Michael Lewan is keynote speaker at Fairfield University's Holocaust Remembrance Service


Image: Michael LewanMichael Lewan, chairman of the U.S. Commission on Preserving America's Heritage Abroad, will be the keynote speaker at Fairfield University's ninth annual Holocaust Remembrance Service on Tuesday, April 17, at 5 p.m., in the Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola. The event, sponsored by the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies and Campus Ministry, will include a candle-lighting ceremony and readings by the university's faculty, students, staff and administrators.

In 1995, President Clinton appointed Lewan to his position on the Commission. The Commission's mandate is to identify and publish a list of those cemeteries, monuments and historic buildings located abroad and associated with U. S. citizens formerly of eastern and central Europe and encourage their protection from foreign governments. During Lewan's term, agreements of cooperation have been implemented with the governments of Bulgaria, Bosnia, Herzegovina, the Czeck Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia and the Ukraine.

Lewan has been a particularly strong advocate for reconciliation between the Polish and Jewish people. Under a 1996 cultural preservation agreement Lewan brokered, the Commission is now active in property restitution issues in Poland. He was also instrumental in efforts to restitute the Chevra Lomdei Mishnayot Synagogue, the first property returned under Poland's communal property restitution.

Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewki presented Lewan with the Commander's Cross with the Star of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland, the highest non-citizen Polish honor, for his work in encouraging cultural understanding between Poland and the United States.

Lewan, a speaker at the Washington Conference on Holocaust-era Assets in 1998, has also testified before the U.S. Congress, the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, and various international forums and symposiums on these matters. In addition, he recently served as Chief of Staff for Sen. Joseph Leiberman's (D-Conn.) vice presidential campaign and also served as his Senate chief of staff from 1989-93.

Lewan earned a master's degree in Public Administration from Syracuse University where he received the 2000 Professional Achievement Award. He co-hosts a weekly political radio talk show with Frank Donatelli on Radio America and runs his own consulting/lobbying firm, the Michael Lewan Company.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Center for Judaic Studies at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2066.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 23, 2001

Vol. 33, No. 164