The NY Times reports: Former NYC Mayor Edward I. Koch, a Jew, said that he planned to stay in Manhattan — for good.
Mr. Koch, 83, said that he had purchased a burial plot in Trinity Church Cemetery at Broadway and 155th Street. Cemetery officials said they were reserved for special citizens. “The idea of leaving Manhattan permanently irritates me,” said Mr. Koch, who represented the East Side in the City Council and in Congress before being elected to the first of three terms as mayor in 1977.
Mr. Koch also said he had ordered a tombstone to “adorn my grave upon my death, which I hope won’t be for another 8 to 10 years.” Carved on the tombstone is the most important prayer in Judaism, “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One,” in English, Hebrew and a transliteration, and the last words of the journalist Daniel Pearl before he was murdered by Islamic terrorists: “My father is Jewish; my mother is Jewish; I am Jewish.”
“I called a number of rabbis to see if this was doable,” he said. “I was going to do it anyway, but it would be nice if it were doable traditionally.”
He said he had been advised to request that the gate nearest his plot be inscribed as “the gate for the Jews,” and the cemetery agreed. He was also instructed to have rails installed around his plot, so he ordered them.
Being buried in Manhattan, Mr. Koch said, would also make it easier for former constituents to visit. “I’m extending an open invitation,” he said.