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Founded in 1916, the Congress sent a delegation to the Versailles Peace Conference in 1918 to help secure Jewish rights all over the world. Though the Congress adjourned “permanently” in 1920, it was felt that it needed to continue, and so it was revived in 1922. During the Nazi period, the American Jewish Congress worked militantly against Nazism. It also worked consistently for Zionism, both before and after the establishment of the State of Israel, actively pursuing issues of social justice for all people.

The total membership is approximately 50,000. Its presidents, following Nathan Straus, have included Stephen S. Wise, Israel Goldstein, Joachim Prinz, Arthur J. Lelyveld, and Arthur Hertzberg.

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