Obama to appoint rabbi to heritage panel


Rabbi Abba Cohen of Agudath Israel of America is expected to be named to the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad.

President Barack Obama announced last week that he intends to appoint Cohen to the commission, which identifies and reports on damage to or problems at cemeteries, monuments and historic buildings in Eastern and Central Europe that are associated with the heritage of Americans.

Cohen is vice president for federal affairs as well as the Washington director and counsel for Agudath Israel of America. He previously worked at the Anti-Defamation League as assistant director in the Middle Eastern Affairs Department.

The commission is an independent agency that works in cooperation with the State Department to ensure that cemeteries and monuments of Jewish people are maintained, as many of those buried no longer have relatives living nearby.


The commission has 21 members, who serve for at least three years. It is chaired by Lesley Weiss of Washington.

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