New American Zionist Federation Launched; Hailed As Historic Step Forward

Thirteen American Zionist organizations participated last night in the formation of a new American Zionist Federation designed to strengthen Zionism in the United States. The new, unified central organization will be involved in such areas as aliyah, youth, Jewish education, public information and internal Jewish communal affairs. The action was taken in accordance with the decision of the 27th World Zionist Congress held in June, 1968, calling for the establishment of Territorial Zionist Federations in every country throughout the world. The thirteen organizations founding the Federation are: Americans for Progressive Israel, American Jewish League for Israel, Association of Americans and Canadians for Aliyah, Bnai Zion, Farband, Hadassah, Pioneer Women, Poale Zion, Religious Zionists of America (including Hapoel Hamizrachi Women and Mizrachi Women), United Zionists-Revisionists of America, and the Zionist Organization of America.

The new Federation was hailed as a “historic step forward in American Zionism” by Louis A. Pincus of Jerusalem, Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization. In a message read at the meeting, Mr. Pincus said: “Your Federation provides the basis for the fullest mobilization and activization of the enormous Zionist sentiment pervading American Jewry, which will surely lead to even greater attainments in all fields of Zionist activity.” Other speakers at the ratification meeting were: Israel’s Ambassador Josef Tekoah, permanent representative to the United Nations; Dr. Emanuel Neumann, Chairman of the Jewish Agency–American Section; and David Chaitin. Chairman of the American Zionist Youth Council. A message was also read from Avraham Schenker, head of the Organization and Information Dept. of the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization.

Rabbi Israel Miller, Assistant to the President of Yeshiva University, was elected interim chairman of the new Federation, until the first convention of the new organization which will meet in Philadelphia Thursday, May 28th, through Sunday. May 31st, when officers will be elected. The new Federation was organized under the chairmanship of a committee headed by Rabbi Miller and Mrs. Charlotte Jacobson, former President of Hadassah, and member of the Executive of the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization. Previously, American Zionists were coordinated through the American Zionist Council, an organization which operated on a limited basis and in which member organizations could veto programs of which they did not approve. The new Federation will function on the basis of a majority vote of its membership. Unlike the American Zionist Council, it will also be open to individual membership, as well as organizational membership of general Jewish organizations, synagogues and fraternal groups.

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