With the purchase of an additional 6,000 dunam of land around Yavneh, a famous town in Jewish history, which was recently concluded by the “Achooza,” an American organization for Palestinian land purchase, the “Achooza” has enlarged its holdings in Palestine to about 25,000 dunam of land which includes the already established American colonies Ranana, Tel-Ranan and Alcharam.
At the last general meeting of the New York Achooza Aleph, encouraging reports concerning Palestine matters in general and Achooza enterprises in particular were rendered. One of the speakers emphasized that in the Yavneh transaction the Achooza was aided by one of the Arab delegation which went to London to oppose the Jewish National Home idea and particularly the sale of land to Jews.
Yavneh has played a very important part in the history of Jewish cultural life in Palestine during the destruction of the second Temple. One of the three requests granted to Rabbi Jochanar ben Zakai by the Romans for his personal allegiance to the Romans was the sparing of Yavneh with its educational institution. The Talmud in defending Rabbi Jochanan’s request comments that the educational and cultural value of Yavneh for the future outweighs the political independence of Palestine which might have been refused. This idea was largely responsible for Ahad Haarn’s theory regarding a “cultural centre” in Palestine.
At the meeting, Rabbi Issachar Levin of Trenton, N. J. was re-elected for the third time as president of the New York Achooza Aleph. The entire Board with very few changes was also re-elected. The Achooza, which was organized 19 years ago by a group of American Zionists, now has an investment of over a million dollars in Palestine. A bank has recently been established under its auspices to aid the individual settlers.