s not Engel’s first honor in the country: In 2008, the town of Pec named a street for him.

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    NY-12 Candidate Forum

    THE TEMPLE EMANU-EL STREICKER CENTER and Virtual

    Aug 10, 2022

    7 pm ET · 

    Will the last Jew left in New York’s congressional delegation be reelected? Will New York’s senior congresswoman receive another term? Or will one of the newcomers upend Manhattan politics?

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free under an Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives Creative Commons license as long as you follow our republishing guidelines, which require that you credit the Foward and retain our pixel. See our full guidelines for more information.

To republish, copy the HTML, which includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline, images, and credit to the Foward. Have questions? Please email us at editorial@forward.com.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.