The Zionist Organization was founded by Theodor Herzl at the First Zionist Congress in Basle in 1897; it was renamed the World Zionist Organization in 1960. Its goals were set forth in the Basle Program: "Zionism seeks to establish a home for the Jewish people in Palestine, secured under public law." The right of membership in the ZO was given to anyone who accepted the Basle Program and purchased the Zionist shekel (dues). The first constitution was passed by the Third Congress in 1899 and amended over the years.
At the First Zionist Congress, the Zionist movement organized itself as a worldwide organization with permanent institutions. The supreme institution was, and still is, the Zionist Congress. The elected institutions that function between congresses are the Zionist General Council and the Zionist Executive; the latter carries out the movement's policies. The Zionist Congress also elects a law court, an attorney and a comptroller. The Zionist Executive is headed by its chairman, who is also the president of the ZO.
Since its foundation, the ZOC has established companies and institutions to carry out its policies; these include Keren Hayesod, the Jewish National Fund, the Jewish Colonial Trust, and the Jewish Colonial Trust's subsidiary, the Anglo-Palestine Bank.
The WZO holds a congress every four years, which is used as a forum to bring members of the organization from around the world together and discuss ideas as well as elect new officials.
Scope and Content
The records in this series primarily document the 28th World Zionist Congress which was held in 1972. The files consist of material which include: biographies of participants; election committees; resolutions; names of delegates; photographs; and election rules.
The series also contains material documenting the election process of executives that took place in Canada and was arranged by ZOC.
The file consists of a publication listing the holdings of the Central Zionist Archives of the World Zionist Organization in Jerusalem, general correspondence concerning: available information and publications; an opinion on the constitution of the Federated Zionist Organization of Canada; and circular letters concerning new literature available through the World Zionist Organization.
The file consists of telegrams and wires concerning: the election of World Zionist Congress delegates; information regarding congress delegate accreditation; agendas of the national elections committee; invitations to attend meetings; lists of members; a newspaper article on the Zionist election published on October 22, 1971 in the Jewish Observer and Middle East Review; election posters and notices.
The file consists of information concerning the election of delegates to meetings of the World Zionist Congress and includes general correspondence; the rules for the election of delegates; resolutions of the World Zionist Congress held in 1971; and the model of rules for the election of delegates.
The file consists of promotional material for the 28th World Zionist Congress consisting of information about the Kfar Silver Agricultural School and general correspondence concerning the 28th World Zionist Congress; an invoice from the Canadian Jewish News concerning the insertion of advertisements; tour information; list of Canadian delegates and observers to the 28th Congress; and memoranda.
The file consists of photographs of the Canadian delegation to the 28th World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem. These delegates include: Ralph Medjuck; Philip Givens; Morris Wosk; Nathan Shuster; Allan Small; Leo Kolberg; Avrom Siegel; Morton Pliskow; Gerald Charness; and David Heller.