When I think of Ab, I am filled with a flood of memories, my own and those recounted by so many others from the President to leaders to youth whose lives he touched. Each of these remembrances share common threads of the power of his mentoring, fueled by his values, ethics, courage, wit, and brilliance. We are fortunate to have had his counsel and leadership in Chicago, nationally and as one who embodied and embraced prophetic Jewish values.
I have treasured Ab’s guidance and analyses of wide ranging social justice issues. As well, it is joyful hearing him speak so caringly on a personal level even while engaging worldwide and nationally with leaders on the most important public policy matters. His devotion to and pride in his beloved family was central to Ab and seemingly extended with few boundaries to his community, friends, and allies. His and Zoe’s creation of the Mikva Challenge is demonstrative of the depth of their commitment to mentoring others and to ensuring the prominence and continuation of progressive values and leadership.
We will deeply miss Ab’s astute analyses but carry with us his powerful lessons, clarity, experiences, unwavering actions and model of leadership. As we grapple even today with a terrible flood of innocent lives lost in gun violence , we are reminded of Ab’s remarkable courage, so tragically absent in other politicians, as he stood up to the NRA even at his own peril.
On a personal note, I will miss his warmth, humor, guidance, compassion, friendship, keen interest and astute analyses of current issues, events, politics, and history. I’ll miss, too, recent lunches exploring a wide range of topics while listening (though not able to follow) Ab and a mutual friend delighting in conversing together in Yiddish, a language he learned during childhood but had few opportunities to use today.
Ab Mikva profoundly impacted our world and our lives. He leaves an enormous, rich legacy which will continue to provide vision and a path for generations to come.
Jane Ramsey, 7/7/2016