Israel's History & Heritage: Zionists Travel to Israel
Zionist Movement

At the turn of the 19th Century waves of Jews began to arrive in Palestine. and those who were already here were reassesing their place under the Ottuman Empire.


After centuries of persecution in Europe and finally disillusioned by the French revolution and its promises of equal rights, Jews became more open to the idea of self-determination and auto-emancipation.

First to arrive were religious Jews who fled persecution. As they settled in Israel, Intellectuals in Europe and Russia understood that Judaism faced a crisis and that it could only be managed if the Jews recreated their national home in their historic homeland.

To facilitate this cause they raised funds, formed institutions and began political lobbying. Israel now became more than just an object for yearning but a real national ambition.

With the Zionist movement growing stronger Russian Jews who sought to pioneer a new society based on socialist ideology arrived. They founded agricultural communities and cities harvest. This wave was closely followed by waves of Jews from Poland and other European countries where anti-Semitism ran rampant reaching its peak during the Holocaust. 

Following these waves and the population's natural growth, the Jewish community in Israel increased from about 50,000 in 1882 to around 650,000 at the time of Israel’s Independence in 1948.
The majority of the immigrants represented a new nationally conscious Jew who believed that the nation needed a homeland, and that Jews had to assume responsibility for building it.

It was these immigrants who would transform the small community into a thriving state.





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