Orthodox Union Mourns the Passing of Senator Joseph Lieberman

27 Mar 2024

The Orthodox Union is deeply saddened by the news that Senator Joseph Lieberman passed away today at the age of 82.

Joe Lieberman was a member of our community who made history and was mekadesh shem shamayim, bringing honor to G-d and the Torah, while doing so.

After a distinguished career as Attorney General of Connecticut and U.S. Senator, Joe Lieberman was the first Jewish American nominated to a national ticket as the Democratic Party’s nominee for Vice President in 2000.

He was a leader on so many critical public policy issues: support for Israel, religious liberty, civil rights, school choice, environmental protection and more. Throughout his work on these issues and while ascending the heights of American politics, he also remained steadfast in his commitment to and observance of Orthodox Judaism. When necessary, he was known to walk from his home to Capitol Hill if he was required to cast a vote on Shabbat. He was a model of integrity and ethical behavior. By virtue of his example, Joe Lieberman modeled how an observant Jew can engage the world at large, achieve success and remain deeply faithful.

The Orthodox Union was privileged to have a close and intimate relationship with Senator Lieberman. In 1998, he was a keynote speaker at a Washington, D.C., event celebrating the OU’s centennial; an event that led to the opening of our OU Advocacy Center in the nation’s capital. After retiring from the Senate, Joe Lieberman collaborated with OU Press to publish a book about the importance of Shabbat in modern times.

OU Kosher CEO Rabbi Menachem Genack said: “Senator Lieberman was a close personal friend. I enjoyed learning together with him weekly for many years. His Yiddishkeit was very important to him, his commitment to Israel was profound, and his loss is incalculable.”

OU Advocacy Director Nathan Diament said: “I was privileged to know Joe Lieberman first as a mentor and then as a friend. His example, and his exhortation to the OU, led to the opening of the OU Advocacy Center in Washington. Who Joe Lieberman was, what he did and how he did it opened the door wide for American Jews – including Orthodox Jews – to become engaged in politics and the public square.”

We express our deepest condolences to his beloved wife Hadassah, his children and grandchildren.

If you’d like to honor Senator Lieberman’s legacy and commitment as an Orthodox Jew, you may do so at ou.org/senliebermantribute/