Progressive Zionist leader Moshe Kagan, 92

Moshe Kagan, a passionate Progressive Zionist and longtime board member of the Claims Conference, died May 3 at the age of 92.

In the early 1950s, he was a founder and president of Americans for Progressive Israel/Hashomer Hatzair, a predecessor of Meretz USA. Meretz USA, which is now Partners for Progressive Israel, presented him with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. He also was a member of the executive committee of the Jewish Labor Committee.

Kagan joined the Claims Conference board in 1999 representing the American Zionist Movement, remaining on the board until his death.

Born in Gomel, Russia, he immigrated to the United States in 1940, enlisting in the Army a year later. After the war, he learned that his parents and two sisters had been murdered in the Holocaust.

Kagan earned a degree in electrical engineering from the City College of New York and, working at an electronics firm, designed a battery that eventually powered rockets and missiles for the military and NASA.

He served in the leadership of the Jewish Agency for Israel, the American Zionist Movement, the Jewish National Fund, the National Conference on Soviet Jewry and the World Jewish Congress. The World Zionist Organization named him a life fellow. — jta n