Zionist Leader Nahum Sokolow Meets with US President

January 13, 1922

Nahum Sokolow, serving as President of the Executive Committee of the World Zionist Congress meets with President Warren Harding in Washington DC.  During the meeting, Sokolow briefed the President on the wrenching situation of European Jewry and the hardships and persecution that they were suffering.  He also detailed the progress and work being done by the Zionist Organization towards Jewish settlement in Palestine.

The meeting was part of a larger tour in the United States to raise money for Keren Hayesod (The Foundation Fund) in support of Jewish settlement in Palestine.  Arriving in November 1921, the delegation included Sokolow, Professor Otto Warburg and Vladimir Jabotinsky.  They would spend nearly eight months traveling across the country meeting with Jewish and Zionist groups, giving speeches and meeting with elected officials.  The tour raised nearly $5 million for Keren Hayesod.

Early on the tour, in late November 1921, Sokolow met with State Department officials and with Massachusetts Senator Henry Cabot Lodge.  Lodge and New York Congressman Hamilton Fish had been approached by American Zionist leaders to introduce a resolution supporting the Balfour Declaration in Congress.

Sokolow’s meeting with President Harding lasted nearly an hour.  According to Sokolow’s son and biographer Florian, Harding, “assured him of his sympathy for Zionism and promised the further support of the United States government.” (Sokolow, Florian, Nahum Sokolow: Life and Legend, London: Jewish Chronicle Publications, 1975, p. 190.)

The Lodge-Fish Resolution would be passed by Congress on June 30, 1922 and signed by President Harding on September 21, 1922.  Sokolow would serve as President of the World Zionist Organization from 1931-1935.  He died in London in May 1936.  In 1956, Nahum Sokolow’s remains were brought to Israel and buried on Mount Herzl as part of the opening of the 24th Zionist Congress.

The photo shows Nahum Sokolow in 1929.