Featured Events From August:
- 24 August, 1929 (18 Av, 5689): 1929 Palestine riots
- 29 August, 1897 (1 Elul, 5657): The First Zionist Congress
- 22 August, 1609 (18 Elul, 5369): yertziet of Maharal of Prague
- 20 August, 1915 (10 Elul, 5675): Rav Yitzchak Yaacov Reines yertziet
- 10 August, 1893 (28 Av, 5653): yertziet of rav Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin
The First Zionist Congress
Ivri Date: 1 Elul, 5657
English Date: 29 August, 1897
The World Zionist Organization, or WZO, was founded as the Zionist Organization, or ZO, in 1897 at the First Zionist Congress, held from August 29 to August 31 in Basel, Switzerland . The ZO served as an umbrella organization for the Zionist movement. Theodor Herzl, who with Max Nordau, organized the first Congress, later wrote in his diary: "If I were to sum up the Congress in a word – which I shall take care not to publish – it would be this: At Basle I founded the Jewish State. If I said this out loud today I would be greeted by universal laughter. In five years perhaps, and certainly in fifty years, everyone will perceive it.
When the State of Israel was declared 51 years later on May 14, 1948, many of its new administrative institutions were already in place, having evolved during the regular Zionist Congresses of the previous decades. Some of these institutions remain to this day.
In January 1960 the ZO changed its name to the World Zionist Organization. The WZO's headquarters is in Jerusalem