Jewish Dems Mourn the Loss of Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings
WASHINGTON–Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA) Chair and former Congressman Ron Klein (D-FL) issued the following statement upon learning of the death of Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings:
“Rep. Hastings was a dear friend and colleague, a strong fighter for Florida, and an ally of the Jewish community. Our Congressional districts were adjacent and I worked together with him for almost 20 years on issues relating to minorities, women, the elderly, children, and immigrants. Rep. Hastings understood Israel’s strategic relationship with the U.S. and was a consistent and strong supporter of the State of Israel. He also empathetically understood the shared experiences of the Jewish community and Black community and was a leader in tying the two communities together.
Rep. Hasting’s life was all about public service—as a community leader, attorney and civil rights activist, judge, Congressman, and world leader and past chairman of the Helsinki Commission. He was tireless, fearless, and stood his ground on issues that he cared about. Nothing stood in his way when he was determined to protect what he thought was right. He was a great orator and his speeches at political rallies in our South Florida community were famous for their substance and passion. All of us as elected officials that were offered speaking opportunities at the same events, dreaded pulling the short straw and having to follow one of his speeches. No matter what you said, your speech would fall flat.
His staff in his Congressional office were loyal and believers in him and the causes that he supported. He was a teacher and mentor to them and to all of us. He is part of a generation of great leaders that we have lost in this past year that left an indelible mark on our country and our community. His was a life well-lived.
May his life be a blessing that we will continue to get the benefit from for generations to come.