Page 268 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 50

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PHILIP GOODMAN
Central Zionist Archives
t h e
c e n t r a l
Z
i o n i s t
a r c h i v e s
(
c z a
)
is dedicated to the pres­
ervation of documents, photographs, books and all other ma­
terials which illumine the history of the Zionist movement, Eretz
Israel and the State of Israel. Zionist historiography has pro­
duced a vast literature, despite its historically short existence;
CZA aims to acquire and maintain this output for posterity.
It is the official depository of the publications and files of the
“national institutions” — World Zionist Organization (WZO),
Jewish Agency (JA), Jewish National Fund (JNF) and Keren
Hayesod (KH).
Two years following the issuance of the Balfour Declaration
in 1917, a critical time in the evolution of the Zionist movement,
the WZO initiated the organization of an archives in Berlin,
the headquarters of the Zionist Executive, to preserve the his­
torical records of the movement. In 1933, when the Nazis
gained control of Germany, the archives were moved to Je ru ­
salem and named Central Zionist Archives. Dr. Georg Herlitz,
a professional archivist, who founded and directed the archives
since 1919, continued as the director until 1955. He was suc­
ceeded by archivist and historian Dr. Alexander Bein who had
been on the staff since 1936. Bein’s successor was Dr. Michael
Heymann. When the latter retired in 1990, Yoram Mayorek
took his place; he directs a staff of 23 full-time employees, in­
cluding professionally trained archivists who have facility in
many languages.
CZA is an arm o f WZO and has been so reaffirmed by res­
olutions adopted by Zionist congresses in 1956 and 1965. It
reports to both the Zionist Executive Committee and to the Zi­
onist congresses. It functions under a committee appointed by
the chairmen o f the WZO and JA with representatives of the
WZO, JA , JNF and KH. The above four organizations are re­
sponsible for the budget which in 1990-1991 was $676,000.
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