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Jacob Tsur to Quit JNF

Jacob Tsur, for 16 years world chairman of the Jewish National Fund, announced today that he would stand down to make way for a younger man. Tsur, who is 71, was immediately asked to stay on, by the JNF board, till June 1, while a successor is sought.

His resignation did not come as a surprise; it had been rumored for several months. Among the names tipped as possible successors is Akiva Levinsky, kibbutznik and senior executive of the Histadrut-owned Bank Hapoalim. The board, accepting Tsur’s resignation, said in a statement his successor must be an Israeli familiar with and familiar to world Jewry. The board expressed warm praise for Tsur’s work during his tenure.

Tsur himself recalled to newsmen that he had first joined JNF back in 1929 as a lowly official. Since then, of course, he rose to eminence in Israel’s diplomatic service, and was first envoy to Argentina and later Ambassador to Paris during the halcyon days of Israel-French amity.

Tsur told the JNF board he felt there should be an age limit for holders of weighty public offices such as his. “Back in 1929,” Tsur reminisced today, “one had to persuade people of the value of JNF’s work. Today this is unnecessary. The work speaks for itself.”