Waves Jewish Colonial Trust Sharon

  • Issue: February 1999
  • Designer: David Ben-Hador
  • Stamp Size: 40 mm x 25.7 mm
  • Plate nos.: 364
  • Sheet of 15 stamps, Tabs: 5
  • Printers: Government Printers
  • Method of printing: Offset

In an article published on November 19, 1897 in the Zionist organ Die Welt - under the title "Juedische Colonialbank" ("Jewish Colonial Bank"), Dr Theodor Herzl announced that the Zionist Movement "needs an efficient and pure financial instrument... the Jewish settler in Eretz Israel deserves credit, not donations".

The Second Zionist Congress decided to establish a banking corporation, which was registered in London on March 20, 1899 under its English name, "The Jewish Colonial Trust".

The role of "The Jewish Colonial Trust" ("The Trust") was not only to grant credit, but also to implement Zionism's political aims, especially the acquisition of a charter from the Ottoman government to settle in Eretz Israel - a goal that was not achieved.

The registered share equity of the corporation was set at two million pounds sterling. Raising the capital proved to be an excruciating process, and with great difficulty, 2 250,000 was collected to enable the corporation to begin its work. One hundred Founders' Shares, one pound sterling apiece, were held by "The Council", a body that linked the Zionist Federation with the "Trust" - in order to ensure the dependence of the "Trust" on the Federation.

Herzel himself was the first chairman of "The Council", and his successor at the Zionist Federation, David Wolfson, was appointed Chairman of the Board of "The Council"; he was followed by Jacobus Kahn and Nissan Katznelson.

The greatest contribution of "The Trust" was the establishment of several concurrently operating subsidiaries, notably the Anglo-Palestine Company. The Anglo-Palestine Company, today Bank Leumi Le-Israel, was registered in London, and in 1903 opened its first branch, in Jaffa. This institution was to fill an important role in realizing Herzl's vision, through financial assistance to the zionist enterprise in Eretz Israel and, upon the departure of the British, the establishment of the nation's monetary system.

Dr. Eitan Burstein

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The Jewish Colonial Trust - 100 Years