The First Zionist Congress (Hebrew: הקונגרס הציוני הראשון) took place in the concert hall of the Basel Municipal Casino on August 29, 1897.
The congress was called by Theodor Herzl, the founder of the modern Zionism movement, as a symbolic Parliament for those in sympathy with the implementation of Zionist goals.
200 people from seventeen countries participated in the first Zionist Congress.
On the second day of the Congress, Max Nordau submitted to the Congress the “Basel Declaration” which stated that: “The aim of Zionism is to create for the Jewish people a home in Eretz¬Israel secured by law.”
The program, which came to be known as the Basel program, set out the goals of the Zionist movement as follows:
1. The promotion of the settlement of Jewish agriculturists, artisans, and tradesmen in Palestine.
2. The Federation of all Jews into local or general groups, according to the laws of the various countries.
3. The strengthening of the Jewish feeling and consciousness.
4. Preparatory steps for the attainment of those governmental grants which are necessary to the achievement of the Zionist purpose.