The History of Keren Hayesod - UIA

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I think it was one of the most important, perhaps the most important, manifestations of Jewish national will, and Jewish capacity for independant action, that we managed to bring about the establishment of a Jewish national fund [Keren Hayesod] for the upbuilding of our country
 
Moshe Shertok (Sharett), Head of the Political Dept. of the Jewish Agency and future Minister of Foreign Affairs, 1943   
 


During World War II and in its aftermath, Keren Hayesod established emergency campaigns, sometimes in partnership with other organizations.  Initially founded to help the Allied war effort, after the liberation of the concentration camps, the funds were used to smuggle massive numbers of survivors into the Land of Israel, in defiance of British immigration restrictions. Many of Keren Hayesod’s leaders perished in the Holocaust; the organization had to recover quickly in face of the staggering needs that during those fateful years. 

KH's leading role in the Zionist enterprise made it a target for terrorism;  in March 1948, a car bomb was detonated in the courtyard of the building, killing twelve people, including the director of Keren Hayesod, Leib Yaffe.