11 Jul The Foundation That Provided the ‘Foundation’
The Foundation That Provided the ‘Foundation’
Often, a foundation allocates funds to support an existing entity or project. But sometimes, the foundation itself is indeed the “foundation” for a momentous project from the very outset.
Keren Hayesod-United Israel Appeal is such a foundation. The name Keren Hayesod itself means the Foundation Fund. It was founded on July 24, 1920, at the World Zionist Conference in London as the fundraising arm of the Zionist movement,
Keren Hayesod was to go on to play a decisive role in marshalling the resources needed to establish an independent, sovereign State of Israel. It is still today the central fundraising organization for Israel throughout the world, except in the United States. It operates in 45 countries on every continent through 57 campaigns, which are run under various local names.
Keren Hayesod is one of the three constituent bodies of the Jewish Agency for Israel, along with the World Zionist Organization (WZO) and the Jewish Federations of North America, and provides 20% of the representatives on the Jewish Agency Board of Governors and its Assembly.
With the help of donations from throughout the world, Keren Hayesod has brought tens of thousands of Jews fleeing Europe to the Land of Israel, helped absorb them, and started over 900 urban and rural settlements. It provided the newcomers with homes and jobs and was involved in the development of the economic, educational and cultural framework for the yet-to-emerge State of Israel.
Today Keren Hayesod-UIA continues to help further the national priorities of the State of Israel. Foremost is rescuing Jews from places where their lives are in peril and encouraging and absorbing new immigrants. In addition, scores of projects and initiatives are designed to strengthen weak populations in Israel, to provide opportunity for disadvantaged Israeli youth, and to connect young diaspora Jews to Israel and to Jewish life.
Now, nearing the centenary of its birth, Keren Hayesod — supported by friends of Israel throughout the world – can take pride in having provided a solid foundation stone upon which the resurgent Jewish commonwealth has developed in our time.