General Colin Powell was a true Mensch

The United States lost one of its finest military leaders, a great statesman, and a friend of the Jewish people today. Colin Powell, soldier, general and Secretary of State, died today. For my wife, Jo Carole, and I, this is a deep, personal loss. We first met the Powells in 1983 when I served in the Pentagon as Deputy-Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Affairs and Colin Powell served as a military advisor to Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger. It was there that our close family friendship began and continued to this sad day. General Colin Powell, the title he preferred, never lost faith in America and was proud of his immigrant parent"s experience, not unlike so many of the millions who came to these shores. He summed up that belief beautifully, in an address to Howard University when he said: "Never lose faith in the United States. There are faults &hellip and they are yours to fix." As a high school student, Colin Powell worked for a Jewish owned furniture store in the Bronx, New York. His relationship with the owner and other Jewish neighbors was a very positive experience in his life and he came to admire the Jewish people and even learned a great deal of Yiddish. In 2017, the WJC honored Colin Powell with its highest honor – the Theodor Herzl award. In his acceptance speech, General Powell remembered those days in the Bronx fondly, but he also talked about the G.I."s who liberated the death camps and the horrors they saw. He also had a strong sense of realism and admitted that "anti-Semitism has never gone away." I watched Colin Powell"s career grow with admiration, but no surprise, because of his great intelligence, his integrity and his courage. On a very personal note, we shared many family events together over the almost 40 years we knew each other. He was one of the best leaders our country ever had and a close personal friend. He will be missed by the many who had the good fortune to know him. General Colin Powell was a true Mensch. Ronald S. Lauder is President of the World Jewish Congress

General Colin Powell was a true Mensch
The United States lost one of its finest military leaders, a great statesman, and a friend of the Jewish people today. Colin Powell, soldier, general and Secretary of State, died today. For my wife, Jo Carole, and I, this is a deep, personal loss. We first met the Powells in 1983 when I served in the Pentagon as Deputy-Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Affairs and Colin Powell served as a military advisor to Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger. It was there that our close family friendship began and continued to this sad day. General Colin Powell, the title he preferred, never lost faith in America and was proud of his immigrant parent"s experience, not unlike so many of the millions who came to these shores. He summed up that belief beautifully, in an address to Howard University when he said: "Never lose faith in the United States. There are faults &hellip and they are yours to fix." As a high school student, Colin Powell worked for a Jewish owned furniture store in the Bronx, New York. His relationship with the owner and other Jewish neighbors was a very positive experience in his life and he came to admire the Jewish people and even learned a great deal of Yiddish. In 2017, the WJC honored Colin Powell with its highest honor – the Theodor Herzl award. In his acceptance speech, General Powell remembered those days in the Bronx fondly, but he also talked about the G.I."s who liberated the death camps and the horrors they saw. He also had a strong sense of realism and admitted that "anti-Semitism has never gone away." I watched Colin Powell"s career grow with admiration, but no surprise, because of his great intelligence, his integrity and his courage. On a very personal note, we shared many family events together over the almost 40 years we knew each other. He was one of the best leaders our country ever had and a close personal friend. He will be missed by the many who had the good fortune to know him. General Colin Powell was a true Mensch. Ronald S. Lauder is President of the World Jewish Congress