Press Release

Jewish Dems Mourn the Loss of Rep. John Lewis

July 18, 2020

WASHINGTON— Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA) Executive Director Halie Soifer issued the following statement about the passing of Congressman John Lewis:

“It is with a heavy heart that we mourn the loss of Congressman John Lewis. The son of sharecroppers, whose great-grandfather was born into slavery, John Lewis grew up in Alabama at a time when lynchings were common place in America. A student of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., John Lewis carried out nonviolent resistance as a leader in the Civil Rights Movement. He was arrested 45 times getting into ‘good trouble’ fighting for his inalienable rights and those of others, and we deeply admire and continue to be inspired by his principled leadership, courage and conviction.

“For 34 years, John Lewis served as the ‘conscience of Congress’ and voice of moral leadership in the House of Representatives, where he earned and commanded deep respect from both sides of the aisle. Just as John Lewis risked his life to lead nearly 600 people across the Edmond Pettus Bridge on Bloody Sunday in 1965, he sacrificed greatly to lead our nation in the direction of justice and equality.

“A dear friend of the American Jewish community who marched alongside Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel in Selma, Congressman Lewis shared our values about the sanctity of human life and human rights. We honor his legacy by turning our grief into action and pledging to continue the fight for racial justice, even if it means getting into some ‘good trouble’ along the way.”