ZOA Radio Commemorates 110th Anniversary Of 1st Zionist Congress
August 29, 2007

Zionism is alive and well in a variety of nations, and in those countries, Zionists are doing their utmost to present pro-Israel information and activities, and keep an eye on their governments’ relations with Israel.

In conjunction with the 110th anniversary of the First Zionist Congress — assembled by Theodor Herzl in Basel, Switzerland in 1897 — “The ZOA Middle East Report” radio show interviewed live Zionist leaders from Russia, Venezuela, Switzerland and Austria.

“The ZOA Middle East Report” is the weekly radio program sponsored by the Greater Philadelphia District of the Zionist Organization of America as part of its education and advocacy mission. The show is hosted by Steve Feldman and Lori Lowenthal Marcus (ZOA-GPD leaders). Feldman is also producer.

Assisted this week by Philadelphia-area Zionist activist Roberta Dzubow, the special edition of “The ZOA Middle East Report” examined Zionism in three European nations plus one Latin American one.

It was fitting that since the show was celebrating an event in Switzerland that Aviva Schnur, a member of the board of the Swiss-Israel Friendship Organization, was among the guests. Schnur is also active with DAVID, a pro-Israel group that confronts anti-Semitism and earned a doctorate in political science from the University of Zurich.

Since Herzl came from Austria, the show also included Nechemja Gang, Secretary-General of the Zionistische Foederation in Oesterreich. Russia supplied 44 of the 197 delegates who attended the First Zionist Congress, so Gabriel Fingerov, chairman of the Zionist Organization of Russia (Moria), was another natural choice to be a guest.

Meanwhile, the pro-Israel community of Venezuela seemed — from the outside — to be among the most challenged Zionist communities due to the close ties between that country’s president and Iran, so the show turned to Elias Farache, immediate past president of the Federacion Sionista de Venezuela, for some insight.

All four guests painted a relatively optimistic picture of Zionism in their respective lands today, surprisingly — though both the Russian and Venezuelan Zionists noted that there are problems. The guest talked about their activities, the media and their governments’ relations with Israel and Muslim countries, and related topics.

Filling out the show, Philadelphia Zionist activist Sid Karp gave a dramatic reading of excerpts from Herzl’s address to the First Zionist Congress.

Feldman and Dzubow also offered the latest news from Israel and the Middle East as well as commentary.

“The ZOA Middle East Report” is broadcast live every Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. Eastern Time over 1540 AM WNWR Radio in Philadelphia. To hear the show outside of Philadelphia, click on www.zoaphilly.org to listen live, on the archive or download the show as a Podcast.

For more information, call 215-338-9188.

ZOA President Morton A. Klein said, “ZOA is proud to recognize this important date in Jewish/Zionist history with a diverse and fascinating lineup from around the globe, bringing us up to date on the present state of Zionism.”


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