The History of Keren Hayesod - UIA

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The merits and achievements of Keren Hayesod are engraved in the soil of the homeland and treasured in the soul of the nation

David Ben Gurion, Israel's future first Prime Minister, 1930


The effects of the worldwide economic depression of 1929 hit Keren Hayesod hard, but the recovery was accompanied by a dramatic turn of events concerning the plight of German Jewry with the rise to power of Adolf Hitler in 1933. Keren Hayesod played a central role in developing plans to bring German Jews to the Land of Israel, including the establishment and development of the Haifa Bay suburbs. As part of that effort, the Rural and Suburban Settlement Company (Rasco) was founded in 1934. At the same time, the organization continued to support the establishment of a range of cultural institutions, such as the orchestra now known as the Israel Philharmonic (1936). In the late 1930s, American Jews separated from Keren Hayesod to set up their own fundraising organization. Since then, Keren Hayesod has raised funds everywhere else in the world.