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Ed koch gravestoneThe importance of Jewish identity to Ed Koch was evidenced by the inscription on the memorial stone at the burial plot in Manhattan’s non-denominational Trinity Cemetery which he bought in 2008: “My father is Jewish. My mother is Jewish. I am Jewish.” Those were the last words of Jewish Wall Street Journal bureau chief Daniel Pearl before he was killed by Al Qaeda in Pakistan in 2002. Koch’s epitaph also says, “He was fiercely proud of his Jewish faith, and the words of the Shema.

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