Bipartisan Lawmakers Gather on Capitol Hill to Back New Bill for Minted Coins Honoring Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir
by Shiryn Ghermezian
Bipartisan American lawmakers as well as business and community leaders gathered for an event on Capitol Hill last week in support of a bill that would have the United States Treasury mint coins bearing the image and name of former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, the country’s first and only female premier.
The Prime Minister Golda Meir Commemorative Coin Act, introduced on April 26 in the Senate, aims to honor Meir, her relationship to the US and also the 75th anniversary of US-Israel relations. It calls for newly minted coins that have inscriptions saying “Golda Meir,” “Israel 75” and the year “2026.” The bill will require a two-thirds majority in both houses to get passed and is likely to take about two years until completion. Taking the reins in the House of Representatives are Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), and Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) in the Senate.
Meir was born on May 3, 1898, in Kyiv, Ukraine. She moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with her family in 1906 and when she was old enough to move out, she left her parents home and went to live with her sister in Denver, Colorado. In 1921, she immigrated with her husband to the pre-independent state of Israel and worked for the Jewish Agency for Palestine as the head Jewish liaison with the British during World War II.
The event on April 27 at Capitol Hill was attended by roughly 100 people including Steve Cohen (D-TN), Darren Soto (D-FL), Juan Vargas (D-CA), Troy Balderson (R-OH), Buddy Carter (R-GA), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Dan Goldman (D-NY), Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Jasmine Crockett (D-TX), Keith Self (R-TX), Marc Molinaro (R-NY), Eli Crane (R-AZ), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Randy Weber (R-TX), Mike Lawler (R-NY), Alma Adams (D-NC) and Frederica Wilson (D-FL).
The bill was spearheaded by Los Angeles-based real estate developer and philanthropist Bobby Rechnitz, who is also chairman of the Golda Meir Commemorative Coin Commission.
“Golda Meir was the personification of the Israel-America relationship, raised in Milwaukee she paved her way to the Holyland and became one of the founding mothers of Israel,” Rechnitz said in a released statement. “Golda smashed every single glass ceiling to become a role model for young women everywhere. She was a trailblazer for Zionism, equality, feminism and tikkun olam. At a time when we see so much political polarization in both countries, we should all be able to rally behind the legacy of Golda Meir as a symbol of unity and progress.”