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Tsur (Tchernowitz), Jacob

TSUR (Tchernowitz), JACOB (1906–1990), Israel diplomat and Zionist leader. Born in Vilna, the son of Samuel *Tchernowitz, Tsur settled in Ereẓ Israel in 1921. He was educated in Jerusalem and the universities of Paris and Florence. In 1929–48 he was public relations officer and later director of the Information Department of the *Jewish National Fund in Jerusalem. He served as the liaison officer of the Jewish Agency headquarters with the British army in Cairo from 1943 to 1945, and in 1945 became head of the UNRRA, Israel relief mission to Greece. From 1949 to 1953 Tsur was the first Israel minister to Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Chile, and in 1953–59 he was Israel ambassador to France. During his term of office there, Israel-French relations achieved a degree of cordiality which became virtually an alliance. He served on the Jewish Agency Executive as head of its Information Department in 1960–61. From 1960 he was chairman of the board of directors of the Jewish National Fund and held the presidency until 1977. In the years 1960–68 he was chairman of the Zionist General Council. Tsur was the president of the Central Institute of Cultural Relations with Ibero America, Spain, and Portugal and active in a number of national institutions. His books include his memoirs Shaḥarit shel Etmol (1965; Sunrise in Zion, 1968), and Yoman Paris (Ambassador's Diary in Paris, 1968). His Epopée de Zionisme, published in 1975 in French, has been translated into English (The Saga of Zionism), German, Italian, and Portuguese. His sister is the Hebrew writer, Yemimah *Tchernovitz-Avidar.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.