Cohen, Israel

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COHEN, ISRAEL (1879–1961), writer and Zionist. Born in Manchester, the son of a tailor, and educated at Jewish schools, Manchester Grammar School, and London University, Cohen was active in the Zionist movement from the mid-1890s. In 1910 he became the English-language secretary of the Zionist Central Office in Cologne, which later moved to Berlin. During World War i (until 1916) he was interned in a prison camp in Germany. In 1918 Cohen rejoined the secretariat of the World Zionist Organization, and was professionally active in the Zionist movement for the rest of his career. Touring Poland and Hungary to investigate the condition of Jews after the war, he reported on the current pogroms and discrimination. On behalf of the Zionist Organization he visited the Jewish communities of Egypt, Australia, China, Manchuria, Japan, Java, India, and of other countries. From 1922 he was secretary of the Zionist Organization in London and edited the reports of the Zionist Executive to several Zionist Congresses. One of the early Zionist journalists and writers in Great Britain, Cohen published articles in Jewish, Zionist, and other English-language journals. His books include Jewish Life in Modern Times (1914), The Zionist Movement (1945), Contemporary Jewry (1950), A Short History of Zionism (1951), Travels in Jewry (1953), and Theodor Herzl: Founder of Political Zionism (1959). He also published pamphlets on Jewish affairs, Zionism, and antisemitism. In 1956 he published an autobiography, A Jewish Pilgrimage.

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[Josef Fraenkel]