Our History

Since its establishment in 1901, KKL-JNF has served as trustee in the name of the Jewish people over the Jewish lands of Israel. The activities of KKL-JNF in the first decades of Israel's existence have set the borders of the Israeli state.

Gilboa planting, 1960. Moshe Shriki, KKL archive

Photo: KKL-JNF Photo Archive

The First Decade: 1901-1910 >>

Theodor Herzl's gavel or Yona (Johann)  Kremenetzky's tears? What led to the establishment of the National Institution that was to become the executive arm of the Zionist Organization?

The Second Decade: 1911-1920 >>

At almost ten years after its establishment, KKL-JNF could take pride both in the lands it had purchased and the fact that a few of them were already settled.

The Third Decade: 1921-1930 >>

Despite the clear KKL-JNF policy and the requirement for land on which to establish kibbutzim and kvutzot, Fund Chairman Nehemia de Lieme insisted that land purchase and settlement be limited, and expenditure curbed.

The Fourth Decade: 1931-1940 >>

Between 1931-1932, eight new communities arose on KKL-JNF land. Following a series of law suits involving tenant farmers on Hefer Valley lands, the Fund turned its attention to draining the swamps and regulating the riverbeds.

The Fifth Decade :1941-1950 >>

The start of the fifth decade, during which all Fund efforts focused on the Negev, saw the demise of Menahem Ussishkin, the man who had led the great land purchases of the previous two decades.

The Sixth Decade: 1951-1960 >>

Early statehood opened a new burst of energy in KKL-JNF history and the period was widely seen as the Fund's finest hour. The Fund, approaching its 50th anniversary, created jobs that were not only a stop-gap solution, but an investment in the future.

The Seventh Decade: 1961-1970 >>

In the 1960s, during KKL-JNF's seventh decade, the Fund concentrated most of its efforts in the north, especially around border and frontier communities.

The Eighth Decade: 1971-1980 >>

The new decade in KKL-JNF history began by marking 100 million trees planted in Fund forests. Each year, 600 thousand trees were planted, after careful selection of suitable species for increasing diversification.

The Ninth Decade: 1981-1990 >>

At the start of KKL-JNF's 80th year, Moshe Rivlin, with the characteristic "hassidic zeal" once attributed to him by a journalist, noted that the Fund's work was far from over. "There is no redemption for the soil except for its redemption from devastation."

The Tenth Decade: 1991-2000 >>

Despite the Scud missiles fired from Iraq, travelers on the country’s roads were asked to stop at KKL-JNF sites to plant a tree. The winter motto of was changed form “Arise and Plant” to: “shtilim lamrot tilim – Buds in spite of Scuds.”

The 21st Century: The Green Century >>

KKL-JNF entered the 21st century as Israel's top Green organization, as a result of its foresight in changing priorities.