FISCHER, JEAN (1871–1929), Zionist leader in Belgium. Born in Cracow, Fischer emigrated to Belgium in his youth and became a prominent diamond merchant. He was an active supporter of Herzl's political Zionism. During World War i he initiated the transfer of the *Jewish National Fund office to the Hague and, together with Jaeobus *Kann, Nehemiah *de Lieme, and Julius *Simon, was a member of the committee established to run the activities of the Zionist Organization. Active in all spheres of Jewish public life in Belgium, Fischer headed the Zionist Federation for many years. In addition to many articles on Zionist matters, he published Das heutige Palaestina (1908), a book about his 1907 visit to Ereẓ Israel. The moshavah Kefar Yonah in the Plain of Sharon is named after him.
His son maurice (1903–1965) was an Israeli diplomat. Born in Antwerp, he settled in Palestine in 1930 and was a founder of Kefar Yonah. In 1931 he founded the Matta'ei ha-Sharon Agricultural Development Company. During World War ii he served as an officer in the Free French Army and was twice decorated. In the crucial years of 1947–48 Fischer, then in France, served as official delegate of the Jewish Agency Political Department. Later he served in France as Israel's diplomatic representative, and eventually ambassador, until 1953. At the same time he headed the Israel delegation to unesco. In 1948 he was cosignatory of the Fischer-Chauvel Agreement, which defined the status of French institutions in the newly founded State of Israel. From 1953 to 1957 he was minister to Turkey, and from 1960 until his death ambassador to Italy.
Tidhar, 2 (1961), 3750–51; Haolam (1929), 1037; (1930), 15.