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Max Lapides Dead at 77

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Funeral services were held here yesterday for Max Lapides who, in a 20-year career in Jewish organizations helping Jews in the post-war upheaval, organized the Operation Magic Carpet which brought thousands of Yemenite Jews to Israel by air. Lapides, 77, died here from a cardiac arrest last Saturday.

A volunteer in the U.S. armed forces during World War II, he rose to the rank of executive officer of the counter-intelligence division of the U.S. Strategic Air Force in Europe. After the war he joined the Joint Distribution Committee and also served the Jewish Agency and the United Israel Appeal. A lawyer, he served in the U.S. Judge Advocate’s office at the Nuremberg Trials.

He was on loan from the Jewish Agency to the JDL when he was sent to Aden to organize the airlift of Yemenite Jews to Israel. He made a survey of Jewish conditions in Morocco in 1963. He then returned to Aden to assist in arrangements for bringing additional Jews from Yemen to Israel. He also served as a Jewish Agency official in North Africa and Geneva.

He retired from the Jewish Agency in 1968 at the age of 65 after 20 years of service. He traveled regularly between the United States and Israel until his death. Born in Rochester, N.Y., he earned a law degree at Yale Law School. He made his first visit to Israel in 1948 shortly before the infant state of Israel was invaded by armies of seven Arab states.

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