The American Federation of Zionists held its Sixth Annual Convention in Pittsburgh on June 7-9, 1903. The convention included a mass meeting, speeches from national and international Zionist leaders, and numerous cultural and social events throughout the city.
Ralph Raphael is credited with bringing the convention to Pittsburgh but died weeks before it opened. Morris Neaman succeeded him as the local convention chairman.
The convention began Sunday morning, June 7, at Turner Hall. Some 150 delegates from across the country listened to introductory remarks from Assistant City Attorney L.S. Levin, followed by a report from American Federation of Zionists President Richard Gottheil, and various official business of the federation. That evening, Judge Josiah Cohen presided over a mass meeting before a packed house at the Bijou Theater. On Monday, delegates heard from various national speakers. Henrietta Szold presented a paper by proxy on the topic “The Education of the Jewish Girl.” Dr. Samson Benderly spoke on “The Jewish Educational Problem.” Local speakers during the convention included Rabbi Aaron Mordechai Ashinsky and A. Leo Weil. Among the major topics of discussion was the recent Kishinev pogrom in Europe. Social affairs during the convention included a lawn fete at Kennywood Park and a tour of the Heinz plant.
The American Federation of Zionists returned to Pittsburgh in 1910 for its Thirteenth Annual Convention and again in 1918 for its Twenty-First Annual Convention