• Issue: April 1979
  • Designer: A. Ron
  • Stamp size: 25.7 x 40 mm
  • Plate no.: 570
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: Government Printers
  • Method of printing: Photogravure

Rotary in Israel celebrates its 50th anniversary since the foundation of its first club in Jerusalem on the 29th of March 1929. Rotary is an international men's voluntary organization that promotes goodwill and fellowship among its 825,000 members. It is composed of 17,600 clubs in 152 countries. There are 40 clubs in Israel. Each club is autonomous and democratically elects its own president and officers.

The proclaimed aim of Rotary is to develop acquaintance as an opportunity for service, to strive for high ethical standards in all occupations, to apply the ideal of service in personal and community life, and to promote better understanding and goodwill among peoples of different nations.

Rotary International started 74 years ago with the foundation of the first club in Chicago by Paul Harris. He had the idea of creating a fellowship of businessmen that would transcend trade and be motivated by the motto "Service Above Self". The name Rotary was adopted because in the early days, meetings were held in rotation at the offices and stores of the members. The emblem of Rotary, the cogged wheel, denotes rotation and the movement of men and ideas within Rotary. Each club is composed of men selected by the club, each representing a different business or profession, and it meets regularly once a week. The activities of each club are centered around several avenues of service: club, community, vocational and international service. Having analysed the problems and opportunities specific to its community, each club decides upon action involving its members according to their business and professional abilities and connections in the community. Thus every Rotary Club has a somewhat different programme. Most of the Clubs in Israel have established Funds for providing educational grants to the youth in their communities to assist them in their studies at High School, Technical School or University, and most of them also honour at a special event individuals or groups of people who have contributed most each year to the welfare and quality of life in their community. Each Rotarian represents his vocation to his fellow-Rotarians, and at the same time represents the ideals of Rotary to his business associates outside. Rotary requires its members to test their thinking and their behaviour by the "4-way test": "Is it the truth?; is it fair to all concerned?; will it create goodwill and better friendship?; will it be beneficial to all concerned?".

International service in Rotary is based on the fact that Rotary embraces all creeds, colours, and nationalities and pleads no special cause or ideology. It has no secrets, and it stresses each individual's involvement in promoting world peace. Israeli Rotarians were the first Israeli civilians to be invited to a meeting of Rotary Club Cairo (Egypt) after the beginning of peace talks in 1978. It is symbolical perhaps that Rotary Cairo was the Club that sponsored and helped found the Rotary Club in Jerusalem 50 years ago.

The international character of Rotary is also expressed by the Rotary Foundation, a Fund which is sustained by contributions from clubs and members. It supports educational programmes for young people in each district and permits them to study and enjoy the cultural advantages of a country other than their own. Each year about 800 young men and women receive grants or awards from the Foundation totalling more than 5 million dollars. There are grants for undergraduate fellowships, technical training, teachers of the handicapped, group study exchanges and special grants.

In order to expose youth to the concepts of service, Rotary formed two new organizations, INTERACT for high school students, and ROTARACT for 18-23 year olds who live and work in the community of the sponsoring club.

In Israel, as everywhere else, each Club has its special vocational or community programme. In addition, Rotary Israel, as District 249, was instrumental in establishing a Fund that supplies sophisticated medical equipment to hospitals (kidney machines, intensive care units etc.). In 1976 a special programme for promoting better understanding between the Jewish and Arab communities in Israel was initiated. In addition, Rotary Israel encourages its clubs to assist in the social and professional integration of new immigrants.

The International Service works uninterruptedly to develop international understanding through personal and friendly contacts with Rotarians all over the world, study group exchanges, youth exchanges, visits of individual Rotarians to different Rotary Districts and the supervision of International Service Projects initiated and supported by Rotary.

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50th anniversary of Rotary in Israel