There's a movement afoot in Congress to authorize a commemorative coin honoring Israeli prime minister Golda Meir.
Twenty members of Congress, foreign ambassadors and others lunched on April 27 at the U.S. Capitol, in part to celebrate 75 years of the U.S.-Israel relationship and partly to launch a bipartisan congressional effort for the U.S. Mint to strike a coin commemorating Israel's fourth prime minister, who grew up in Milwaukee.
Bobby Rechnitz, a real estate developer, is chairing the initiative, which would require the support of two-thirds of both the House of Representatives and Senate. Ezra Friedlander, CEO of the Friedlander Group, also played an important role.
Rechnitz previously lobbied for Iron Dome funding and pushed for a congressional gold medal for former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres in 2014 to honor his 90th birthday.
There could be no better time than the present—with the United States and Israel somewhat divided right now—for a unifying project, like honoring Meir, Rechnitz told JNS ahead of the event.
Especially when we're talking about an American-Israeli woman, who became a prime minister of Israel and one of the first female leaders in the world, he said.
Meir's family (she was born Golda Mabovitch) left Ukraine for Milwaukee when she was 8 years old. In 1921, she and her husband, Morris Meyerson (she shortened her surname after moving to Israel), immigrated to British Mandatory Palestine, later serving as a delegate to the Zionist Organization and working as chief liaison to the British government during World War II.
She signed Israel's Declaration of Independence in 1948 and was elected to the Knesset, before serving as labor minister, foreign affairs minister, and finally, as prime minister from 1969 to 1974.
On Feb. 10, Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and Andrew Garbarino (R-N.Y.) introduced H.R. 987, the Prime Minister Golda Meir Commemorative Coin Act, which now has 39 co-sponsors.
The legislation calls on the U.S. Mint to create up to 50,000 gold $5 coins, up to 400,000 silver $1 coins and up to 750,000 half-dollar coins honoring Meir.
I'd forgotten that Meir was born in the U.S. How many Ukrainian refugee children are living in the U.S. now?
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Congress members hold DC launch event for Golda Meir commemorative coin project
Wayne Homren, Editor
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