Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed five people to the state’s new Holocaust, Genocide and Anti-Semitism Advisory Commission.

The commission, which was created in September, “shall conduct a study on anti-Semitism in the state, provide assistance to schools, and meet with appropriate representatives of public and private organizations to provide information in addition to various education duties around the state,” according to Abbott’s announcement on Jan. 6.

Abbott appointed Dallas residents Jeffery Beck, a national board member for the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, and Kenneth “Kenny” Goldberg, former president of the Dallas Jewish Community Center, for terms that will expire on Feb. 1, 2023.

For a term set to expire on Feb. 1, 2025, the governor appointed Austin resident and Holocaust survivor Lucy Taus Katz, a member of the Steering Committee of Decedents of Holocaust Survivors, and Providence Umugwaneza from San Antonio. Umugwaneza survived the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi minority ethnic group in Rwanda, where she lost her parents, five siblings and other family members. She now leads educational programs to raise awareness about genocide.

Abbott additionally appointed Congregation Beth Israel Rabbi Ilan Emanuel of Corpus Christi for a term set to expire on Feb. 1, 2027.

Emanuel is a former board member of the South West Association of Reform Rabbis, the Lincoln Jewish Community School Board and the Lincoln Jewish Federation. He currently serves as a member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.


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