Research Institute for the History of KKL-JNF

The Research Institute for the History of KKL-JNF, as its name suggests, encourages study of and academic publications on Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund, its works and prime movers in Israel and the Diaspora, as part of the overall history of the worldwide Zionist Movement, the Jewish Yishuv in Eretz Israel and the State of Israel. Headed by an executive body, the institute's chair is Mr. Yehiel Leket and its director, Dr. Gabriel Alexander.

Studies on the History of KKL-JNF

The institute fosters research on topics connected with the history of KKL-JNF in Israel and abroad. The following are among the insitutes research topics:
  • The Jewish National Fund sources of financing during the pre-state Jewish Yishuv period;
  • The attitude of the British Mandate government to the Jewish National Fund and its works;
  • The Jewish National Fund work in the Diaspora in countries such as Poland before the Holocaust – as well as in the U.S., France, and so forth;
  • The Jewish National Fund as the agent of land policy during the Yishuv period and after Israel's establishment;
  • The Jewish National Fund's position following the establishment of the Israel Lands Administration;
  • Biographies of key figures, such as Joseph Weitz, Abraham Granovsky-Granott and Nathan Bistritski-Agmon.

Examples of current studies under way are: Dr. Jacob Markovitzky's "Years of Vision and Vigor: The Jewish National Fund, 1921-1936," and Dr. Chanina Porat's "The Negev: Favored Frontier, Marginal Frontier and Periphery; The Jewish National Fund’s Contribution to Developing Negev Settlement, 1954-1971."

Scholars interested in undertaking research on Institute-related topics are invited to submit proposals. Allocation of grants depends on the scope of the study, its relevance to the history of the Jewish National Fund and the funds at the Institute's disposal.

Publishing Assistance

The Institute assists in the publication of books, monographs and anthologies on the history of the Jewish National Fund and/or the history and geography of modern Jewish settlement in Eretz Israel, including a wide range of both local research topics (land acquisition, the development of the settlement map, education, culture, etc.) and Diaspora Zionist activity.

A recent example in this connection is Prof. Yossi Katz's book (published in Hebrew and English) on Jewish National Fund’s pre-state land activity, The Battle for the Land, KKL-JNF Before the Establishment of the State of Israel (The Hebrew University Magnes Press, Jerusalem 2001).

Books published in this framework since the Institute's founding are:

  • Ran Aaronsohn, Rothschild and Early Jewish Colonization in Palestine (The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem 2000);
  • Yoram Bar-Gal, (published in Hebrew and English version in preperation), An Agent of Zionist Propaganda, The Jewish National Fund 1924-1947 (Haifa University Press, 1999);
  • Yossi Ben-Artzi, Early Jewish Settlement Patterns in Palestine, 1882-1914 (The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem 1997);
  • Ruth Kark and Michal Oren-Nordheim, Jerusalem and its Environs, Quarters, Neighborhoods, Villages, 1800-1948 (The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem 2001);
  • Yossi Katz, Between Jerusalem and Hebron, Jewish Settlement in the Pre-State Period (Bar-Ilan University Press, Ramat Gan 1998);
  • Yossi Katz, The Religious Kibbutz Movement in the Land of Israel (The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem 1997);
  • Zwi Shilony, Ideology and Settlement, The Jewish National Fund, 1897-1914 (The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem 1998).

On the possibility of obtaining publishing assistance, interested parties should apply directly to the Research Institute for the History of KKL-JNF:

Academic Conferences and Seminars

  • “KKL-JNF Forum for the History of Zionism and Settlement in Eretz Israel”, provides a platform for airing new studies. It convenes four to five times a year, devoting each meeting to a single topic. For example, in 2002, Dr. Adina Bar-El lectured on the children's press in Poland in the inter-war period.
  • Involvement in Conferences Organized by Research Institutes and Associations:
    The Institute participates in academic encounters alongside other bodies. In 2002 it organized a conference at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the Ben-Gurion Research Center at Sede Boker to mark KKL-JNF's centenary. Other examples are its participation in a conference on "Water in the Middle East – Source of Conflict or Cooperation," organized by the “Israel Galil Research Center on the Defense Institutions”, held at Yad Tabenkin, Ramat Efaal, Tel Aviv.

Direct Publishing

From time to time, the Institute publishes studies directly. In cooperation with “Chair for the History Jewish National Fund (KKL), the Land and Settlement”, a study written by Prof. Yossi Katz was published. VeHaaretz lo Timacher LeTzmitut, Moreshet Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael VeHehalat Ekronoteha BeHakika BeYisrael (“The Land shall not be sold in perpetuity”, The Legacy and Principles of Keren Kayemeth Leisrael (Jewish National Fund) in the Israeli Legislation) deals with the inalieniability of national land, Jewish National Fund’s (KKL) guiding principle, which was adopted by Israeli law.

And second encouraging example is Zerubavel Haviv’s book, Zir Shaluach (An Emissary From Eretz-Israel to Poland an behalf of Keren Kayemeth Leisrael (Jewish National Fund) 1937. The book includes letter written by Zerubavel Haviv to his family and KKL-JNF head offices in Jerusalem and Warsaw before and during his emissary. Eventually it gives a perspective about diverse aspects of the Jewish life in pre Holocaust Poland.

All correspondence and requests for information should be addressed to:

POB 7283
Jerusalem 91072, Israel
Tel: 972-2-6583302 / 577
Fax: 972-2-6583365