chapter  1
23 Pages

Introduction and Historical Background to 1939

The Jewish National Fund (JNF), the Zionist institution for land purchase in Palestine in the prestate period, has held an important position in the minds and hearts of most Jews. Almost every Jew who had an interest in Jewish settlement in Palestine contributed some money to the JNF cause, and therefore had at least a superficial knowledge of the institution. Many Jews today continue to contribute in several ways to the JNF; in fact, it is the only Zionist institution ‘about which songs were composed’ that are ‘sung in wide circles of the Zionist public.’1 Financial contributions to the JNF and songs sung about its purpose and activities in Palestine have become part of the ‘mythology’ of the Zionist Movement.2