Dr. Michael Lozman of Latham has been appointed by President Joe Biden to the United States Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad.
Lozman, an orthodontist, is the president of the Capital District Jewish Holocaust Memorial, Inc. and for the past several years has been chief advocate and organizer for the development of an educational Holocaust Memorial in the Capital District.
Congressman Paul Tonko of N.Y.’s 20th Congressional District was instrumental in bringing Lozman’s efforts and commitment to the restoration of Jewish heritage sites abroad and his efforts and commitment in creating the local Holocaust memorial, to the attention of the White House.
Over the past 20 years, Lozman has spearheaded an initiative to bring U.S. college students to Eastern Europe to restore Jewish cemeteries that had been destroyed during the Nazi era.
The sites had been left in ruin due to the absence of Jews returning to the areas of the cemeteries after the Holocaust. Lozman has indicated that his concern that the loss of the cemeteries would also mean the loss of Jewish heritage developed and led student groups in restoration and installing iron fences to protect and preserve the cemeteries. To date, he has led the on-site restoration and protection of 15 cemeteries: 10 in Belarus and five in Lithuania.
The U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, established in 1985, is an independent agency of the U.S. government. The law directs the 21-member commission to identify and report on cemeteries, monuments, and historic buildings in Eastern and Central Europe that are associated with the heritage of U.S. citizens, particularly endangered properties. The law also directs the commission to obtain, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of State, assurances from the governments of the region that the properties will be protected and preserved. The Commission recognizes that the population of the U.S. is mostly comprised of immigrants and their descendants and that the U.S. has an interest in the preservation of sites in other countries related to the heritage of these Americans. Commission members’ service is unpaid.
Lozman said of the July 29th appointment, “I am humbled by this honor, and I am looking forward to working closely with other commission members who share my commitment in preserving and protecting heritage.”
Lozman told The Jewish World that the first full meeting of his three-year term is set for November.