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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 3, 1998

The President today announced his intent to appoint Roberta Bennett, Michael Berenbaum, Charles Kushner, William Lerach, Susan Bass Levin, Arnold Lorber, Jack Rosen, Dennis Ross, Gerald Sigal and Arnold Thaler to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.

Ms. Roberta Bennett, of Los Angeles, California, is a partner of the law firm of Anderson & Bennett and is a certified specialist in Family Law. She has served in a leadership capacity for a number of human rights activities, including the AIDS Project Los Angeles, Founding Board of Directors of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, Human Rights Campaign Fund and as President of Congregation Kol Ami. Ms. Bennett has been active in the Holocaust Memorial Museum, having served as Chairperson of the Gay and Lesbian Project. She received her B.A. Degree from California State University at Northridge and her J.D. from the University of San Fernando Valley College of Law.

Dr. Michael Berenbaum, of Los Angeles, California, is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation. He was previously Director of the Research Institute of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum from 1993 to 1997, Project Director for the Museum from 1988 to 1993, and the Hymen Goldman Adjunct Professor of Theology at Georgetown University. Dr. Berenbaum is the author of twelve books, including After Tragedy and Triumph, The World Must Know, and Witness to the Holocaust. He was Co-Producer of One Survivor Remembers: The Gerda Weissman Klein Story, which won both an Academy Award and an Emmy Award. Dr. Berenbaum received a B.A. from Queens College and a Ph.D. from Florida State University.

Mr. Charles Kushner, of Livingstone, New Jersey, is Chief Executive Officer of the Kushner Companies. Previously, he was a partner in the law firm of Brach, Eichler, Rosenberg, Lilver, Bernstein, Hammer & Gladstone, and a tax attorney with Price Waterhouse & Company. Additionally, he has served as Chairman of the Board of NorCrown Bank, as a Trustee of MetroWest Foundation and on the Board of Directors of the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy, the Rabbinical College of America and the Board of Stern College. Mr. Kushner received a B.A. from New York University, a J.D. from Hofstra Law School, and a MBA from New York University.

Mr. William S. Lerach, of Rancho Santa Fe, California, is a partner with the San Diego law firm of Milberg, Weiss, Bershad, Hynes, & Lerach. Previously, he was a partner with the Pittsburgh firm of Reed, Smith, Shaw, and McClay. His speciality is securities law, and he is a frequent public commentator on securities and corporate law, as well as the author of numerous articles on these subjects. He has also served on the California Senate Commission on Corporate Governance, Shareholder Rights and Securities Transactions, and has been President of the National Association of Securities and Commercial Lawyers. Mr. Lerach received his B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh and his J.D. from the same institution.

Ms. Susan Bass Levin, of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, is the elected Mayor and Chief Executive Officer of this suburban community of 70,000. She is currently with the law firm of Pepper, Hamilton L.L.C. Mayor Levin was Chair of the South Jersey Delegation to the 1997 President's Summit for America's Future. She has also served as Co-Chair of the Camden County Alliance for Action, on the Board of Trustees of the South Jersey Development Council, and was Founder of the Mayor's Leadership Institute for the National Conference of Christians & Jews. Ms. Levin also served as State President of the New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners, and was a Delegate to the 1985 White House Conference on Small Business. She received a B.A. from the University of Rochester and a J.D. from George Washington University Law School.

Mr. Arnold Lorber, of Beverly Hills, California, is Chairman of Lorber Industries of California, the largest textile manufacturer in Southern California. He was born in Kosice, Czechoslovakia, and is a Holocaust survivor. His father was murdered by the Nazis and he survived by fleeing across the Czechoslovakian border, dodging the Nazis by disguising himself in a Hitler-Youth uniform, while secretly bringing food and supplies to other Jews in Bratislavia on the Czechoslovakian border. In 1948 Mr. Lorber's surviving family moved to South America, establishing a textile business. Eventually, he immigrated to Los Angeles, establishing a textile business that has grown into the largest in Southern California. Mr. Lorber is a Founder of the Holocaust Memorial Museum and served as the Chairman of the Fundraising Campaign for Los Angeles. Mr. Lorber was awarded an honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree by Bar-Ilan University in Israel.

Mr. Jack Rosen, of New York City, New York, is President and Chief Executive Officer of Kuala Health Care, Inc. of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. He is also President of Hospital Investors Management Corporation, and two real estate companies, Danro Corporation and Rosen Ingeberman Rosen. Mr. Rosen has served as Secretary of the Associates of the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad, and as a Member of the Advisory Committee to the House Trade and Competitiveness Task Force on Economic Policy. He was also on the Board of Directors for Health Care for America, and was a member of Congressional Missions to the Persian Gulf in 1988 and to Mexico in 1991. Mr. Rosen received a B.A. from the City University of New York and completed advanced study at the Graduate School of Business at New York University.

Ambassador Dennis B. Ross, of Bethesda, Maryland, serves as Ambassador at Large and Middle East Coordinator at the Department of State. He is responsible for devising U.S. strategies on Arab-Israel negotiations in the peace process and will advise the Secretary of State and President on diplomatic imperatives of the process. Previous to his current assignment, Dr. Ross has served in a number of key policy roles at the Department of State, Department of Defense, National Security Council and on the White House Staff, dealing principally with strategic issues related to the Middle East, Russia and the former Soviet Union. Dr. Ross received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Mr. Gerald R. Sigal, of Washington, DC, is Chairman of the Board of the SIGAL Construction Corporation, one of the city's largest construction companies. Following a successful sixteen-year career as Project Manager with Tishman Realty and Construction of New York, he founded SIGAL Construction twenty years ago. Mr. Sigal helped the 1994 Model UN project, involving students from several Washington, D.C. high schools. He also ran Operation Spiffy John, a group of volunteer companies and individuals which renovated the bathrooms of numerous Washington, D.C. public schools. He has served on the boards of the American Jewish Committee, the Jewish National Federation, the Washington Hebrew Congregation and the National Jewish Foundation and was Chairman of the State of Israel Bonds Development Corporation in 1992-93. Mr. Sigal was a Founding Contributor of the Holocaust Memorial Museum and served on its Fundraising Committee and Facilities Operations Committee. He received a B. S. in Civil Engineering from New York University.

Mr. Arnold Thaler, of Chicago, Illinois, is the former Chairman and CEO of View-Master Ideal Group, Inc., which was acquired by Tyco Toys in 1989, and most recently by Mattel, Inc. in 1998. From 1990 to 1998, Mr. Thaler served on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Tyco Toys, and currently serves as a consultant to Mattel, Inc. He is Vice President of The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity. Mr. Thaler has been a member of the Holocaust Memorial Council since 1988, and presently serves as Chairman of the Audit Committee. He attended New York University and the University of Pittsburgh and was a navigator in the Army Air Corps from 1942 to 1945.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Council was established in 1979 to provide for the annual commemoration and observance of the Days of Remembrance of the Holocaust, and to construct and operate a living memorial to its victims.