Born in Krakow, moved Antwerp, Belgium in 1890 and became one of the greatest diamond merchants. He became interested in Zionism through his brother Oscar. As one of Herzl’s ardent supporters, he devoted himself to Zionist activity and served as President of the Zionists of Belgium and the Netherlands. Among other things, he was close to Max Nordau. Fischer was active in the JNF. During the First World War, he was also a member of its management. In 1907 he visited Eretz Israel for the first time. He published his memoirs from the visit as a diary published by Hatikva in Antwerp.
Kfar Yona (Yona’s village) is named for Jean (Yona) Fischer (1871-1929), a Belgian Zionist. It was founded on Tu Bishvat, January 23, 1932 by Maurice/Morris Fischer, Yona’s son, a member of the World Jewish Congress, and was originally named Gan Yona (Yona’s Garden).