During and shortly after World War II, six young emissaries of the revisionist-Zionist “Irgun” military movement in Palestine revolutionized the American Jewish and Zionist scene. Judith Baumel provides the complete story of the role the Bergson group played in raising American public consciousness of Jewish and Zionist concerns. After founding a series of pro-Zionist and rescue organizations, they initiated a new form of fundraising that used the media to turn the spotlight on their activities, gaining adherents and supporters from both ends of the political and social spectrum. Long before the protest movements of the 1950s and 1960s, members of this group learned the art of courting the media in order to bring word of their existence to every part of the United States.
Having energized politicians, gangsters, Hollywood moguls, and ultra- Orthodox rabbis, the handful of young men taught other Zionist and American- Jewish groups not only how the media was the message but how it could and should be used. A guiding force behind the creation of the War Refugee Board, the group served as a beacon for contemporary Zionist militancy while ultimately laying the groundwork for other organizations to utilize the media in future political campaigns.