Israel Bonds News

Women’s Division and New Leadership Host a Special Evening with Francine Klagsbrun, Author of Lioness: Golda Meir and the Nation of Israel

In a poignant lecture and discussion, Development Corporation for Israel/Israel Bonds’ Women’s Division and New Leadership Division held an intimate evening with Francine Klagsbrun, award-winning author of Lioness: Golda Meir and the Nation of Israel.  Over 60 women from the New York metro area, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, DC enjoyed an enlightening exposition on the great matriarch of Israeli politics, Golda Meir, Israel’s iconic prime minister; the first and only female to hold such a position. Born in Kiev, present-day Ukraine on May 3, 1898, serving as Prime Minister of Israel from March 17, 1969 through June 3, 1974, Golda is recognized throughout history as a resolute visionary and pioneer in building the new State of Israel, and served as an inspirational leader for many as she judiciously led triumphs and dealt with tribulations during some of the most tumultuous years of Israeli history. Working alongside the founding father of Israel Bonds, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, Golda was instrumental in the development of Bonds as an organization and in proliferation of the Bonds movement.

At a private reception held at a luxury residential building in midtown Manhattan, attendees had the privilege of hearing Francine express her admiration for Golda’s achievements, citing her high-ranking positions as minister to Moscow, minister of labor and minister of foreign affairs, leading up to her role as prime minister.  Growing up in Milwaukee, Golda was diligent in her studies, receiving a teaching certificate from the teachers college Milwaukee State Normal School, now University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, and subsequently taught in Milwaukee public schools. A firm supporter of Socialist Zionism, Golda possessed strong attitudes towards issues such as women’s suffrage, trade unionism and female individualism and empowerment.  In moving to Israel upon her marriage to Morris Meyerson, Golda was elected secretary of Moetzet HaPoalot (Working Women's Council) and later joined the Executive Committee of the Histadrut (General Organization of Workers in Israel) where she climbed the ranks to become the head of its political department. This mission paved the way for her future endeavors in Israeli leadership and strengthened her skills in fund-raising.

At the Development Corporation for Israel/Israel Bonds’ Women’s Division and
New Leadership Division’s special evening with author Francine Klagsbrun, all guests
received a signed copy of her book Lioness as a keepsake. [Images courtesy of Shira Lewis]

Looking ahead to the historic King David Conference held by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion on September 3, 1950, Golda was a principal initiator of the Israel Bonds program in collaboration with Ben-Gurion, UJA Executive Vice President Henry Montor, and other chieftains of the new state in formalizing a plan to engage the Diaspora community, encouraging them to invest in the new nation through Israel bonds.  Prior to her involvement in initiating the Bonds effort, Golda raised an unprecedented $50 million in her charge as chief of the Jewish Agency’s political department, influencing Ben-Gurion to write that Meir's efforts “made the state possible" and would go down one day in the history books.

Writer of more than a dozen books, countless articles in national publications and a regular columnist in two Jewish publications, Francine Klagsbrun has received critical acclaim from media including The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post and has been interviewed by C-SPAN and others for her outstanding work, capturing the vigor and courage masterfully-owned by Golda in this compelling revelation.  Highlighting Golda’s sharp wit and spirited demeanor, Francine eulogizes this heroine of Israel through her detailed chronology of accounts in the golden years of the Knesset, and for her work she has recently been awarded Book of the Year for 2017 by the Jewish Book Council, in which Lioness is one of about 20 books honored as part of the 2017 National Jewish Book Awards.

The Israel Bonds Women’s Division and New Leadership Division are exceptionally grateful for the opportunity to host Francine and to recognize her exuberant biography, and are equally thankful for the members of each division in their support of Israel Bonds and for their continued commitment to the Jewish State.