Lord Young is the new chairman of the Jewish Museum, which has re-opened in Camden after a £10 million redevelopment.
The Conservative peer, a minister in Margaret Thatcher's government, brings wide business, cultural and communal experience to the role.
He paid tribute to those involved in the redevelopment for creating "an institution which does credit to the Jewish community and one of which we can all be truly proud.
"My priority now will be to ensure that our educational work reaches out to the Jewish community and beyond. A visit to the Jewish Museum needs to be part of every child's education."
He succeeds Robert Craig, who has been appointed vice-president.