Jacques Torczyner

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Jacques Torczyner (8 July 1914 - 7 March 2013) was a leader in the American and international Zionist movement.[1][2][3] He was born in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1914 [4] and emigrated to the United States in 1940, escaping Belgium after the Nazi invasion. He became a member of the Zionist Organization of America ("ZOA"). He joined 18 Jewish leaders at a special meeting in July 1945 called by David Ben-Gurion organizing the Friends of the Haganah to organise support for the Jewish paramilitary forces in Palestine.

He was active in the campaign for the creation of Israel led by Abba Hillel Silver and took on additional responsibility when Silver became the President of ZOA. After the founding of the State of Israel, he was a member of the Rifkind Committee and various Special Committees of the Jewish Agency charged with evaluating the future of the Zionist movement. Torczyner served five consecutive terms as president of the ZOA.[5]

From 1974 to 1977 he was chairman of the American section of the World Jewish Congress. From 1972 till 1998 he was member of the Executive of the World Zionist Organization in charge of its Foreign Relations Department and the Herzl Institute, the adult education Institute of the World Zionist Movement.[3]

He was also appointed a member of the American UNESCO Committee, and served on the Holderman Committee, which recommended that the United States should leave UNESCO. Later, he was appointed a special advisor to the Director General of UNESCO, Federico Mayor.[3]

Torczyner was the nephew of Naftali Herz Tur-Sinai.[6]

Torczyner died on March 7, 2013.[1]



  1. 1.0 1.1 Jacques Torczyner, Zionist Leader, Dies at 98 - Belgian Jew Escaped the Holocaust, Went on To Lead ZOA JTA 13 March 2013.
  2. Geoffrey Wigoder, (Ed), New Encyclopedia of Zionism and Israel, Vol. II, (1994) p. 1274
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs Jacques Torczyner. Retrieved from the Internet Archive of 26 March 2009 on 24 September 2014.
  4. Jacques Torczyner A Zionist's Voyage Through the Twentieth Century, Torch Press, Saratoga, California (2009) p. 1
  5. [[Zionist Organisation of America ZOA Report, Fall 2008. Retrieved from the Internet Archive of 1 October 2008 on 24 September 2014.
  6. Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, University of California, Irvine. Krakow Families, Censor Family Tree. Accessed 24 September 2014.