Keren Hayesod Is Founded

December 24

December 24, 1920 The World Zionist Congress in London launches Keren Hayesod (Hebrew for “The Foundation Fund,” now known in English as the United Israel Appeal) to raise money for the Zionist movement and fulfill the Balfour Declaration’s promise of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The organization connects with individuals and organizations around the world […]

Lehi Founder Avraham Stern Is Born

December 23

December 23, 1907 Avraham Stern, who becomes one of the leading fighters against British rule in Palestine, is born into a Zionist family in Suwalki, Poland. He immigrates to the Land of Israel in 1925 and briefly studies at the Gymnasium in Jerusalem before enrolling at the Hebrew University. He wins a scholarship to study […]

Rambam Hospital Is Established

December 22

December 22, 1938 The Rambam Health Care Campus opens as the British Government Hospital of Haifa and is hailed by the British high commissioner for Palestine, Harold MacMichael, as the “finest medical institution in the Middle East.” Physicians, soldiers, government officials, and representatives of the Yishuv, the organization of Jewish settlements, join MacMichael at the […]

Writer-Musician Assaf Gavron Is Born

December 21

December 21, 1968 Assaf Gavron, a writer and musician, is born in Arad to English immigrants. Gavron spends his childhood in Motza Illit, near Jerusalem. He studies media and communication at Goldsmiths’ College in London and new media in Vancouver, British Columbia. He works as a journalist for several Israeli newspapers in the 1990s, and […]

Rabin, National Religious Party Split

December 20

December 20, 1976 Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin fires two National Religious Party members, Religious Affairs Minister Yitzhak Rafael and Welfare Minister Zevulun Hammer, from the Cabinet and sees a third, Interior Minister Yosef Burg, resign, and Rabin drops the 10 NRP Knesset members from his Labor-led governing coalition. As a result, Rabin has a 57-member […]

Writer A.B. Yehoshua Is Born

December 19

December 19, 1936 Avraham B. Yehoshua, one of Israel’s most acclaimed writers, is born in Jerusalem into a Mizrahi/Sephardi family going back at least five generations in the city. His father, Ya’akov, is a historian who writes about Israel’s Sephardi community; his mother, Malka, is the daughter of a wealthy Moroccan businessman. A.B. Yehoshua is […]

LGBTQ Leader Gila Goldstein Is Born

December 18

December 18, 1947 Actress, singer and transgender-rights activist Gila Goldstein is born as Abraham Goldstein in Turin, Italy. Goldstein immigrates to Haifa as a child and is active with the Maccabi Haifa soccer club. Goldstein realizes by 1960 that she is female and begins using the name Gila. She works for a time as a […]

Rabbi Goren Urges Soldiers Not to Remove Settlements

December 17

December 17, 1993 Shlomo Goren, the first head of the Military Rabbinate of the Israel Defense Forces and Israel’s Ashkenazi chief rabbi from 1973 to 1983, publishes a statement in the newspaper HaTzofeh calling on IDF soldiers to disobey orders to remove Jewish settlers from the West Bank, Gaza Strip or Golan Heights. The statement […]

Abie Nathan Brings Relief to Ethiopia

December 16

December 16, 1984 Israeli humanitarian and peace activist Abie Nathan arrives in famine-struck Ethiopia with a plane full of relief supplies donated by Jews worldwide. The $300,000 shipment includes equipment to build a refugee camp for 8,000 people with a hospital, kitchen tents, cooking equipment, two generators, and more than 600 family tents with cots […]

David Friedman Named Ambassador

December 15

December 15, 2016 President-elect Donald Trump announces that he will nominate New York bankruptcy lawyer David Friedman to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Israel. Friedman, an adviser to Trump for more than 15 years who has combined with Jason Greenblatt to form the presidential campaign’s Israel advisory committee, owns property in Israel, speaks Hebrew, […]

Ottomans Introduce Title Deeds for Arab Lands

December 14

December 14, 1858 The Ottoman Empire enacts the Tapu Law, which introduces title deed registration in the empire’s Arab provinces. An effort to apply the principles of the Ottoman Land Code of 1858, the land registration law enhances Arab nobles’ ability to rent out their land and make money and thus the empire’s ability to […]

Mossad Is Established

December 13

December 13, 1949 Prime Minster David Ben-Gurion appoints Reuven Shiloah, a former Jewish Agency official and a Foreign Ministry special operations adviser, to establish and lead the Institute for Collating and Coordinating Intelligence Operations, the Israeli intelligence agency commonly known as the Mossad. Ben-Gurion releases a statement emphasizing the importance of intelligence for Israeli to […]