US/World News

Emhoff to lead Holocaust remembrance efforts in Europe

(JNS) The White House announced on Thursday that Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff will travel to Europe this month to participate in Holocaust remembrance events.

Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, is set to visit Krakow, Poland, from Jan. 26 -29. On Jan. 27, Emhoff, joined by U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Deborah Lipstadt, is slated to visit the Memorial and Museum at Auschwitz-Birkenau. He will also participate in a wreath-laying ceremony and attend the annual commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. 

Emhoff and Lipstadt will then head to Berlin, where on Jan. 30-31 they are to attend a meeting of special envoys and coordinators working to combat antisemitism.

A statement from Emhoff’s office said that he will meet with local Jewish communities during his travels.

Emhoff, who has served as the Biden administration’s point man on matters of antisemitism, was reportedly set to meet today on Capitol Hill with the co-chairs of the House Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Antisemitism.

As the first Jewish spouse of a U.S. president or vice president, Emhoff has become increasingly vocal about his Jewish background and about the rising antisemitism in the country. 

Last month, he led a roundtable with Jewish leaders at the White House. Addressing the topic of rising Jew-hatred, he said, “I understand the weight of this responsibility—I do.…And as second gentleman, let me reiterate, I will not remain silent. I’m proud to be Jewish, and I’m proud to live openly as a Jew. I am not afraid. We cannot live in fear. We refuse to be afraid.”

The White House recently announced the formation of an interagency task force to deal with antisemitism and other bigotry, led by staff from the Domestic Policy Council and the National Security Council. The group’s first order of business will be to formulate a national strategy to counter antisemitism.

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