Herzog Stresses Education, Aliya As ‘heart’ of Zionism in Address to WZO Council

President Chaim Herzog of Israel declared here today that “Jewish education and aliya must be at the heart of the Zionist movement’s concerns.”

Herzog spoke at the opening session of the annual three-day meeting of the World Zionist Organization’s General Council, the WZO’s policy-making body between the quadrennial World Zionist Congresses. The sessions will be followed by the annual Jewish Agency Assembly which opens here next week.

Herzog observed that “Doubts have arisen among various elements of Judaism about the centrality of the State of Israel in the Jewish world. Because of this,” he said, “any move to strengthen Jewish consciousness and to encourage aliya is welcome.” Greetings were also delivered by Leon Dulzin, chairman of the WZO and Jewish Agency Executives, and Ephraim Even, chairman of the Zionist Council. Even said the “rejuvenation of the Zionist movement” is the crucial theme of this meeting.

FISHER URGES CHANGES

The agenda includes Zionist goals and objectives, aliya and Jewish education. Another topic is the relationship between the WZO and the Jewish Agency. Max Fisher, of Detroit, chairman of the Jewish Agency’s Board of Governors, expounded on that issue in his remarks to the Zionist Council, calling for “some structural and operational changes” in both bodies.

“The Jewish Agency is devoted primarily to Israel, though its structure reflects community organization patterns of the diaspora,” Fisher explained. “The WZO, in its operations, is largely devoted to the diaspora yet only loosely identified with diaspora leaders and institutions, especially in North America.”

“No one denies that every organization has its share of competition, rivalry and good old fashioned politics,” Fisher said. He made it clear however that the “status quo” could not continue. “If we are to work together more productively, it is imperative that we make some structural and operational changes in the WZO and Agency,” he said. He called for changes in the operations of Zionist organizations in the name of greater world-wide Jewish unity.

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