The staff and board members of the Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota share our condolences with the family, friends, and colleagues of Vic Rosenthal. With his passing, our community lost a stalwart champion for justice, a mentor to hundreds of community organizers, and an all-around mensch.
It has been the Foundation’s distinct honor to support the work of Jewish Community Action unfailingly for nearly 30 years. For most of that time, Vic was at the helm. Under his leadership, JCA helped win victories that benefit all Minnesotans to this day.
Vic and his team were a critical part of the coalition that secured marriage equality in our state. JCA worked in partnership with the Liberian community to secure extensions of their Temporary Protected Status – extensions that now include a path to citizenship. The JCA team trained hundreds of community organizers and future leaders through their Tzedek Institute and Seeds of Justice programs. Vic personally led the coalition that secured three additional stops in low-income communities along the Green Line light rail project.
We could go on, but Vic’s legacy is much more than the “wins”. As many have attested, he set a righteous example in so many ways. Vic was an includer who welcomed newcomers into social justice movement work. He always sought to build coalitions that centered the leadership of those who most impacted by our society’s injustices. And, he used his prophetic voice to challenge those with power to wield it for the benefit of those without it. We heard that voice quite a lot, in fact.
While we mourn Vic Rosenthal’s passing, we are grateful to have known him, supported his lifechanging work, and remain inspired to carry on his legacy in all that we do.
May his memory be a blessing. His life certainly was.