Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) was appointed chairman of an umbrella body for Jewish lawmakers worldwide.
The steering committee of the International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians named Engel, the senior Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, as its chairman this week during a meeting of the group in Washington.
“The work of the ICJP is important for Jews everywhere, and I am proud and honored to help lead and uphold its important mission,” Engel said in a statement.
Participants in this week’s meeting arrived in Washington from Belgium, Costa Rica, Hungary, Ukraine and France, among other countries.
The group, which is an initiative of the World Jewish Congress, passed resolutions on Iran and on anti-Semitism in Europe and Latin America.
In the pipeline is a resolution on religious freedoms in Europe and a letter to President Obama calling for the commutation of the life sentence handed down 26 years ago to Jonathan Pollard, a spy for Israel.
Engel succeeds Fiamma Nirenstein of Italy.