State Funeral for Sapir Thursday; Will Be Buried at Kfar Saba
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State Funeral for Sapir Thursday; Will Be Buried at Kfar Saba

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The state funeral for Pinhas Sapir, who died of a heart attack near Beersheba yesterday at 67, will be held tomorrow in Jerusalem. He will be buried at Kfar Saba, where Mr. Sapir had lived since settling in Palestine in 1929. The rite will take place in front of the Binyanei Ha’ooma (Convention Hall), starting at 11:15 a.m. (local time). The offices of the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization, which Mr. Sapir had headed as chairman of their Executives, will be closed to permit workers to participate in the service.

The coffin will be placed in the yard of the WZO and Jewish Agency building in the early morning and then moved to Convention Hall where the state funeral will start with a special Cabinet meeting, combined with an Agency meeting, in the Cabinet meeting room.

Members of the government and the Executives will then pass by the coffin. Speakers will be Leon Dulzin, Jewish Agency treasurer who is acting chairman of the WZO and Agency Executives, and former Premier Golda Meir. Premier Yitzhak Rabin will participate in the burial rites at Kfar Saba in the afternoon when the mourning procession arrives there.


A special mourning session was held at the Jewish Agency office here today, with members of the Executive participating. After a moment of standing silence by mourners, Dulzin, hardly able to control his tears, spoke. He said “Who knows and who can understand the ways of the Lord?”

Dulzin disclosed that only two days before Mr. Sapir’s death he had been involved in continuous meetings, apparently at the height of his powers and died in the midst of his widespread efforts on Agency and Zionist movement programs.

Declaring that the former Finance Minister had dedicated his life to aliya, Dulzin said “he took part in the absorption difficulties of immigrants, he cared for them, met them, studied their problems and endeavored to find solutions to the inevitable absorption difficulties.”

Moshe Rivlin, Jewish Agency director general told the mourners that the Jewish world was shocked when it learned of Mr. Sapir’s death. Hundreds of cables and telegrams arrived from Jewish communities all over the world during the night and today at the Agency offices here, all declaring the death was a loss to the Jewish people. Mordechai Bar-On, head of the Agency’s Youth and Hechalutz Department, said that for him and many others Mr. Sapir had been “an image of a giant, a tremendous figure and a great leader.”

Later today, Jewish Agency employes held a memorial meeting, during which Ezra Shapiro, world chairman of Keren Hayesod, Reuven Agnon, chairman of the workers committee, and Rivlin spoke about Mr. Sapir’s activities and achievements.

The Agency confirmed that a number of American Jewish leaders planned to attend the state funeral. The Agency office here said it was receiving continually information about delegations from Jewish communities throughout the world planning to come for the funeral.

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