The History of Keren Hayesod - UIA

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It is doubtful whether any similar organization that emerged from other peoples in the world was as creative and involved in such a unique mission of national revival. This is because Keren Hayesod played a central role in the ingathering of the people, and a vital part in mobilizing the resources to create something from nothing.

 

President Shimon Peres (2010)



In 2000, Keren Hayesod celebrated its 80th anniversary with a magnificent event on Jerusalem’s Mount Scopus.  To mark the occasion, a new Keren Hayesod prize, the Nadiv Award, was established. The wave of terror launched by the Second Intifada, 2000 to 2004, had a devastating impact on the Israeli economy, resulting in major social distress. The situation was exacerbated by the crisis in the tourism industry and the bursting of the hi-tech bubble. In response, Keren Hayesod developed wide-ranging social projects to which it accorded high priority, along with its traditional areas of activity, immigrant absorption and Jewish-Zionist education in the Diaspora. Thus, for example, Keren Hayesod, in partnership with the Jewish Agency, Cisco Systems Inc. and the Appleseeds Academy, initiated the Net@ project, which provides hi-tech training to youth in the periphery.  Keren Hayesod was also a lead partner in the Jewish Agency Fund for Victims of Terror.

During this period, Keren Hayesod greatly intensified its activities among the non-Jewish public, through its partnership with the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews headed by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, and the establishment of a new division, Friends of Israel.  By 2010, when Keren Hayesod marked its 90th anniversary, addressing the needs of the periphery and efforts to close the social gap in Israel had become the main focuses of its work.