Leo Bernstein, Chief Executive Officer of Israel Bonds, Dead at 61

Funeral services will be held here tomorrow for Leo Bernstein, 61, executive vice-president and chief executive officer of the world-wide Israel Bond Organization, who died of a heart attack this morning at his New York home. Mr. Bernstein was named in August 1970 to direct the operations of the Israel Bond drive in the United States and other parts of the free world, after having served for more than thirty years as a leading executive in major national programs for Israel in this country.

He was associated for many years with the national leadership of the United Jewish Appeal, and was known in communities throughout the United States as a forceful and effective spokesman for the cause of Israel. Mr. Bernstein was one of the American Jewish leaders who met with Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and other Israel government figures in Jerusalem in 1950 at the historic conference which resulted in the launching of the first Israel Bond Issue in the United States. He visited Israel many times since then to discuss the progress of Israel’s development program with government officials.

At the end of January 1973, Mr. Bernstein, together with Sam Rothberg, general chairman and Ira Guilden, president of the Israel Bond Organization, and a select group of U.S. and Canadian Jewish leaders, conferred with Prime Minister Golda Meir and Finance Minister Pinchas Sapir in Jerusalem on the means of increasing economic aid to Israel this year.

At Mr. Bernstein’s suggestion, that conference adopted a quota of $360 million for 1973 for the Israel Bond campaign, which has sold a total of $2.2 billion in Bonds since its inception in 1951 Prior to being named to the post of executive vice-president, Mr. Bernstein served for twenty years as national director of field operations of the Israel Bond Organization. He was the initiator of the concept of large-scale Bond sales to banks, trade unions, pension funds, and insurance companies, which in the last few years purchased more than $250 million in Bonds.

In tribute to the memory of Mr. Bernstein, the offices of the Israel Bond Organization will be closed tomorrow.

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