Agudah’s Abba Cohen named to U.S. preservation commission


WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Washington director of an Orthodox Jewish umbrella group was named to the Commission to Protect America’s Heritage Abroad.

Rabbi Abba Cohen of Agudath Israel of America was tapped  last week by President Barack Obama for the independent agency charged with identifying and reporting cemeteries, monuments and historic buildings in Eastern Europe and Central Europe that are associated with the heritage of U.S. citizens.

While the agency was established after World War I to care for the graves of U.S. troops in Europe, it evolved following World War II to include properties associated with Jews who left the ravages of Holocaust-era Europe for the United States.

Its 21 volunteer members, 14 of whom are appointed in consultation with Congress, serve for three years. Most of the members come from the Jewish community. Its chairwoman is Lesley Weiss, the deputy director of the National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry.

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