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Leon Ilutovich, 82, is dead; led ZOA for nearly 40 years

NEW YORK, March 5 (JTA) — Leon Ilutovich, a longtime leader of the Zionist Organization of America, has died. He was 82. Ilutovich served for almost four decades as executive director and executive vice chairman of ZOA. He retired in 1983. At the time of his death, he was a vice president of the Federation of Polish Jews and chairman of the Polish Jewry Memorial Forest, which is located in Jerusalem. Ilutovich began his Zionist career while a teen-ager in prewar Poland and continued after graduating from law school. Until 1939, he was one of the few young Jewish leaders in Poland who gained national prominence as secretary to the Political Representation of Polish Jewry and secretary general of the Organization of General Zionists in Poland. Fleeing from Nazi persecution, he found refuge in Japan and China, where he served as the Far Eastern representative of the Jewish Agency for Palestine during World War II. In the United States, he founded the Zionist Information Service and became its director and editor. Ilutovich was recognized as an expert linguist, lecturer and analyst of international and Zionist affairs. He published numerous articles in different languages in the Zionist press and around the world.