Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Life

What’s on Mayor Koch’s Tombstone

Some of the final words spoken by Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl before he was beheaded by Islamic terrorists in Pakistan — “My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I am Jewish” — are inscribed on the tombstone of Mayor Edward Koch, who led New York City from 1978–1989. So too is the Shema prayer, in Hebrew and English; a Star of David, and the words “He was fiercely proud of his Jewish faith.”

Former Mayor Koch is 84, and still very much alive. (In fact, he’ll be the Forward’s guest Bintel Brief advice columnist in April.) But he isn’t waiting for a posthumous unveiling to show off his tombstone, erected at the non-denominational Trinity Church Cemetery in Washington Heights.

Nor is he waiting to plan his own funeral at Temple Emanu-El, according to a The New York Times profile, in which Koch says he’s at peace with his political rivals and with the legacy he’ll leave when he dies. Until then, the former mayor, a partner at the New York law firm of Bryan Cave, says there’s work to be done. “[Koch] is particularly concerned about anti-Semitism and wants to bring Jews and Catholics closer together,” The Times reports.

The same weekend that this profile of Koch was published, Daniel Pearl’s father spoke to The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg. In the interview, Judea Pearl derided both Former President Jimmy Carter’s approach to the Middle East Conflict and the upcoming Durban II anti-racism summit. He also warned of “latent anti-Semitic pressure in the world” of which “Gaza took the lid off.”

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

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