The year was 1919. World War I had ended in Europe and a large wave of immigrants arrived in Israel. Most of them were young people between the ages of 18 and 22. They left Europe because they felt the Jews of Europe had no alternative. They had to leave. 35,000 Jews came to Israel in that period. A number of factors led to the aliyah of the Jews of the Third Aliyah at the end of World War I.
The Balfour Declaration and the British Mandate taking control of the land of Israel led the people to believe that the Jewish state would become a reality in the Land of Israel.
The Jewish youth was very excited about the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and believed that they could realize the dream of a socialist society in the Land of Israel.
There was a wave of pogroms in Russia at the time of the Russian Civil War.
The Jews were influenced by the rise of nationalist struggles in Europe after World War I and by the establishment of new states – Poland, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.
They were influenced by the Second Aliyah, which the pioneer youth of East Europe found ideologically attractive.
The Institutions of the Yishuv
One of the most important processes during the Third Aliyah was the yishuv’s establishment of independent institutions. In establishing these institutions they laid the foundation of the state-in-the-making. From 1918-1919, representatives of the Yishuv convened several times. They decided to hold elections for the Assembly of Representatives. In April, 1920, the elections were held and in October of the same year the Assembly met. They were called Knesset Israel. The Assembly of Representatives was a body that set policy and chose from its members the Jewish National Council, which was the executive branch. These were secular bodies. In addition to them, there were rabbinical courts, and a chief rabbi to whom the British Mandate had given the authority to judge in personal and religious matters.
New Kinds of Settlements
In 1920, Yehoshua Hankin, a Zionist activist, completed the purchase of the lands in the Valley, paying with Jewish National Fund money. That was the start of a new settlement momentum which was different in character than the previous one. Two different kinds of settlements appeared in the Valley: the kibbutz and the workers’ moshav. The kibbutz was always willing to accept new members, which enabled it to grow and develop financially. On the other hand, the workers’ moshav belonged to people who worked independently and built their own farms on national land.
So, what else should you know about the third aliya?