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Thousands Participate in Funeral of Jerusalem Mayor; Schools Closed

November 3, 1959
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Led by the President and Prime Minister of Israel, many thousands of residents of this city, and representatives of virtually every town, city and settlement in the country, paid final homage today to the memory of Gershon Agron, Mayor of Jerusalem, who died early yesterday at the age of 66.

By order of the Ministry of Education, schools were closed this morning in Jerusalem–permitting schoolchildren to stage a mass march of mourning for their late beloved mayor.

President Izhak Ben-Zvi, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, members of the Cabinet and other notables, stood before the catafalque on which the remains of Mr. Agron lay in state, as the eulogy was delivered by Moshe Sharett, former Prime Minister and ex-Foreign Minister.

Hundreds of messages of condolence were received from leading Jewish organizations as well as from Zionist and Jewish communal leaders throughout the world.


Profound sorrow at the passing of Gershon Agron, mayor of Jerusalem, was expressed today by Mrs. Rose L. Halprin, acting chairman of the New York executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel. In a statement issued, she said:

“A man of singular courage, integrity and devotion to the Jewish people and to the upbuilding of Israel. Gershon Agron embodied the finest pioneering tradition of the Zionist movement. As a soldier with the Jewish Legion during World War I, and again in 1948, as editor in war-torn Jerusalem, he proved himself a fighter in the physical sense of the word. Yet his true victories were won by his incisive and eloquent pen, first as correspondent for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and later as founder and editor of The Jerusalem Post.

“Elected mayor of Jerusalem in 1955, Mr. Agron gave himself wholeheartedly to the task of expanding and improving the city he knew and loved so well. Many parks and miles of broad new streets stand today as a monument of his ability as an administrator and of his concern for the welfare of the people of Jerusalem.

“Mr. Agron, who was a delegate to a number of World Zionist Congresses, returned many times to his native United States to plead and interpret the cause of Zionism and Israel before American Jewry. Only last winter, he visited New York to help mobilize support for the economic consolidation of Israel and for the rehabilitation of the country’s immigrant population. His loss will be sorely felt by the Zionist movement and by his innumerable friends who will always cherish his memory.”

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