NEW YORK (Nov. 4)
Funeral services were held today for Dr. Harris J. Levine, one of the foremost pioneer figures in the American and world Zionist movement and top ranking figure of Bnai Zion, who died yesterday at the age of 76.
Born in New York, Levine, a physician by profession, became active in the Zionist movement in his early youth, and at the age of 26 he emerged as a leader in Bnai Zion and in the major fund raising institutions for Palestine, particularly in the Jewish National Fund of America and in the Keren Hayesod, Palestine Foundation Fund which was later incorporated in the United Israel Appeal.
He served as the president of the Jewish National Fund for 10 years, from 1950 to 1960. Unanimously elected as president in 1939 in which post he served until 1941. Levine founded and headed the Bnai Zion Foundation which has established and maintains 30 humanitarian projects in Israel. He was a founder of the American Red Magen David and served as its president from 1947 through 1950.
Since the establishment of Israel, Levine played a vital role in its economic upbuilding. On Feb. 15, 1970, on the occasion of his 70th birthday, he was presented with the Bnai Zion America-Israel Friendship Gold Medal Award. In 1951 he was invited by the then Premier David Ben Gurion to Jerusalem to receive the most outstanding award from the State of Israel for his initiative in the launching of the first Israel Bond drive in the United States which set a goal of $100 million.
In tribute to his outstanding achievements to the cause of Israel, particularly in its humanitarian projects, Kfar Bnai Zion, a prosperous agricultural town near Tel Aviv, named its main thoroughfare in his honor. Last month there took place a ground breaking ceremony of a new modern administration building bearing his name in the Bnai Zion Institute for Retarded Children in Rosh Ha’ayin which he helped to establish. Talmai Zvi, a remote settlement in the Negev was named for him by the Israel government.
Among the high posts he occupied were those of vice-president of the United Jewish Appeal, vice-president of the New York Teachers Seminary and chairman of the board of the America-Israel Friendship League of which he was a founder. He was also a member of the World Zionist Actions Committee, the governing body of the World Zionist Organization.