Traffic is expected to be a nightmare around Temple Emanu-El on 65th Street and Fith Avenue Monday morning, but all for a worthwhile cause as New Yorkers and the world beyond show up to say goodbye to the city’s 105th mayor.
“I think it’ll be a day of celebration, ” Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, executive director of the New York Board of Rabbis, said. “Remember the show ‘This is your Life with Ralph Edwards, this will be’ This is your Life with Ed Koch.”
Temple Emanu-El is the largest reform synagogue in the world and it’s expected to be standing room only with 2,000 people in the sanctuary and another 500 people in the balcony. With former President Bill Clinton and Mayor Bloomberg, among many others speaking, it’ll be quite a funeral
“Mayor Koch had a living obituary where he said ‘America was a blessing,’ Well, I said Ed Koch was a blessing to all of New York City,” Rabbi Potasnik said.
And while some New Yorkers want to pay their respects religiously, others do it cinematically. For the third day, brisk ticket sales for the Koch documentary, particularly among people who don’t love football.
“He was irascible, controversial and he was great for the city,” Phyllis Leitner of Scarsdale said as she and her husband bought tickets for the Koch movie on the Upper West Side. ” He saved the city when it was on the brink of chaos,” her husband added.