Waves zionist congress Sharon

  • Issue: September 1996
  • Designer: O. Meirav (sheet H. Kivkovitch)
  • Stamp size: 40 x 30.8 mm
  • Plate no.: 286
  • Printers: Government Printers (sheet E. Lewin-Epstein Ltd.)
  • Method of printing: Offset

The First Zionist Congress commenced on August 29, 1897, at the Casino in Basel, Switzerland. The Congress adjourned on August 31, in the evening. 197 representatives from seventeen countries participated in the Congress, which was the first Jewish assembly of Diaspora Jews. The Congress was, according to Theodor Herzl: "a historic date in Jewish history". Herzl made the opening speech, Max Nordau lectured on the Jewish situation around the world, after which other lectures were given, and discussions were held about the Land of Israel and the settlement activity there.

A pointed discussion was held concerning the wording of the Zionist Program, and at the end of the discussion, the Basel Program version was accepted.

The Congress saw the establishment of the World Zionist Federation, whose President, Dr. Theodor Herzl was chosen. After the closing of the Congress, Herzl wrote in his diary (September 3, 1897): If I were to sum up the Basel Congress in a word -which I shall guard against pronouncing publicly - it would be this: In Basel I founded the Jewish State. If I were to declare this in public, laughter would be the reply. Maybe in five years, certainly in fifty, everyone will realize it.

The First Zionist Congress was unique because of the following achievements:

Description of the souvenir sheet
The Casino building in Basel, where the First Zionist Congress was held, is shown in the center of the sheet.

A picture of the card belonging to a participant at the First Zionist Congress makes up the background of the souvenir sheet.

The left side of the card shows worshippers at the Western Wall. The right side shows a farmer in a field. The name of the participant appears on the center of the card. The sheet also shows a portrait of Herzl as well as the Israeli flag.

Description of the stamp
The stamp shows a wall hanging of Herzl looking out across David's Tower. The rays of the shining sun are in the background, symbolizing the hope of Zionism. The 74 x 143cm wall hanging was woven in Persia or Israel at the beginning of the 20th century. Carpets of identical design found their way into many Jewish homes.

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100 years since the 1st zionist congress