Ed Koch quotes Daniel Pearl on tombstome: ‘My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I am Jewish.’

Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch will rest beneath a tombstone bearing some of slain journalist Daniel Pearl’s last words on … Continued

Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch will rest beneath a tombstone bearing some of slain journalist Daniel Pearl’s last words on his Jewish identity.

Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch died Friday of congestive heart failure at 88.

Koch, born in 1924 to Jewish Polish immigrants, told the Associated Press in 2008 that he was so moved by some of slain journalist Daniel Pearl’s last words, spoken on a hostage video, that he chose to have them engraved on his tombstone.

Pearl, a Wall Street Journal reporter, was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan in 2002 while reporting on Islamic movements in the country. In a brochure on their Web site, The Daniel Pearl Foundation says of his last words:

“Pearl’s only crime was being a Jewish American — something Daniel Pearl would never deny,” President George W. Bush said at an event honoring him in 2007. Read Bush’s moving tribute to Pearl here.

According to Post reporting, Koch’s tombstone “also includes a Jewish prayer — the AP says it’s “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One” — and the epitaph [Koch] wrote after his stroke”:

Koch will be buried at the nondenominational Trinity Church Cemetery. In the 2008 AP report, “Koch said he was thrilled to learn from a former aide now working for Trinity that the church permits Jews to be buried there and still had space.”

More on: , ,

About

Elizabeth Tenety Elizabeth Tenety is the former editor of On Faith, where she produced "Divine Impulses," On Faith’s video interview series. She studied Theology and Government at Georgetown University and received her master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. A New York native, Elizabeth grew up in the home of Catholic news junkies where, somewhere in between watching the nightly news and participating in parish life, she learned to ponder both the superficial and the sacred.
  • Janis Altman

    Ed Koch was an amazing mayor.He was a man of passion and conviction.He worked for all New Yorkers.He was an advocate for victims and became the voice of all people.He was honest and forthright a strange combination for a political person.May God Bless him always.May his soul rise to greater and greater heights.

  • SODDI

    Ed Koch was a horrible human being and a devastatingly bad mayor.

  • Who Is Jesus?

    SODDI

    I will pray that on your death bead you do not feel a great chasm awaiting you.

    I will pray that you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.

  • SODDI

    Go soak in your superstition, Cletus.

Read More Articles

shutterstock_53190298
Fundamentalist Arguments Against Fundamentalism

The all-or-nothing approach to the Bible used by skeptics and fundamentalists alike is flawed.

shutterstock_186795503
The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

shutterstock_185995553
How to Debate Christians: Five Ways to Behave and Ten Questions to Answer

Advice for atheists taking on Christian critics.

HIFR
Heaven Hits the Big Screen

How “Heaven is for Real” went from being an unsellable idea to a bestselling book and the inspiration for a Hollywood movie.

shutterstock_186364295
This God’s For You: Jesus and the Good News of Beer

How Jesus partied with a purpose.

emptytomb
God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

noplaceonearth
An Untold Story of Bondage to Freedom: Passover 1943

How a foxhole that led to a 77-mile cave system saved the lives of 38 Ukrainian Jews during the Holocaust.

shutterstock_148333673
Friend or Foe? Learning from Judas About Friendship with Jesus

We call Judas a betrayer. Jesus called him “friend.”

egg.jpg
Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.

SONY DSC
Dear Evangelicals, Please Reconsider Your Fight Against Gay Rights

A journalist and longtime observer of American religious culture offers some advice to his evangelical friends.