• Issue: July 1970
  • Designer: R. Errell
  • Plate no.: 292
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Method of printing: Photogravure

Keren Hayesod (the Foundation Fund) was initiated in London in 1920, in the course of a Zionist Congress. Just three years earlier, the issuance of the Balfour Declaration had guaranteed the establishment of a National Home for the Jewish people. Keren Hayesod, set up in order to implement that declaration, was therefore registered in March 1921 as a British company. When the Jewish Agency was created, Keren Hayesod became responsible for supplying the major part of its budget.

From the outset, the Fund worked in close cooperation with a parallel institution, the Jewish National Fund (Keren Kayemet), charged with the task of reclaiming land to be the inalienable property of the nation. In this context, Keren Hayesod promoted the fullest exploitation of the land that was acquired, and provided new settlers with loans, houses, access roads, agricultural machinery, irrigation pipes, seed, and farm animals. Moreover, the Fund undertook to prepare places for new immigrants, and all too often had to be ready for emergency rescue operations to save remnants of various communities from extinction, and to give courage and hope to survivors of the Nazi Holocaust and of persecutions in Islamic countries.

Keren Hayesod, through the voluntary contributions of the entire Jewish people in the Diaspora, supplied the means for the "ingathering of the exiles" and the absorption of newcomers within the nation experiencing its renascence on national land. It is these funds, channeled through Keren Hayesod, which have made it possible for "sons to return to their borders," and begin to subdue the wilderness, drain the swamps, pipe water to the desert, and cultivate virgin soil. Keren Hayesod funds have enabled them to pave roads, develop power networks, start new towns and villages, build schools, universities, and research institutes, construct hospitals, factories and transport systems. Backed by Keren Hayesod, the new settlers were able, when necessary, to take up arms, and on May 14, 1948, to announce to the world the rebirth of the sovereign Jewish people, and the establishment of a modern new state. For the Jewish people, the half century of Keren Hayesod's existence was a fateful period, of courage and bravery, of imminent annihilation, of steadfast faith and hope, of stubborn devotion, of challenge, and of accomplishment.

Keren Hayesod operates in 54 countries. In the U.S., it works together with the Joint Distribution Committee and the National Refugee Service in the United Jewish Appeal (organized in 1939). Between 1920 and 1948, Keren Hayesod's participation in the up-building of the National Home amounted to $78,000,000 (65% of it from the U.S.).

Between May 1948 and April 1970, the Fund raised $1,534,300,000 (75% of it from the U.S.). In those 22 years since the establishment of the State of Israel, 1,300,000 Jews immigrated to Israel. The cost of bringing and settling them, and creating all the complex economic facilities required, totaled $2,336,000,000.

The difference between Keren Hayesod's contribution and the amount spent by the Jewish Agency was covered by special campaigns such as the one for Youth Aliyah, reparations from Germany, the sale of property, government participation in the financing of agricultural settlement, as well as long- and short-term loans.

Keren Hayesod, whose 50th year this stamp commemorates, is realizing the aspirations of the Jewish people for a National Home, and carrying out their firm resolve to make a homeland for themselves, and to be masters of their own fate.

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Keren Hayesod Jubilee