Meyer Weisgal, Master Builder of Weizmann
Institute, Describes Its Progress on Visit Here
One of the most colorful Jewish
personalities was a guest here for
a single day on Wednesday.
Meyer W. Weisgal, the master
builder of the Weizmann Institute
of Science in Rehovot, Israel, who
six months ago became president
MEYER W. WEISGAL
of the great Israeli research cen-
ter, met at dinner Wednesday
night, at the Standard Club, with
a small group of Detroiters. Louis
Berry presided at a brief session
at which the dynamic head of the
Weizmann Institute outlined the
objectives of the science center.
It was announced that Jack
Wainger, together with Lewis
Daniels, head the newly formed
chapter of Detroit Friends of the
Weisgal told of the recent ac-
complishments of the Weizmann
Institute. The $100-million complex
which has 19 faculties. He said
that there are now in progress 400
research projects and that a gradu-
ate school, which has enrolled 240
students, offer M Sc and Ph D
Weisgal chatted with the group
who dined with him here. He
had not come to ask for funds
but to mobilize affiliates who
should take an interest in Isra-
el's cultural programs and spe-
cifically in the Weizmann In-
He admonished the gathered
group, which included Nate S.
Shapero, who was the first presi-
dent of the American Friends of
the Sieff Institute in Rehovot,
the forerunner of the Weizmann
Institute, that Israel's progress
depends primarily on spiritual-
cultural strength; that the Jew-
ish State's success is directly
dependent upon the retention of
the highest caliber of scientific;
cultural and educational values.
Without them, he warned, the
State's merits will be nullified.
The science center, Weisgal
pointed out, was conceived in 1944
and the first building was dedi-
cated in 1949, one year after Dr.
Chaim Weizman was elected presi-
dent of Israel. It was, Weisgal
said, "a 70th birthday gift for
Chaim. Weizmann, Israel's premier
scientist-statesman, whose funda-
mental scientific contributions in
the field of chemistry have pro-
foundly affected the structure of
industrial civilization. It is the
successor to the Daniel Sieff Re-
search Institute, now encompassed
within it, established at Rehovoth,
by Dr. Weizmann in 1934 to create
absorptive capacity for Palestine,
then only 17 years removed from
centuries of desuetude as a pro-
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vince of the Ottoman Empire."
"Technically 22 years old, the
major development of the Weiz-
mann Institute and its preeminence
in the international scientific com-
munity has been attained since
1953, despite formidable obstacles
in a new state only now 18 years
old, constituting a unique record,
according to scientists who regard
30 to 50 years as the normal ma-
turing period for a major scientific
institution," Weisgal said.
"The scientific faculty of the In-
stitute, numbering some 500, has
been drawn from the world scien-
tific leadership, now being supple.
mented by young Israeli scientists.
A technical, administrative and
service staff of 760 supplements
the scientific staff."
For 25 years the closest associ-
ate of Dr. Chaim Weizmann, in his
political and scientific endeavors,
Weisgal is the guardian of the
Weizmann spiritual legacy which
he has maintained as a living and
growing catalyst for Israel and
humanity since Dr. Weizmann's
death in 1952.
Born in Kikol, Poland, Nov. 10,
1894, Meyer Wolf Weisgal was
brought to the United. States by his
parents at the age of 11. He was
educated in New York City public
schools and at Columbia University
where he studied journalism.
A Zionist from his earliest youth,
one of the early members of
Hashahar, a Bronx Zionist society,
he began, in 1915, to play a role,
which became increasingly im-
portant, in the major events which
forged a straggling Zionist move-
ment into a powerful agency for
the attainment of Jewish state-
A disciple both of Louis Lipsky
and Chaim Weizmann, a profound
and intimate kinship was estab-
lished with these two giants of the
Zionist movement which endured
throughout their lifetimes.
Interrupted only by service in
the U.S. Army during World War
I, Weisgal served officially with
the American Zionist movement
from 1915 to 1930.
In 1940 he resumed his official
Zionist connection at the behest
of Dr. Chaim Weizmann and as
his personal representative in
the United States.
In 1915 Weisgal joined the staff
of Maccabean, organ of the Zion-
ist Organization of America, the
first English language Zionist
monthly, whose editor then was
Louis Lipsky. In 1917, Weisgal
succeeded to the post of editor. -
In 1921, Weisgal also assumed
the post of National Secretary
of the Zionist Organization of
America, which he held until
From 1925 on, he was a dele-
gate to all World Zionist Con-
In 1940, Weisgal was invited by
Dr. Weizmann to serve as his per-
sonal political representative.
Shortly thereafter, he was also
charged with the task of establish-
ing an American Section of the
Jewish Agency for Palestine, the
internationally 'recognized Jewish
spokesman under the Palestine
Mandate, then headed by Dr.
Subsequently, Weisgal became
Secretary General of the Ameri-
can Section of the Jewish Agency,
a post which he held until 1946,
while also serving as Dr. Weiz-
mann's principal aide here.
In 1942, as Secretary General
of the American section of the
Jewish Agency, he participated
in the organization of an extra-
ordinary Conference of Jewish
leaders, the Biltmore Confer-
ence, attended by Dr. Weizmann
and David Ben-Gurion, from
which emerged the decision to
make a Jewish State at the war's
end the goal of the Zionist move-
In 1944, friends of Dr. Weiz-
mann, Weisgal among them, con-
ceived the idea of establishing the
Chaim Weizmann Institute of
Science at Rehovoth, as an out-
growth of the Daniel Sieff Re-
search Institute established 10
years earlier, of which Dr. Weiz-
mann was both founder and presi-
dent, and whose purpose was, as
he said, "to create absorptive ca-
pacity" for Palestine.
Weisgal was charged with the
responsibility of organizing the
mobilization of funds with which
to give substance to the idea.
In 1951, at the request of the
Israel Government, Weisgal took
a one year's leave of absence from
the Weizmann Institute of Science
to serve as vice-president of the
State of Israel Bond Organization
in the U.S.
In 1957, at the request of Prime
Minister Ben-Gurion, Mr. Weisgal
accepted the chairmanship of the
World Committee for the Observ-
ance of Israel's 10th Anniversary.
In 1926, Weisgal edited a vol-
ume of poems by Chaim Nachman
Biala in an English translation.
From 1930 to 1932, he was the
publisher and editor of the Jewish
Standard of Toronto.
In November 1944, Dial Press
published "Chaim Weizmann —
Statesman, Scientist, Builder of the
Jewish Commonwealth," to which
many notables contributed. The
book was planned and edited by
Weisgal as a 70th birthday tribute
to Dr. Weizmann. The volume was
translated into a number of lan-
guages, including Hebrew.
In 1962, on the 10th anniversary
of Dr. Weizmann's death, Weisgal
was responsible for "Chaim Weiz-
mann — A Biography by Several
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Friday, March 17, 1967-4S
Eshkol Confers with U. S. Officials
on Syrian Raids and Other Issues
(Direct JTA Teletype Wire
to The Jewish News)
JERUSALEM — Premier Levi
Eshkol stressed to two top U.S.
government officials at a meeting
Tuesday the serious view Israel
takes of the resumption of guer-
rilla raids from Syria.
The premier transmitted that
view during a general briefing on
the Middle East he gave Lucius
Battle, the assistant secretary of
state for Near Eastern affairs, and
Harold Sanders, White House ad-
viser on the region.
The premier also described Is-
rael's basic security problems.
Eshkol discussed Israel's water
problems and referred to the
projected Israel-United States
project to build a 5200,000,000
experimental plant to use nuc-
lear energy to desalt brackish
Premier Eshkol also conferred
with Sir Alec Douglas-Home, for-
mer British prime minister, dis-
cussing Middle East and interna-
tional developments. Sir Alec was
guest at a dinner given by the for-
eign affairs and security committee
Sir Alec told the dinner guests
that Britain understood the
point of view of a small country
like Israel—that "if it does not
stand up for itself, no one will."
Hands," published in Great Bri-
He also said he felt the great
tain and the United States.
powers must devise political
In 1932, Weisgal presented in machinery to contain lesser ani-
Chicago, at a Hanuka festival, the mosities and avoid small localized
Chicago Opera Company and sev- wars.
eral hundred actors, in the first
version of a spectacle. "The Ro-
mance of a People."
Spurred by the public and cri-
tical acclaim of "The Romance of
a People" and the drastically shar-
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Jewry in 1937, Meyer Weisgal or-
ganized and became the execu-
tive producer of the Biblical mu-
sical drama, "The Eternal Road."
On Dec. 9, 1964, at a dinner in
his honor, sponsored by the Inter-
national Committee, a $7,000,000
Meyer W. Weisgal Scientific Edu-
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