(JTA) — Ahead of the 120th anniversary of the First Zionist Congress that Theodor Herzl organized in Switzerland, 120 men and women named after him gathered in Herzliya to celebrate his legacy.
On August 29, 1897 Herzl, a journalist who was born in what is today Hungary, convened in the city of Basel some 200 participants from 17 countries, including 69 delegates from various Zionist societies. The gathering, the first of its kind in terms of scale, is widely regarded as a watershed in the effort to create a Jewish state.
To honor his contribution to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, a group photo was organized for 120 men and women named after Herzl was held at the Israel Air Force House in the coastal city of Herzliya, whose name is also a tribute to Herzl.
Among those photographed was Herzl Bodinger, a former commander of the Israel Air Force. He told Army Radio Friday that, while his parents named him in honor of the Zionist activist, it was also the name of his paternal grandfather, who “disappeared in Romania during the war,” and is presumed to have been murdered in the Holocaust, he said.