The 50th anniversary of the founding of the World Jewish Congress will be marked here January 27-30 at a plenary assembly that is expected to bring together some 900 delegates, alternates and observers from Jewish communities in 68 countries around the world. The meeting will be the eight plenary assembly since the WJC was founded in 1936 in Geneva by Rabbi Stephen Wise.
The four day meeting will receive reports on Jewish life from Argentina to Zaire, hear from top spokesmen of the Reagan Administration, the government of Israel and the Third World, and debate issues of East-West relations, Arab-Jewish peace, and the creative community of the Jewish people. Edgar Bronfman, WJC president, will chair the assembly.
Among the scheduled speakers at the meeting will be Defense Minister Giovanni Spadolini of Italy, a stern critic of his government’s policy toward terrorism; U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Vernon Walters; Dr. Bernard Lown of Boston, a leader of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, who shared the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize.
Also, Enrique Iglesias, Foreign Minister of Uruguay, Ram Jethmalani, a member of the Supreme Court of India; Rep. Julian Dixon (D. Calif.), former chairman of the Black Congressional Caucus; Premier Shimon Peres; Deputy Premier Yitzhak Shamir; Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin; and World Zionist Organization Executive chairman Leon Dulzin, speaking as chairman of the World Conference on Soviet Jewry.
Yitzhak Korn, chairman of the Israel Executive of the WJCongress, who participated in the 1936 founding assembly, will take part in the 1986 assembly. He will be presented with a medal by Dr. Gerhart Riegner, co-chairman of the WJC Governing Board.
A highlight of the assembly will be a discussion of “The Jewish People and the Changing World” with Saul Bellow, Nobel Laureate in literature; Sir Isaiah Berlin, British political scientist and president of Wolfson College, Oxford University; Yitzhak Navon, former President of Israel, now Minister of Education and Culture; and Carl Sagan, astronomer and author. Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg will chair this session, at which each of the participants will receive a Nahum Goldmann medal, named for the late WJC president.
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