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Councilwoman helps unveil monument

Councilwoman Lee Seeman looks at photographs of her

Councilwoman Lee Seeman looks at photographs of her work restoring Jewish cemetaries in Eastern Europe. (April 6, 2010) Photo Credit: Newsday/Danielle Finkelstein

North Hempstead Councilwoman Lee Seeman does not focus only on local issues.

Since 1995, at the appointment of President Bill Clinton, she has served on the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, which works with foreign governments to preserve cultural heritage sites around the globe.

At the North Hempstead Town Board meeting Tuesday night, Seeman spoke of her latest trip — to Riga, Latvia, earlier this summer — to unveil a monument marking a Jewish cemetery destroyed during the Holocaust.

For years, the site was marked by a boulder with a Jewish star but no mention of the cemetery, which dates to 1725.

“My connection to the Jewish community in Latvia is emotional and religious,” Seeman said.

Now the cemetery — which was turned into a park by Russians after its desecration in World War II — has a monument to those who died and whose remains were discarded by the occupying forces.

“I wanted everyone who passed by to have the opportunity to learn about the significance of the site,” Seeman said.

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