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April 6, 2012

NJDC Remembers Bernard Rapoport

Listed in: NJDC News, Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC- On behalf of the National Jewish Democratic Council’s (NJDC’s) leadership, staff and members, NJDC Chair Marc R. Stanley and President & CEO David A. Harris today issued the following statement, upon learning of the death of B. Rapoport:

“As those who ever spent time with him know, there will only ever be one ‘B,’ and we already miss him tremendously.

“B was such an ardent and fierce liberal, and proud of it—very much a product of his progressive Jewish roots. It was this background of Jewish values that led him to be a kingmaker within the Democratic Party, sitting with presidents, senators and representatives alike. And it was these same Jewish values that drove him to be so profoundly generous philanthropically—and to return to committed Jewish ritual practice later in life. At 94, those visiting him in his work office would see him proudly pointing you towards those things most important to him—his photos of family, and Jewish texts as well.

“Just as B played an outsized role in so many things, B had a tremendous impact on NJDC—and as he frequently said, NJDC was close to his heart. Indeed, NJDC named its Tikkun Olam award after him, giving it to Senators Ron Wyden, Ben Cardin and Al Franken; he and his wife Audre received the Hubert Humphrey Humanitarian award in 2004, an award received by President Clinton, Vice President Gore, and then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton; and we also gave him our ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ in 2006.

“Knowing what he has done to make our world a better place, B’s memory will always serve as a blessing. But now we just miss him, his warmth and his incredible spirit greatly. Our thoughts, prayers and condolences are with Audre and the entire Rapoport family today.”