Skip To Content

Theodore Mann, 92, Former Chairman Of Presidents Conference And Early Critic Of Israeli Occupation

(JTA) — Theodore Mann, a Philadelphia lawyer who led several major Jewish organizations and was an early critic of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, died of the coronavirus.

Mann died Dec. 12 in Philadelphia, the The Washington Post reported. A daughter told the paper that the cause was COVID-19. Mann was 92.

Mann was president of the American Jewish Congress in 1987 when the group adopted an unprecedented statement warning that Israel’s failure to divest itself of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip would eventually force it to choose between being a Jewish state and a democracy.

As chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, he flew with then-Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to Egypt to celebrate the signing of a peace treaty with the country, later falling asleep during a belly dance show.

Mann also was the founding chairman of Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger.

“Ted’s entire life represented exactly the voice of moral principle, a fierce commitment to pluralism, and dedication to human rights that is so vitally needed today,” Rabbi David Saperstein, the emeritus director of the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center, told the Post.

Born in Czechoslovakia in 1928, Mann came to the United States as a baby. He served in the Army and later earned a law degree from Temple University. He went on to argue several religious freedom cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The post Theodore Mann, 92, former chairman of Presidents Conference and early critic of Israeli occupation appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.