Mitchell Silk begins his confirmation hearing for Treasury role

A hearing was held in the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs yesterday on the nomination of Mitchell (Moyshe) Allen Silk as assistant secretary of the Treasury for International Markets, a position he has held in an acting role since July.

Background: Silk, a native of New York, is a lawyer, author and expert in Chinese law and finance, who is fluent in both Mandarin and Cantonese. Silk is believed to be the first and only Hasidic Jew to hold a senior position in a U.S. administration. 

Family ties: In his opening statement✎ EditSignSilk spoke movingly about his family and his ancestors, including “my amazing wife Yocheved Rivka,” his eight children and three grandchildren. “My grandparents immigrated to this country from hardship and persecution in Eastern Europe,” he said. “Their life experiences were chilling. My maternal grandfather, the guiding light of my life, grew up in abject poverty, witnessed Cossacks brutally murder his family members and struggled to cope with the extermination of his family in the Holocaust.”

Impressive CV: Committee Chairman Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) called Silk “a key voice on trade negotiations, energy and infrastructure finance, export credit and financial services” since he joined the Treasury in 2017 as a deputy assistant secretary for International Affairs.

Close to shul: In a 2018 profile in Mishpacha magazine, Silk reflected on his 15 years as an observant Jew in Hong Kong, his dedication to daily Torah learning and his shift to life in D.C. “We took housing in D.C. that’s close to shul and work,” he said. Silk said he tries to make it home to Brooklyn every weekend for Shabbat.

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