US President Donald Trump gives speech at Israel Museum.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
President Donald Trump has appointed Paul Packer, a prominent member of the New York Jewish community, as chairman of the United States Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad.
The commission was established by President Ronald Reagan in 1985, to encourage and facilitate the preservation and restoration of monuments, cemeteries, historic buildings and other important sites associated with US history.
In recent years, the commission’s work has focused primarily on sites in Eastern Europe that were destroyed during the Holocaust. In June, for example, the commission announced the launch of a comprehensive survey of Jewish cemeteries in Belarus, the result of a bilateral agreement signed by the commission and the Belarus Foreign Ministry a year earlier.
Other recent projects have included the dedication in September of a memorial for Jews murdered by the Nazis in a forest in Zalesie, Poland, as well as the recent preservation of a Jewish cemetery in Ukraine.
Packer, a veteran hedgefund manager from New York, said he was honored and humbled to serve in the position and thanked outgoing chairwoman Leslie Weiss for her service.
“I thank the president for this opportunity and look forward to working together with the other members of the commission to ensure that the heritage of all Americans is remembered, respected and preserved across the globe,” Packer said.