Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

The Elevator Interview – Ed Koch (Exclusive)

August 4, 2011 2:34 pm 2 comments

Author:

avatar

Share this Article

Tags:

Former Mayor Ed Koch. Photo: Ruvi Leider.

DK: What’s the most striking change you notice in NYC from the time you were mayor to now?

EK: A reduction to nearly zero of racial division which I attribute to Mayor Bloomberg’s style of governance.

DK: Do you have a Jewish name? If so, what is it?

EK: Yiedel Itzak

DK: What’s going through your mind with regards to developments in Albany?

EK: The designation by the Brennan Centre for Justice of the Albany legislature as dysfunctional is an understatement.

DK: The Associated Press reported that you have chosen to include on your tombstone (may you live a long, healthy life!) the line, “He was fiercely proud of his Jewish faith.” What makes you fiercely proud of Judaism?

EK: The traditions, particularly the sense of justice that Judaism teaches.  The biblical statement “Justice, Justice shalt thou render” has been explained by the sages to mean, justice for the non-Jew as well as the Jew.

DK: Is there a joke that still makes you laugh?

EK: A campaign anecdote from 1977:  I told a group of 200 elderly New Yorkers that a judge I knew who had been mugged that week called a press conference and said, “This mugging of me will not influence my decisions,” and an elderly woman stood up and said to me, “Then mug him again!”

DK: What was an interesting experience as Judge on the TV show The People’s Court?

EK: A man sued, alleging that a woman had called him on stage, sat him down and leaned over him with her heavy bosom and, said he, gave him a concussion.  Judgment for the woman.

DK: Israel. What’s there to still say?

EK: If I were the mediator, I have no doubt that I could settle the disagreements in two weeks of discussion.

2 Comments

  • We got a look at what makes Koch tick during the Tony Kushner embroglio. Koch came down on the side of the far left anti-Zionist Kushner and publicly, and hysterically, betrayed a longtime friend in the process.

  • Nathan Gross

    I think Ed Koch is seeking to change history. When Koch was Mayor, Jewish tradition meant nothing to him – and has written the nastiest vile statements against The Lubavitcher Rebbe as well as other Jewish leaders. In a statement, Koch exclaimed that he felt closer to Cardinal Mahoney than he did to the Lubavitcher Rebbe and other Jewish leaders. A Jew of “tradition” as Mr. Koch claims he is, does not “feel closer” to a Catholic Cardinal than to Rabbi’s of his own (supposed) faith.

    I guess now that Mr. Koch is an octogenarian, he realizes his Judaism does matter. If this is the case, then apologize to the Jewish leaders for the statements he made against them, as well as the ones he published in his books.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture A Theatrical Look at Diplomacy and the Oslo Accords (REVIEW)

    A Theatrical Look at Diplomacy and the Oslo Accords (REVIEW)

    Is diplomacy worthwhile, even if the end result isn’t what we hoped for? That is the question, among many others, posed by the new play Oslo, by J.T. Rogers. Making its New York debut at Lincoln Center, the play examines the secret diplomatic process that led to the historic 1993 peace accords. The character of Shimon Peres makes an appearance onstage — and he, along with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat, tower over the proceedings. But they mainly do so in absentia. Instead, […]

    Read more →
  • Spirituality/Tradition Sports Israeli Trailblazer Dean Kremer Brings Jewish Values to Nascent Pro Baseball Career

    Israeli Trailblazer Dean Kremer Brings Jewish Values to Nascent Pro Baseball Career

    JNS.org – Other than being part of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, Sandy Koufax and Dean Kremer have something else in common: a respect for Jewish tradition. Koufax — who was recently ranked by ESPN as the best left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball (MLB) history — decided not to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series because the game fell on Yom Kippur. “I would do the same,” Kremer said in an interview. Last month, the 20-year-old Kremer became […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Lead Guitarist of British Rock Band Queen Asks Adam Lambert to Sing in Hebrew During Upcoming Israel Concert

    Lead Guitarist of British Rock Band Queen Asks Adam Lambert to Sing in Hebrew During Upcoming Israel Concert

    The famed lead guitarist of British rock band Queen, Brian May, encouraged Jewish singer-songwriter Adam Lambert to perform in Hebrew during their upcoming joint concert in Israel, an entertainment industry advocacy organization reported on Tuesday. During a recent interview with Israeli television personality Assi Azar, May was played a 2005 video of Lambert singing the popular song Shir L’Shalom, (Song for Peace). May was so impressed by Lambert’s singing of the Hebrew track that he told the American singer, “We have to do that. Let’s […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Kenyan Marathoner to Compete for Israel in Rio Olympics

    Kenyan Marathoner to Compete for Israel in Rio Olympics

    JNS.org – Kenyan-born marathoner Lonah Chemtai is expected to compete for Israel at the Olympics Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil next month after gaining a last minute approval. “I am very proud [to represent Israel] and I hope to achieve a new personal best time,” Chemtai told Reuters. Chemtai, who grew up a rural village in western Kenya, first came to Israel in 2009 to care of the children of her country’s ambassador to Israel. The 27-year-old runner recently gained […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity Will Laughs Lead to Love on Show About Orthodox Dating?

    Will Laughs Lead to Love on Show About Orthodox Dating?

    To date or not to date? That is not the question for most Modern Orthodox singles in New York. The question is when will they find their future spouses, and when will their families stop nagging them about having babies? Inspired by the success of the Israeli show “Srugim,” Leah Gottfried, 25, decided she would create and star in her own show, “Soon By You.” “Dating is so serious already,” Gottfried said. “We wanted to take a lighter approach and laugh at the […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israeli Actress Says Playing Muslim Character in ‘Tyrant’ Has Made Her More ‘Hopeful, Humble’

    Israeli Actress Says Playing Muslim Character in ‘Tyrant’ Has Made Her More ‘Hopeful, Humble’

    Israeli actress Moran Atias said that playing a Muslim woman in the hit FX series Tyrant has changed her outlook. “Educating myself about a different culture has made me more hopeful and humble, that we’re all the same,” the Jewish actress, 35, said during an interview with AOL Build. Atias plays Leila Al-Fayeed, the strong and politically minded wife of the president of Abbudin, a fictional Middle Eastern country run by a dictatorial family. The Israeli-born former model, who earned the title of Miss Globe International […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity Jewish Fashionistas From Around the World to Tour ‘Chic Side of Israel’

    Jewish Fashionistas From Around the World to Tour ‘Chic Side of Israel’

    A delegation of 35 Jewish fashion industry mavens from around the world will travel to Israel later this month to “discover the chic side” of the country, 5 Town Jewish Times reported. The eight-day tour, organized by the Maryland-based Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project (JWRP) and the Israeli Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, will include visits to key fashion sites and meetings with some of the country’s top fashion designers, merchandisers and marketers. Participants will also attend a JWRP Fashion Week event in Tel Aviv. JWRP said the trip is […]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Granddaughter of Holocaust Survivors Honored to Represent Israel at 2016 Olympic Games

    Granddaughter of Holocaust Survivors Honored to Represent Israel at 2016 Olympic Games

    Pro golfer Laetitia Beck said she is honored to have been selected to represent Israel at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil largely because of her grandparents, who survived the Holocaust. “Everywhere I go, I want people to know where I’m from, my background and where my family came from because of the struggle they had to go through,” she told the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA). “Every week when I play and I see the Israeli flag, it brings me a lot […]

    Read more →