Agudath Israel of America notes with sadness the passing of Governor Mario Cuomo.
Throughout his tenure as Governor of the State of New York, Mario Cuomo displayed great friendship to the Jewish community, and played a leadership role in addressing many issues of Jewish concern.
Governor Cuomo enjoyed a close working relationship, and an especially warm personal relationship, with the late president of Agudath Israel, Rabbi Moshe Sherer. Rabbi Sherer befriended Mario Cuomo even before Mr. Cuomo was elected to public office, and the bonds of friendship grew only stronger with the passing years. Their relationship translated into a number of tangible benefits for the Orthodox Jewish community as a whole and for needy members of the community as individuals.
Governor Cuomo had the historic distinction of being the only high ranking American elected official ever to meet with Agudath Israel’s Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah (Council of Torah Sages). His deep respect for the senior rabbis, and his willingness to engage them in dialogue on major issues of public policy, set him apart from his contemporaries in the political world.
Agudath Israel extends its deep sympathies and sincere condolences to the Cuomo family, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has clearly inherited many of his father’s outstanding leadership abilities. May Mario Cuomo’s exceptional human qualities continue to serve as a source of inspiration for the family, and for all who aspire to public service in the most noble sense of the term.