20 Congressmembers, ZOA’s Mort Klein & Presidents Conference CEO William Daroff Speak at D.C. Congressional Event Honoring Golda Meir

(MAY 8, 2023 / VINNEWS) Event Chair Robert Rechnitz introduces ZOA’s Morton Klein saying, “This is a totally nonpartisan event. Everyone here has one common goal – we’re all here to build the America-Israel relationship and I don’t think anyone emulates that better than Morton Klein and the work he’s done his whole life.” (9:30 in video)

“Today we celebrate a partnership widely considered to be one of the most enduring bilateral relationships in modern history. A partnership that has been built on a foundation of shared democratic values, mutual security interests, and deep cultural and economic values. Today we celebrate the momentous 75-year anniversary of U.S.-Israeli relations and look towards the bright future in years to come”.

These were the words from Bobby Rechnitz as he welcomed Members of Congress and a diverse audience at an event to build momentum for a House Bill aimed at honoring Israel’s 75th anniversary with the striking coin, in commemoration of Prime Minister Golda Meir, marking 75 years of Israeli independence and honoring the life and legacy of the first and only female Prime Minister of Israel, Golda Meir.

This initiative honors the unique relationship that Golda Meir had with the United States and successive US Presidents. Moving to the United States from Ukraine when she was eight years old, Golda Meir lived in Milwaukee as a proud naturalized U.S. citizen before later emigrating to Mandatory Palestine. Going on to sign Israel’s Declaration of Independence in 1949, Golda Meir was a bedrock of stability in early Israeli politics serving as both the Minister of Labor and the Foreign Minister, before going on to serve the public as the first female Prime Minister of Israel in 1969.

Introduced by Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who told guests that as a child she was inspired by Meir whom she called a rare symbol of Jewish female power on the global stage.

“Golda Meir’s story is a testament to the progress of the Jewish people, and that of Jewish women in particular,” said Rep. Wasserman Schultz. “As a founder of the State of Israel, she modeled leadership for future generations and was fundamental in strengthening the United States-Israel partnership. I’m proud to sponsor this legislation to cement her place in history.”

“Prime Minister was a trailblazer and remarkable world leader who is deserving of this recognition and more. Under her leadership, Israel became the free, democratic nation it is today,” said Rep. Andrew Garbarino, the lead Republican of the Bill.  “I am proud to lend my support to this fitting commemoration of this critical relationship between the United States and our friend and ally, Israel.”

The invocation was delivered by Bukharian Chief Rabbi Itzhak Yehoshua who spoke eloquently “who shared a d’var Torah alluding to the reading of the weekly Torah portion where of the high priest goes into the holy of Holies asking for peace and prosperity, but the Torah demands that the High Priest should be married, and the sages ask why be married? The answer is in order to ask for peace you have to learn to live in peace and it has to start at home… we have to learn how to be in peace….in the state of Israel there are a lot of differences but in order to bring peace in the state of Israel we have to learn to live in peace to get the blessings of G-D we have to live together!”

Special acknowledgement was made of the participation of Azerbaijan Ambassador to the U.S., Khazar Ibrahim and mention was made of Azerbaijan opening an embassy in Israel. The establishment of an embassy is a testament to the growing relationship between Azerbaijan and Israel, and it will pave the way for increased trade, cultural exchange, and mutual understanding.

Rabbi Yitzchok Waldman, Executive Vice President of American Friends of Sanz Medical Center-Laniado Hospital delivered remarks about the high standard of care at Laniado Hospital with its doors open to all regardless of race or background.

Special recognition was given to noted philanthropist and supporter of the U.S.-Israel relationship of Brock Pierce in his capacity as co-chair was announced at the luncheon.

Congressional members delivering remarking included Troy Balderson (R-OH), Buddy Carter (R-GA), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Eli Crane (R-AZ), Jasmine Crockett (D-TX), Dan Goldman (D-NY), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Mike Lawler (R-NY), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Marc Molinaro (R-NY), Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Keith Self (R-TX), Darren Soto (D-FL), Juan Vargas (D-CA), Debbie Wasserman Shultz, Randy Weber (R-TX). Also attended Alma Adams (D-NC) and Frederica Wilson (D-FL).

The legislation calls on the U.S. Mint to create up to 50,000 gold $5 coins, up to 400,000 silver $1 coins and up to 750,000 half-dollar coins honoring Meir. Surcharges ($35 per gold coin; $10 per silver coin; and $5 per half-dollar coin) will go to the American Friends of Kiryat Sanz Laniado Hospital. A companion bill was introduced by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Steve Daines (R-MT) on April 26 in the Senate, S. 1300 contains the same figures.

Closing remarks were delivered by William Daroff, CEO of Conference of Presidents and Morton A. Klein, National President of the Zionist Organization of America.

“H.R. 987 helps recognize a leader who has cemented her place in the heart and souls of America. In honoring the late Prime Minister and the close-knit U.S. relations she forged throughout her life, we highlight the special bond that has been shared between the United States and the State of Israel” said Ezra Friedlander, founder of Project Legacy and CEO of The Friedlander Group the entities that are spearheading this historic initiative and that is overseeing the advocacy required to ensure passage of the legislation that requires two thirds of both the House of Representatives and senate to co-sponsor the legislation before it can be considered to be brought to the Floor of each respective Chamber for a formal vote.

This article was originally published in VINnews and can be viewed here.


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