Ed Koch Eulogized as Friend of Israel, Jewish People

Ed Koch was remembered as a friend of Israel and the Jewish people by a cast of political luminaries at the former New York City mayor’s funeral.

At a service that filled the cavernous sanctuary of Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan — the crowd included former President Bill Clinton, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo — Koch was compared to Moses.

“In his own way, Ed was our Moses, just with a little less hair,” Bloomberg said, noting that this week’s Torah portion described Moses’ leadership in taking the Israelites from bondage in Egypt.

Koch, who died Feb. 1 at 88, is credited with leading New York City out of a debilitating financial crisis in the late 1970s, leading to a renewal that flourished under his successors.

Israel’s consul general in New York, Ido Aharoni, recalled in his eulogy that the combative Koch literally “bled” for Israel, retelling a famous story about how the mayor was hit on the head with a rock thrown by a Palestinian while on a trip to Israel in 1990. 

Koch was interred in an Episcopal cemetery in Manhattan.