Theodor Herzl established the Zionist Congress in 1897 as the legislative authority of the Zionist Organization. Early congresses took place in Basel, Switzerland and other European cities. With more than a little pride and joy, the 23rd Zionist Congress became the first to take place in the State of Israel.
The 23rd Zionist Congress convened in Jerusalem on August 15, 1951. It faced complicated and contentious issues principally because the major goal of Zionist movement—the creation of the State of Israel—had already been achieved. When the congress wrapped up on August 30th, the delegates had not ratified a new “Jerusalem Program” to replace the old “Basel Program,” concentrating instead on the less radical necessities of absorbing immigrants in Israel and fostering unity among Jewish people.