Jerusalem (Sep. 10)
Make more land available for the Children of Israel in the Land of Israel and bring nearer the fulfilment of our historic task, is the message issued by the Headquarters Office here of the Jewish National Fund through the J.T.A. to its workers and supporters throughout the world.
The year just closed was not a happy one for our Movement, the message continues. Forces of ill-will and antisemitism, while persecuting us in the lands of the Galuth, tried to deal the deadliest blow of all at our most vital and vulnerable spot, Eretz Israel – at our great work of National restoration in that country. Israel lives and the defeat of the Zionist aim is impossible and unthinkable.
In spite of the gloom and depression which was the mark of 5691 politically, we can remark considerable progress in the real work – the practical task of the Palestine upbuilding. The Jewish National Fund, the corner-stone of our divine task has, with no surprise to us, been the target for most attack, but Keren Kayemeth – the eternal Fund of the Eternal People has stood four square to the forces of destruction and hatred, and considerable progress can be reported – progress largely made possible by the contributions of the masses.
The year 5692 we usher in with a confidence born not merely of hope but of fact and understanding. The New Year will recall for us two events of abiding significance – events which shaped the destiny of our Movement – events which marked our yearning for national restoration, in redemption and upbuilding, as well as in Prayer Book and Lamentation.
THIS YEAR A DOUBLE ANNIVERSARY: FIFTY YEARS AGO BEGAN HOVEVE ZION AND THIRTY YEARS AGO WAS FOUNDED JEWISH NATIONAL FUND
Fifty years ago, in pre-Zionist Organisation times, the message says, began the Hoveve Zion, a movement to return to the land. In 1882 Pinsker published his “Auto-Emancipation”. In the same year the first Bilu Group arrived in Eretz Israel – three men and a girl, to be followed by Eliezer Ben Yehuda, a great leader of the Hebrew Revival.
This year, we celebrate, too, the completion of 30 years of National Fund history, for it was in 1901-3 that Israel’s greatest institution since the Diaspora, was founded. The Hoveve Zion was the pioneer of land redemption. The Jewish National Fund is the means for its final consummation.
These great anniversaries mark epochs in Jewish life, recall great suffering and glorious sacrifice that brought everlasting achievement in Eretz Israel. These events will renew in us faith in our power, endurance and capacity to achieve the Zionist aim.
The Jewish National Fund the world over will celebrate these anniversaries in fitting fashion, the message concludes. Jewry will recognise its privilege and with happiness will associate with our celebration in very certain manner.