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Histadruth, Now Largest Body in Palestine, Marks 20th Birthday

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The Histadruth Haovdim, Palestine Jewish labor federation, which was founded on the fifth day of Chanukah, 1920, will celebrate its 20th anniversary on Sunday.

Its membership has risen from 4,000 men and women in 1920 to more than 120,000 making it Palestine Jewry’s largest organization. Nine thousand members have enrolled since the outbreak of the war. Of these, more than 5,000 are immigrants and refugees who arrived during the war and the remainder include youths who have reached the age of 18 and middle men declassed by war conditions.

An anniversary report published by the Histadruth stresses the part it has played in maintaining working conditions and providing employment. It notes the extension of activities during the war by Hamashbir, Tnuva and Yakhin cooperatives and the extension of vegetable growing resulting from the irrigation of the Zebulun Valley undertaken by the Nir.

A hundred thousand small homes have been established in rural areas and 400 urban centers by Histadruth agencies, in addition to the workers’ suburb of Kiryath Avodah near Haifa. Ten to fifteen thousand pounds monthly have been expended for house building.

Eighty-five per cent of last year’s newcomers have been absorbed by the Histadruth. A high percentage of Histadruth members are among the 6,500 Palestine Jews serving in the British forces. Aviators and seamen have been trained by the Histadruth, and its transport cooperative has proved increasingly valuable to the British war effort in the Near East.

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