1920, July 7 – 24: The annual conference of the World Zionist Organization (the Zionist Conference) convenes in London. The first large Zionist gathering after the war, participants include representatives of countries defeated in the war (Germany, Austria, etc.). Discussions relating to settlements in Eretz Israel take place and Keren Hayesod (Palestine Foundation Fund), a vital overseas funding mechanism of the WZO, is founded. Weizmann is elected President of the WZO. There is a rift between Weizmann and Brandeis. Brandeis wants to build the Yishuv in Eretz Israel on economic foundations and objects to the preoccupation with ideological and cultural matters in Palestine and the Diaspora.

1920, December 24: Official declaration on the Keren Hayesod foundation in London.

1921, September 1 – 14: The 12th Zionist Congress convenes in Carlsbad, Czechoslovakia, the first to be held in eight years (since World War I). The Congress approves the decision of the London Zionist Conference the previous year to found Keren Hayesod and acquire large tracks of land in the Jezreel Valley.

1923, August 5 – 16: The Thirteenth Zionist Congress convenes in Carlsbad, Czechoslovakia. On the agenda: settlement activity in Eretz Israel, the activities of Keren Hayesod, the opening of a university in Jerusalem and the plan to establish the Jewish Agency.

1923, End of December: the Third Aliyah to Eretz Israel ends, having brought 34,000 Jews to Palestine, many of whom were pioneers. A serious social and economic crisis hits the Jewish Yishuv because of reduced government activity (especially road-building). There is increased yerida from Palestine. Keren Hayesod provides funding for the country's first two absorption centers for olim from the Third Aliyah. It takes upon itself the funding of Yishuv's education network and builds a village which serves as a refuge for orphans of the Ukrainian pogroms. At the same time it finances settlements areas, the health service, development, infrastructure and industry.

1926, September: Keren Hayesod headquarters are moved from London to Jerusalem.

1946, December 9-24: The settler's institutes, headed by Jewish Agency and Keren Hayesod, establish 25 new settlements, the largest number established in one year up until the founding of the state.

1948, March 11: 12 people are killed in a car explosion in the courtyard of the Zionist National Institutions. Leib Jaffe, Keren Hayesod's Director General, was one of the victims.

1967, October: In an emergency Appeal conducted by Keren Hayesod, the unprecedented sum of 300 million dollars is raised.

1973, October: In 1973, some 55,000 olim arrive in Israel, despite the war and the state of emergency in effect two months after the war. Sixty percent of the olim are from the Soviet Union – a record number from this country. In an emergency Keren Hayesod campaign conducted between October and the year's end, 300 million dollars are raised.

1978, December: World Jewry responds to the government of Israel's call to finance a neighborhood rehabilitation campaign. For 15 years Keren Hayesod will invest more than 160 million dollars in rehabilitating 35 underprivileged neighborhoods throughout the country.

1987, December 6-10: The Thirty-first Zionist Congress convenes in Jerusalem and calls all the Jewish, Zionist and other Appeals connected in some way to Israel, to preserve, support and strengthen the senior status of Keren Hayesod as an expression of the centrality of Israel in the life of the Jewish communities in the Diaspora.

1990, December: Keren Hayesod marks 70 years to its founding, while operation Exodus – the mass exodus of hundreds of thousands of Jews from the former Soviet Union is getting underway.

2001, December: The Jewish Agency, together with Keren Hayesod, the United Jewish Communities and the government of Israel, initiate the confrontation Line project. It is a three-year plan and involves an investment of 80 million dollar aid settlements and individuals living near Israel's confrontation lines, following the withdrawal of IDF forces from Lebanon.

2002, January: At the initiative of the Jewish Agency, the State of Israel Jewish Agency agrees to encourage aliyah from Argentina, France and South Africa. The Jewish Agency prepares for increased Aliyah, especially from Argentina due to the harsh economic situation there. Keren Hayesod partially funds these operations.

Keren Hayesod picture gallery



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30 Aug 2005 / 25 Av 5765 0