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Biltmore Conference

Biltmore Conference – May 1942


In May 1942, hundreds of American Zionists convened in New York City in Manhattan’s then-famous Biltmore Hotel for an extraordinary gathering (photo above). This assembly, at the time the horrors of the Holocaust in Europe were becoming fully known, has been recognized as the “Biltmore Conference” and as a seminal moment in Zionist history.

It was at this historic Biltmore Conference, addressed by Chaim Weizmann and David Ben-Gurion (who would later in the decade become Israel’s first President and Prime Minister respectively), that 600 American Zionists issued the Biltmore Declaration which formally called for “fulfillment of the original purpose of the Balfour Declaration” to form the Jewish Commonwealth, now the modern State of Israel, in the land of Israel, then under the British Mandate. This declaration also expressed the solidarity of the Jewish people around the world, especially with those suffering under Hitler in Europe, and expressed a desire for a future Jewish state to live “in full cooperation” with its Arab neighbors.


Israel Forever Foundation
An Extraordinary Zionist Conference. New York, 1942

Center for Israel Education
Extraordinary Zionist Conference Begins at the Biltmore Hotel in New York
The Biltmore Program, David Ben Gurion

Jewish Virtual Library
Zionist Congresses: The Biltmore Conference

Zionism and Israel – Encyclopedic Dictionary
Biltmore Conference Definition

Dr. Rafael Medoff
Biltmore and the American Struggle for a Jewish State

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