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Referred to as the “dean of American Jewry,” Max M. Fisher’s service to the American Jewish community and in helping return educated Jews to Israel were rivaled only by his ability to raise money and build consensus. He served in top leadership roles for a vast array of Jewish organizations including the Council of Jewish Federations, Jewish Agency for Israel, the United Jewish Appeal and many others. He was focused for decades on helping Jews from the Soviet Union, North Africa and Eastern Europe emigrate to Israel. He used his political contacts, his fundraising expertise and his boundless energy to help millions of Jews relocate to Israel.

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Fisher outside of his fraternity house in Columbus, Ohio, 1929. Because he was Jewish, Fisher was barred from many fraternities but joined Alpha Epsilon chapter of Phi Beta Delta, a nonsectarian fraternity whose members were primarily Jewish. It was his first exposure to Jews, but he was the only rural boy among his new urban fraternity brothers. Says Fisher: "They had a style I didn't have. It was hard for me to get adjusted."
Max Fisher made several trips to Israel to better understand the needs of the Jewish people. He made his first visit in October 1954 with the first United Jewish Appeal (UJA) study mission.
The goal of this trip was to observe the results of campaign funds and demonstrate the importance of giving.
Max Fisher meets with a member of the Israeli Army in Jerusalem in 1954.
A note from Levi Eshkol to Max Fisher
Left to Right: Dan Lavin, Art Howard, Max Fisher, Abe Green, John Leerie, and Joseph Holtzman take a break for lunch during the 1956 Allied Jewish Campaign.
Max Fisher speaks at the Allied Jewish Campaign fundraising event in 1958.
A blue pamphlet declares the United Jewish Appeal is guarantor in loan between 11 U.S. Life Insurance companies and Jewish Agency for Israel, Inc. and shows UJA executives Gottlieb Hammer, Max Fisher, Dewey Stone, and Rabbi Herbert Friedman displays checks worth $50 million.
Jewish Agency for Israel's $50,000,000 loan agreement secured by Max Fisher and other Jewish American leaders in 1965.
On April 20, 1967, the American Jewish Committee held a dinner honoring Nate Appleman. Attendees include Judge Joseph M. Proskauer, AJC Honorary President, Governor George Romney, Max M. Fisher and Jacob Blaustein. Max Fisher was finance chairman for Governor Romney's campaign to win the Republican Presidential nomination at the time.
Photographs of Max Fisher and Louis Pincus, the architects of the reconstitution of the Jewish Agency, in Israel in 1964.
Max Fisher speaks at the 1969 Conference on Human Needs.
Max Fisher with Richard Nixon in the White House
Mary Fisher on Max's ability to find the solution.
Max Fisher meeting with Richard Nixon and other leaders, including John Ehrlichman, William Rogers, Rabbi Hershel Schacter, and William Wxler, in the White House in 1970.
Max M. Fisher and President Richard Nixon at the Republican Finance Committee meeting in Detroit in 1968.
Max Fisher Israeli interview in 1972.
Max Fisher and Senator Jacob Javits at the Israel Bonds dinner for Sam Hausman in Palm Beach, Florida in 1975.
Left to Right: Nathan Cummings, Max M. Fisher, Howard M. Squadron at the Stephen S. Wise Awards Dinner, American Jewish Congress, Hotel Pierre, New York City.
Bill Berman talks about Max Fisher's commitment to finding consensus among groups in the pursuit of the right decision.
Max Fisher, Gerald Ford and other members of the UJA and the State Department signing the contract in the Thomas Jefferson Room of the State Dept. Building.
A contract from the US State Department provided much needed funding for the United Israel Appeal to help more Soviet Jews migrate to Israel. Seated from the left are Gottlieb Hammer and Melvin Dubinsky of the United Israel Appeal and Frank L. Kellogg of the US State Department.
Max M. Fisher met with President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in the Oval Office on April 9, 1975 to discuss the reassessment of US policy toward Israel.
Max M. Fisher met with President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in the Oval Office on April 9, 1975 to discuss the reassessment of US policy toward Israel.
Max Fisher visited the White House to confer with President Ford eight times during the spring and summer of 1975, including September 8. This Memorandum of Conversation documents one of their meetings. Max also made several trips to Israel in 1975. He was a trusted, unofficial statesman who could convey private messages and provide advice and counsel to both the US President the Israeli Prime Minister.
Max Fisher meets with President Reagan about AWACS sales to Saudi Arabia
Notes from Max Fisher on 1981 meeting with President Reagan and Jewish American leaders about growing Anti-Semitism.
A 1981 article in the Jewish Exponent declares "The President Listens When Max Fisher Talks."
Robert Aronson on Max Fisher's legacy of service to the Jewish people of the world.
Max Fisher
A signed photograph from President George H. W. Bush and his wife Barbara to Max M. Fisher and his wife Marjorie.
Left to Right: George H. W. Bush, Lee Atwater, George Klein, Joe Gildenhorn, Max M. Fisher, Gordie Zacks, Jack Stein, Craig Fuller, Dick Fox in a meeting at the White House.
Yitzhak Shamir, the seventh Prime Minister of Israel
In April 1972, Max Fisher was President of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds. He met, along with leaders of other Jewish organizations, with President Nixon, Secretary of State William Rogers and Leonard Garment. They discussed the quality of life of Soviet Jews and how US policy could help convince the Soviets to allow them to emigrate to Israel.
"A Start For Change" Address
Max Fisher with Mandell L. Berman and Martin S. Kraar at a Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds meeting in 1984.
Shoshanna Cardin worked with Max Fisher and Bill Berman on the "No Name Committee." They had great success working with the US State Department to help Soviet Jews emigrate to Israel and the US.
The "No Name Committee," including Max Fisher, Shoshana Cardin and Bill Berman, meet with President George Bush and his staff to discuss the emigration of Soviet Jews to the United States.
Over 181,000 Soviet Jews emigrated to Israel in 1990. Funding to build housing and support these new immigrants came from many sources, including Operation Exodus, which reached its goal of raising $420 million.
Operation Exodus Campaign Inaugural meeting
A letter to Max Fisher from the Annenberg Foundation confirming a $15 million to Operation Exodus.
A signed photo to Max Fisher from President George H. W. Bush.
Max M. Fisher's 1991 notes on meetings and phone calls about the Middle East peace process.
Over 181,000 Soviet Jews emigrated to Israel in 1990. Over the next few years, over 1,000,000 new emigrants helped bring stability to Israel.
Max Fisher fundraising at the famous annual Fisher Meeting in his home, 1984.