The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) mourns the loss of Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), the five-term New Jersey Democrat. Senator Lautenberg, a proud Jew, served his country in war and peace. A veteran of World War II, and a dedicated public servant, he was an indefatigable champion of human rights for Soviet Jews, and others who suffered from tyranny and religious persecution. One of his greatest accomplishments for global Jewry, the 1989 “Lautenberg Amendment,” re-focused U.S. immigration policies on persecuted religious and ethnic minorities of special interest to the people of the United States; this law paved the way to freedom for thousands of Jews from the (then) Soviet Union and the Islamic Republic of Iran. He was also a longtime defender of the US-Israel relationship in the Senate. As a philanthropist, in 1968 he founded the Lautenberg Center for Immunology and Cancer Research at what is today the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem. He served as National President of the United Jewish Appeal (UJA) in 1972.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “ZOA always worked closely with Senator Lautenberg, and he was a great supporter of Israel. His philanthropic work alone would have left a great mark on the state of Israel,but Senator Lautenberg went further to work tirelessly in the Congress to support Israel. Over the years there were many times ZOA and the Senator were fighting for the Jewish State together, but even when we differed we knew that his stance was always guided by love for the Jewish People.”
May he rest in peace and may G-d comfort his family and friends among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.