Statement on the Passing of Congressman John Lewis, Civil Rights Icon and JCRC-NY’s1994 Congressional Breakfast Honoree

July 19, 2020

All of us at the Jewish Community Relations Council of NY (JCRC-NY) were saddened to learn this Jewish Sabbath of the passing of civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis, recipient of the Benjamin Rosenthal Congressional Leadership Award at JCRC-NY’s 1994 Congressional Breakfast.

Anyone who was fortunate enough to be in the room that spring morning 26 years ago remembers Congressman Lewis’s powerful and passionate oratory as he shared his personal experiences fighting for equal rights for Black Americans.  His recollections of his incredible journey and his sincere and heartfelt commitment to the partnership between Black and Jewish Americans for decades were truly inspirational then and still resonate today.

Among the many important leadership roles in his distinguished career, Congressman Lewis was a Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Black-Jewish Relations.  The caucus was founded just a year ago to recognize the history of the Black and Jewish communities standing together for social justice and civil rights and to ensure that our communities continue to learn from each other and advocate for joint concerns.

We extend our deepest condolences to the Congressman’s son John-Miles.  May he, and our entire nation, find comfort in Congressman Lewis’s indelible legacy.

JCRC-NY’s then-President Judah Gribetz presents the award to Congressman Lewis.