The National Jewish Democratic Council remembers former Representative and Vice Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro and extends heartfelt condolences to her family. Ferraro broke down significant barriers in American society through her work in the Democratic Party which ultimately led to her becoming the first female candidate for the Vice Presidency. Her contributions to the Democratic Party are still being felt today and will continue to be felt in the years to come.
Former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said:
Gerry Ferraro was one of a kind—tough, brilliant, and never afraid to speak her mind or stand up for what she believed in—a New York icon and a true American original. She was a champion for women and children and for the idea that there should be no limits on what every American can achieve. The daughter of an Italian immigrant family, she rose to become the first woman ever nominated to the national ticket by a major political party. She paved the way for a generation of female leaders and put the first cracks in America’s political glass ceiling. She believed passionately that politics and public service was about making a difference for the people she represented as a congresswoman and Ambassador.
JTA reported that many are remembering Ferraro as a friend of Israel and Jews around the world:
‘One of America’s leading advocates for human rights and freedom, Geraldine Ferraro also was a steadfast friend of the State of Israel and Jewish people,’ said American Jewish Committee Executive Director David Harris. ‘Her efforts to fight global anti-Semitism within the United Nations were especially noteworthy and laudable.’
Ferraro served as U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva from 1993 to 1996. During her tenure, the commission for the first time cited anti-Semitism as a human rights violation.
When the commission later discussed reforming its agenda structure, Ferraro objected to reform as long as Israel was singled out as the only country in the world addressed under a separate agenda item.
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