Behar, Leon

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BEHAR, LEON (1898–1957), Mexican Jewish community leader. Behar was born in Salonika, Greece, immigrated to Mexico in 1920, and a few years later started his communal activity, first among the Sephardim and later in the community at large. He took part in the establishment of the Asociación Israelita Sefaradí La Fraternidad (Sephardic Community) in 1924 and was its president for two years. In the 1930s he participated in the foundation of many important institutions, including the Sephardic Zionist Organization (serving as its president for several terms) and the Comité Central Sionista (as its vice president). Behar also presided over the joint aid committee for Jewish refugees in Europe and was active in other Jewish institutions. One of his most important activities was promoting the foundation of the Comité Central Israelita (the representative body of Mexican Jewry) in 1938, which he presided over for two years.

[Efraim Zadoff (2nd ed.)]