MONTOR, HENRY (1905–1982), U.S. organization executive and Zionist. Montor, born in Canada, was taken to the U.S. as a boy. He was active in Zionist affairs from his youth and assistant editor of New Palestine (1926–30). During his service
Although Montor was an ardent Zionist, the prevailing Zionist aim at the time was for "selective" immigration to build a Jewish state, not the rescue of Jewish refugees. Therefore in 1940 Montor, as executive vice president of the United Jewish Appeal, refused to intervene for a shipload of Jewish refugees stranded on the Danube. He wrote a letter to a rabbi in Maryland stating that "Palestine cannot be flooded with … old people or with undesirables." He circulated thousands of copies of the letter, which asked Jews not to support illegal immigration to Palestine.
Yet for the UJA, Montor is credited with being the first man to have the conviction to set $100 million as a campaign goal – and attain it. As vice president and chief executive of the American Financial and Development Corporation for Israel (1951–55), Montor established the Israel Bonds campaigns and supervised the sale of approximately $190 million worth of bonds for Israel. He resigned his position as head of the State of Israel Bonds organization in 1955 to found his own brokerage firm.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.