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Aḥdut HaAvoda

a labor political party formed in Palestine in 1919 through the merger of the Marxist Poale Zion Party and nonparty socialist groups. Ben-Gurion and Katznelson were its outstanding leaders. In 1930 it merged with the non-Marxist party, HaPo’el HaTza’ir, to become the Mapai Party. The name Aḥdut HaAvoda was used again in the 1940s and 1950s by a breakaway leftist group from Mapai.


immigration to the land of Israel. An immigrant is called an oleh, olim in the plural.


the Jewish communities outside the land of Israel.

Emergency Committee for Zionist Affairs

the World War II committee that coordinated the activities of most Zionist organizations in the United States.

Hapo’el Hatza’ir

a non-Marxist labor party in Palestine that merged with Aḥdut HaAvoda in 1930 to form the Mapai Party. In the United States most of its members belonged to Zeire Zion, which first federated with the Poale Zion and then merged into it. In Palestine the party journal was also known as HaPo’el HaTza’ir.


the National Labor Federation in Palestine and then Israel, founded in 1920. In addition to organizing laborers, it sponsored cooperative enterprises and provided health care and other welfare services to its members.

Jewish Agency

the quasi-governmental executive body for the yishuv that dealt chiefly with land acquisition, settlement, and external relations. From 1929 it operated as the executive body in Palestine of the World Zionist Organization. From that date its executive committee and governing council included representatives of the WZO and non-Zionists. Since 1948 it has dealt chiefly with the settlement of immigrants in Israel and educational work in the Diaspora.

Keren HaYesod

the fund-raising arm of the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency known in English as the Palestine Foundation Fund.

Keren Kayemet

the land acquisition and settlement arm of the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency known in English as the Jewish National Fund.

Knesset Yisrael

the organized Jewish community of the yishuv during the British Mandate. In effect, it was the government of the state in the making.

Kupat Ḥolim

the Histadrut sick fund, which offers a full range of medical services and operates medical institutions.


the Workers’ Party of the Land of Israel. Formed in 1930, it was the forerunner of the Labor Party of Israel. (See above, Aḥdut HaAvoda.)


a political party of Othodox Zionists.

New Yishuv

the community of Zionist Jews in Palestine. They were the overwhelming majority of Jews in the post-World War I period.

Old Yishuv

the community of pietist Jews in Palestine, most of whom believed Jews should dedicate their lives to prayer and await the Messiah. Generally they opposed Zionism.

oleh (pl. olim)

an immigrant to Palestine.

Palestine Zionist Executive

the operational arm in Palestine of the World Zionist Organization between 1921 and 1929.

Poale Zion

a Zionist-Marxist political party, in Palestine merged into Aḥdut HaAvoda in 1919. In the Diaspora the next year its communist-oriented left wing split off and became the Left Poale Zion.

Provisional Executive Committee for General Zionist Affairs

the committee formed during World War I in the United States to run Zionist affairs on behalf of the World Zionist Organization, which was rendered largely impotent because its members were divided by allegiance to the different sides in the conflict. The committee was headed by Louis D. Brandeis.

Smaller (Inner) Actions Committee

the executive committee of the World Zionist Organization.

Va’ad Leumi

the elected legislative body of the Knesset Yisrael.

World Zionist Organization

the worldwide organization founded by Theodor Herzl in 1897 to implement the Jewish nationalist program, which looked forward to reconstituting a Jewish state in the ancient land of Israel. Its representative body was the Zionist Congress.


the Jewish community of Palestine in the pre-state era. In this book it generally means the New Yishuv.

Zionist Commission

the international group appointed by the World Zionist Organization after World War I to act as an executive authority in Palestine during the transitional period.

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