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Zionism: Keren Hayesod

The main institution for financing the Zionist Organization's activities in Eretz Israel, it was founded in London in 1920 and officially registered in Britain a year later. In 1926, the headquarters of Keren Hayesod were moved to Jerusalem. Keren Hayesod is headed by a board of trustees, appointed by the Zionist Executive and the Jewish Agency. In addition to financing the activities of the Jewish Agency, Keren Hayesod undertook to support the yishuv economically and to provide financial assistance for development and settlement. Most revenues come from fundraising and are distributed by the institutions of the Zionist movement. Keren Hayesod collects donations in almost all countries with a Jewish community, either directly or through volunteers.

Until the establishment of the state, Keren Hayesod financed activities of the yishuv relating to immigration and absorption, settlement, defense, development of water resources and public works. It aided major economic enterprises such as the Palestine Electric Company and the Palestine Potash Company at the Dead Sea. When the country gained its independence, many functions that had been handled by Keren Hayesod were transferred to the Jewish Agency, and Keren Hayesod concentrated on the financing of immigration, absorption and settlement.

Sources: Israeli Foreign Ministry