NEW YORK (Jun. 8)
American Zionist leaders met here last week to draft a structure and program for the projected American Zionist Federation that is designed to replace the existing American Zionist Council. The establishment of territorial Zionist federations in every country was decided by the 27th World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem in June, 1968.
The Zionist Federation would differ from the Zionist Council in several respects, according to Rabbi Israel Miller, Council chairman. It would be open to individual members and to non-Zionist organizations such as synagogues and fraternal orders on national and local levels. The present national Zionist organizations would continue to function but each of their members would automatically be members of the national Zionist Federation. The existing Zionist organizations would have a voice in the new Federation according to a voting formula to be worked out. The formula would also establish the rights and obligations of individual members and non-Zionist organizations.
Rabbi Miller said the Federation, which would establish local branches in major communities across the country, “will be a democratic organization both on the national and grass roots level, open to new approaches and new forces.” He said its emphasis will continue to be on immigration, youth and Jewish education and public information relating to the Middle East. He said it was hoped that the Federation would become a reality during the coming year. (The Zionist Organization of America has announced it will not join the Federation for fear of losing its autonomy.)