Keren Haysod meeting
and Banquet for Eisig Roth
For those of you just joining us, Keren Hayesod is a Zionist fundraising organization well known to Jews in just about every part of the world except the United States. Though only about four years old in 1924, but it was already quite successful; Papa has written before of the tens of thousands of dollars it raised and the high-profile receptions it threw to publicize its efforts.
Interestingly, Papa often follows up his Keren Hayesod meetings with some sort of interesting social encounters, parties or banquets. Back in January, he followed a committee meeting with a "banquet at Garfeins in honor of Mr. Angrist," a prominent Zionist; a few days later he met an admired Rabbi named Davidel Horowitz after visiting the Keren Hayesod offices; and after another office visit he met the Yiddish drama critic Alexander Mukdoni.
Alas, I haven't found any information on Eisig Roth, the honoree at the banquet Papa refers to in this entry, but I expect he, Papa, and everyone else who attended consumed inadvisable quantities of schmaltz and maybe even bootleg slivovitz during the festivities. I suppose, as part of my research into what Papa's life was like in 1924, I owe it to myself to eat a load of herring and chopped liver and skirt steak and chase it down with a shot of slivovitz, but I think I need to clear my calendar for a few days first.
While I've posted the photos below previously, I think they're worth looking at again. All are labeled Keren Hayesod in the Library of Congress' image collection, and all depict the kinds of settlements in Palestine that Papa and his fellow Zionists worked to support in the 1920's. It's worth reminding ourselves how inspiring images like this would have been to Papa. Like many immigrant Jews of his era, he was chased out of his own country by anti-Semitism and experienced painful personal and emotional challenges as a result. The establishment of a Jewish homeland was a matter of survival to him, and he approached his participation in Zionist activities with a deeply spiritual, almost visceral urgency.
The Keren Hayesod. Agricultural colonies on Plain of Esdraelon. "The Emek." Ein Harod. The baby creche. A baby in a crib.: Library of Congress # LC-M32- 3220
The Keren Hayesod. Agricultural colonies on Plain of Esdraelon. "The Emek." Kafr Yeladim. Formerly "the childrens' colony.": Library of Congress # LC-M32- 3205
The Keren Hayesod. Agricultural colonies on Plain of Esdraelon. "The Emek." Ein Harod. Communal dining room: Library of Congress # LC-M32- 3217
The Keren Hayesod. Agricultural colonies on Plain of Esdraelon. "The Emek." Afouleh. One of the earlier colonies: Library of Congress # LC-M32- 3202