Veteran American Zionist dies aged 98

A veteran Jewish leader who championed Zionism, challenged antisemitism and strengthened US-Israel relations, has died.

Jacques Torczyner, once president of the right-wing Zionist Organisation of America (ZOA), died aged 98.

The current ZOA president, Morton Klein, described him as a “tireless and galvanising figure of American Zionism.

“He knew every Israeli prime minister, from David Ben Gurion to Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin, Ariel Sharon [and] Benjamin Netanyahu.

“ZOA was the Jewish institutional love of his life. We will miss him terribly. It is the passing of an era.”

Belgian-born Mr Torczyner fled to the US following the Nazi invasion in 1940. He was national president of ZOA from 1968 to 1973. The former lecturer later became chairman of the American division of the World Jewish Congress from 1974 to 1977.

Last updated: 4:01pm, March 11 2013