Press Releases

President Obama Announces Intent to Appoint JDC’S Herbert Block to U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad


Michael Geller / JDC Telephone: (212) 885-0838

Jamie Epstein / JDC Telephone: (212) 885-0849

For Immediate Release

Following the White House announcement that President Obama intends to appoint Herbert Block, an American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) Assistant Executive Vice President, to the U.S. Commission for the Preservation Of America’s Heritage Abroad, JDC CEO Steven Schwager lauded Block’s distinguished work in the areas of Holocaust-era property reclamation, Jewish community development, and public policy.

“We are extremely proud that President Obama has chosen to recognize Herbert’s outstanding public service, especially his passionate dedication to reclaiming the past and shaping the Jewish future,” said Schwager. “As an organization devoted to rebuilding Jewish life in the farthest corners of Europe and the former Soviet Union, we are truly fortunate to have benefited from Herbert’s longstanding commitment to the Jewish people and the American values we all hold dear.”

The Commission—an independent federal agency that helps preserve burial places, memorials, and places of worship in Eastern and Central Europe associated with the heritage of Americans—identifies properties, negotiates U.S. agreements with the governments of the region, and encourages and facilitates private and foreign restoration, preservation, and memorialization efforts.

Block’s work at JDC includes government affairs and efforts to restitute Holocaust-era assets. He represents JDC on the Board of the World Jewish Restitution Organization and serves on several European bodies dealing with Jewish heritage. Prior to JDC, Block’s career included, among other roles, his service as the Deputy Director for Intergovernmental Relations at the federal Corporation for National Service and as Assistant to the Mayor of the City of New York.

About JDC

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is the world’s leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organization. JDC works in more than 70 countries and in Israel to alleviate hunger and hardship, rescue Jews in danger, create lasting connections to Jewish life, and provide immediate relief and long-term development support for victims of natural and man-made disasters.

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