From left to right: Paul Packer, former chief rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, US Second Lady Karen Pence, Alicia Yacoby and US Ambassador David Friedman.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Paul Packer, chairman of the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, and second lady Karen Pence gave out certificates of recognition on Monday to two Israelis active in Holocaust remembrance.
The ceremony was held at the King David Hotel shortly after Vice President Mike Pence’s speech at the Knesset. The certificates were given to former chief rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, a survivor of Buchenwald and chairman of Yad Vashem as well as Alicia Yacoby, head of the “I Remember Candle” project dedicated to the memory of Holocaust victims.
The ceremony was also attended by US Ambassador David Friedman.
“It is fitting that at a time when vice president and Mrs. Pence are in Jerusalem we are able to commemorate International Holocaust Day and recognize two people, from two generations, who are instrumental in ensuring the remembrance of the Holocaust,” Packer said at the ceremony.
“I Remember Candle” aims to engage youngsters by having them light candles to honor the memory of a specific person who perished. This year 800,000 students throughout Israel will receive personalized candles, each bearing the name and details of a Holocaust victim.
Yakoby also told Pence about her years of activity in the Lion of Judah philanthropic organization in Israel and about her own work with this and other initiatives.
The commission was established by former US president Ronald Reagan in 1985, to encourage and facilitate the preservation and restoration of monuments, cemeteries, historic buildings and other important sites associated with American 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.