Women of Valor

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Youth Aliyah

Henrietta Szold, 1860 - 1945

The last major effort of Henrietta Szold's life turned out to be one of the most challenging, engaging, and significant of her career. In early 1930, Szold was contacted by activists in Germany, who sought help in sending German Jewish youth to Palestine. In 1933, with conditions for Jews in Germany deteriorating rapidly, Szold took hold of Youth Aliyah, putting into place a giant effort that entailed preparing and organizing young people in Germany to live in Palestine, securing visas and transportation, and establishing an educational and support system for the new arrivals within Jewish agricultural settlements.

11,000 young people, first from Germany and then from other nations that fell under the Nazi shadow, came to Palestine as part of Youth Aliyah. Szold tried to meet every arriving transport of children and took a personal interest in the placement and situation of every child. When emigration from Nazi-occupied Europe was finally cut off, Szold sought to turn the resources of the movement toward the care of socially disadvantaged youth within Palestine itself.

The success of this complicated organizational effort of rescue in the face of the growing European catastrophe added to the already stunning record of achievement claimed by Szold and by Hadassah, which funded the work of its former leader. Her intense commitment to the children of Youth Aliyah gained the childless Szold recognition, throughout Palestine and the Jewish world, as a true mother in Israel.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Women of Valor - Henrietta Szold - Youth Aliyah." (Viewed on April 18, 2014) <http://jwa.org/womenofvalor/szold/youth-aliyah>.