WASHINGTON (JTA) — Lesley Weiss, an advocate for Jews in the former Soviet Union, was reappointed as chair of the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad.
President Obama announced March 13 that he would reappoint Weiss, who is the director of community services and cultural affairs for the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, as head of the commission.
Weiss has been on the 21-member commission since April 2011 and became its chair in January. Weiss previously worked for the Anti-Defamation League.
The commission is charged by law with identifying cemeteries, monuments, and historic buildings in Central and Eastern Europe that are associated with the heritage of U.S. citizens. It also strives to obtain assurances from governments that these cultural properties will be protected and preserved.
It was established in response to the concern of American Jews that Eastern European cemeteries were being lost because the Holocaust and Communist Party dictatorship repression annihilated the Jewish population of the region.