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Signatories on the Founding Charter

1. Chaim Weizmann, 1874-1952, President of the State of Israel

Chaim Weizmann was born in Belarus in 1874. He completed his doctorate studies in chemistry, served as a delegate to the Zionist congresses, influenced the publication of the Balfour Declaration, led the "Delegates Committee", was among the founders of thr Hebrew University, served as President of the World Zionist Federation and founded the Weizmann Institute. He was the first President of the State of Israel. He passed away in 1952. 
Excerpt of his remarks during the signing ceremony of the Founding Charter of ICC Jerusalem - Binyanei Ha'uma:
"Today we are signing the charter for the cornerstone of the Zionist Congress building in Jerusalem. This is a great event in our lives. Seemingly, we have not been lacking in days like these,  since the founding of our state, great and important days. However, building a permanent seat for the Zionist Congress in Jerusalem is no light matter. Just as we are witnesses to changes of the face of the land from a wilderness to an inhabited land, we will also be privileged to make the dispersed and separated tribes of Israel into a single, integrated and functioning nation."

2. David Ben-Gurion, 1886-1973, Prime Minister

David Ben-Gurion was born in Poland in 1886. He came to Israel when he was 20 and was expelled from it by the Turks when he was 29. He was recruited into the Jewish Brigade in the British Army. Ben-Gurion was one of the founders of the Ahdut Ha’avoda (the Labor Unity Party). He served as the Secretary-General of the General Federation of Jewish Labor. He was one of the founders of Mapai – the Workers Party of Eretz Israel – and served as Chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive Board.  He declared the establishment of the State of Israel. He was the first Prime Minister of the State of Israel and its Minister of Defense. He later founded the RAFI Party – the Israeli Workers List. He passed away in 1973. 
Excerpt of his remarks during the signing ceremony of the Founding Charter of ICC Jerusalem - Binyanei Ha'uma:
"With the establishment of the State of Israel, Jerusalem has been made its capital. Jerusalem is not merely the capital of the state, but rather was and will be the capital of the Hebrew nation. Jerusalem under Israel's sovereignty will serve as a spiritual, scientific, and Torah center, for those seeking the good and justice of all Israel throughout the world. The capital of Israel will, due to the place it holds in Jewish and world history, hold within it Jewish and world conferences and will become a global center for justice and peace in the world." 

3. Berl Locker, 1887-1992, Chairman, Jewish Agency in Jerusalem

Berl Locker was born in Galicia in 1887. He was a member of the Poelei Zion Party and later a member of the Jewish Agency Executive Board. He came to Israel in 1936 and served as a political advisor of the Jewish Agency Executive. 
He served as Chairman of the Jewish Agency from 1948 to 1956, as Secretary-General of the Histadrut Labor Federation and as Chairman of the Zionist Workers Council.  He was awarded the title of “Esteemed Citizen of Jerusalem”. He passed away in 1972.
 
4. Yitzchak Isaac Halevi Herzog, 1888-1959, Chief Rabbi of Israel

Yitzchak Isaac Halevi Herzog was born in Poland in 1888 and moved in his youth to England. He was ordained by the rabbinate, studied mathematics and classic and Semitic languages, and received a doctorate in literature. He served as the Chief Rabbi of the Jews of Ireland. He worked to save Jews during the Second World War and to save children who survived the Holocaust. He served as the Chief Rabbi of the Land of Israel and of the State of Israel. He was awarded the Israel Prize in Rabbinical literature. He passed away in 1959.

5. Ben Zion Meir Hai Uziel, 1880-1953, The Rishon Le'zion

Ben Zion Meir Hai Uziel was born in Jerusalem in 1880 and served as the Rabbi of the Sephardic community in Yafo.  He served as the president of the Mizrachi movement. He was appointed Rabbi of the Saloniki community and worked to disseminate the Hebrew language and Zionism. He served as the first Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv. He served as a member of the Zionist National Committee. He served as the Chief Rabbi and Rishon Le'zion of the Land of Israel and later of the State of Israel. He passed away in 1953.
 
6. Moshe Smoira, 1888-1961, President of the Supreme Court of Israel

Moshe Smoira was born in Germany in 1888 and studied Hebrew in his youth. He served in the German Army and received a doctorate in law. He came to Israel in 1920. Served as chairman of the Zionist Federation Court, as a member of the Mapai Party and one of the first five judges in the State of Israel. He served as the first President of the Supreme Court. He passed away in 1961.

7. Zeev Gold, 1889-1956, Head of the Jerusalem Development Department of the Jewish Agency,Member of ICC Jerusalem's Executive Committee

Zeev Gold was born in Poland in 1889 and immigrated to the United States. He served as a community Rabbi in Chicago, San Francisco and New York. He served as the President of the Torah Vodaath Yeshiva. He served as a member of the World Jewish Congress Executive Board and Honorary Chairman of the Jewish National Fund in the United States. He participated in Zionist congresses and was a member of the Zionist Workers Council. He served as a member of the Jewish Agency Executive Board and headed the Jerusalem Development Department. He was president of the Mizrachi Movement in Israel and was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He passed away in 1956.
Excerpt of his remarks during the signing ceremony of the Founding Charter of ICC Jerusalem - Binyanei Ha'uma:
"Binyanei Ha'uma in Jerusalem, the holy city, will become the center of the new Jerusalem and a bridge between Israel and the Jewish people in the Diaspora. This building will gather together the scientists of our day and the greats of Torah study, wisdom and arts from all countries in which they are dispersed. We are now placing this cornerstone in order to realize grand plans intended to abundantly enrich our capital and bring spiritual and material benefit to the city, to the country and to Judaism as a whole."
 
8. Nahum Goldmann, 1895-1982, Chairman, Jewish Agency in New York

Nahum Goldmann was born in Russia in 1895 and immigrated to Germany where he studied law and philosophy. He founded the German-Jewish Encyclopedia and the Encyclopedia Judaica. He served as a representative of the Zionist Federation to the League of Nations in Switzerland. He moved to New York, joining the Jewish Emergency Committee and served as a representative of the Jewish Agency. He was among the organizers of the World Zionist Congress and served as its President. He developed the idea of Beit Hatfutsot, the Diaspora Museum of the Jewish People. He passed away in 1982.

9. Yosef Sprinzak, 1885-1959. Speaker of the Knesset, Chairman of the Zionist Executive Committee 

Yosef Sprinzak was born in Moscow in 1885 and was a member of the Russian Central Committee of "Zionists for Zion". He wrote for Hebrew and Yiddish newspapers in Poland. He was among the founders of the Tze'irei Zion (Zionist Youth) in Russia and served as a delegate to the Zionist congresses. He immigrated to Israel in 1910 and served as the Secretary to the Hapoel Hatza'ir (Young Worker) movement and later as its head and was among the founders of the Workers Federation and Mapai. He served as a member of the Zionist Executive in Jerusalem, as the Secretary-General of the Histadrut and as Chairman of the Zionist General Council. He served as the first Speaker of the Knesset and following the death of Chaim Weizmann, served as Acting President of the state. He passed away in 1959. 
Excerpt of his remarks during the signing ceremony of the Founding Charter of ICC Jerusalem - Binyanei Ha'uma:
"Three generations ago, the Hebrew people decided in a definitive and final manner to cease being strangers in a strange land. In order to rally the nation and to bring this decision to realization, Herzl established a home for convening the will of the people – the Zionist Congress. The construction of Binyanei Ha'uma will allow us to also compensate all those peoples that treated us with hospitality and we would be happy if there would also be conventions of science and global peace here." 
 
10. Avraham Granot, 1890-1962, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Jewish National Fund

Member of ICC Jerusalem's Executive Committee
Avraham Granot was born in Serbia in 1890. He studied law and economics in Switzerland and obtained a doctorate in law. He came to Israel in 1924 and worked together with Menachem Ussishkin. He served as a member of the People's Council and was among the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He served as Chairman of the Jewish National Fund and was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Mekorot Water Company. He also served as a member of Knesset. He passed away in 1962. 
Excerpt of his remarks during the signing ceremony of the Founding Charter of ICC Jerusalem - Binyanei Ha'uma:
"The Jewish National Fund, which is one of the first creations of the Zionist Congress, has great satisfaction in lending a hand to the construction of this building, the first of several splendid buildings that will be constructed on the people's land at the hub of Israel's capital, within its city, the city of King David. The JNF acquired this spacious area and has placed it at the disposal of this enterprise. It is understood and it is clear that this building, which symbolizes the continued broad-based and blessed activity of the Zionist movement, must stand on land purchased by the people and for the entire people."
 
11. Daniel Auster, 1893-1963, Mayor of Jerusalem

Chairman of the Jerusalem Committee of ICC Jerusalem - Binyanei Ha'uma Association
Daniel Auster was born in Galicia in 1893, studied law at the University of Vienna and immigrated to Israel in 1914.  He served as the Secretary of the Legal Unit of the Delegates Committee and compiled a book of regulations for Hebrew courts. He was selected to the first representatives' assembly on behalf of the Hapoel Hatza'ir Party. He was among the founders of the neighborhood of Rehavia and a member of the Jerusalem City Council. He served on the Board of Governors of the Jewish National Fund and was a member of the Temporary State Committee and was included among the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He was selected as the first Mayor of Jerusalem after the establishment of the state. He passed away in 1963.
Excerpt of his remarks during the signing ceremony of the Founding Charter of ICC Jerusalem - Binyanei Ha'uma:
"As long as Jews remain in the Diaspora, Israel will need them, and their existence there will be nothing without their eyes looking towards Zion and their hearts and souls directed to Israel. The City of Jerusalem and its residents extend blessings to the founders of this enterprise within greater Jerusalem. We are able to appreciate the magnitude of the deed and the courage, wisdom and strength required to take on the execution of this sacred work. We are aware of the value of the general encouragement that this enterprise lends to Jerusalem." 
 
12. Alexander (Ezer) Yevzarov, 1894-1973, Executive Manager of ICC Jerusalem - Binyanei Ha'uma

Alexander Yevzarov was born in the Ukraine in 1894 and studied law at the University of St. Petersburg where he edited a Zionist student newspaper.  During the Russian Revolution, he escaped to China and established the Zionist Federation there. In 1921, he arrived in Israel and took part in the construction of the Haifa-Jeddah Highway. In the 1920s, he began to organize exhibitions where industrial products from the Land of Israel were presented. He established the "Commercial and Industrial" Economic Development Company and the "Levant Fairs Company", which organized a large fair in the Land of Israel. Upon the establishment of the state, he moved to Jerusalem and began construction of Binyanei Ha'uma, which continued for nine years. He established the "International Club of Hebrew Literature" that exported Hebrew literature to communities of the Diaspora.  He headed the "Tourism Center” and compiled and edited an essay – "Katzir" – on the history of Zionism in Russia. He passed away in 1973. 
 
13. Siegfried Moses, 1887-1974, State Comptroller

Siegfried Moses was born in Germany in 1887, studied law and economics and was active in the German Zionist Federation and served as its chairman. He arrived in Israel in 1937 and was among the founders of the Leo Baeck Institute in Jerusalem for the study of German Jewish heritage.  After establishment of the state, he was appointed Comptroller and published the first Comptroller's report in 1950. He passed away in 1974. 
 
14. Henry Morgenthau Jr., 1891-1967
President of the United Jewish Appeal in the United States
Henry Morgenthau was born in 1891 in the United States and served as US Secretary of the Treasury during the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He helped shape and finance the New Deal Program, which helped extract the United States from the Great Depression. He served a central role in American foreign policy. After his resignation from his position with the administration, he directed most of his activities toward the benefit of the Jewish people. He was the President of the Jewish Appeal in the United States and among the founders of the Israel Bonds Program. He passed away in 1967. 
 
15. Arye Shenkar, 1887-1859, President of the Industrialists Association

Arye Shenkar was born in 1897 in the Ukraine and was one of the heads of the Hovavei Zion movement there. He immigrated to Israel in 1924 during the Fourth Aliyah and was one of the pioneers of the textile industry in Israel. He purchased the Lodzia factory, established the Industrialists Association of Israel and served as its president. He passed away in 1959. 

16. Simcha Assaf (Ossovsky), 1889-1953, Rector of Hebrew University

Simcha Assaf was born in Russia in 1889 and served as the head of a yeshiva in Odessa, immigrating to Israel in 1921.  Assaf did not get a formal education, but was an expert in legal theory. He served as a teacher at the Teachers Seminary of the Mizrachi Movement in Jerusalem. When the Hebrew University was founded in 1925, he served as a lecturer on the literature of the Geonim and Rabbinic literature. He was appointed as a judge to the Supreme Court and served as rector of THE Hebrew University. He passed away in 1953.
 
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