David Ben-Gurion Arrives in Jaffa

September 7, 1907

David Gruen, who in 1910 would change his name to David Ben-Gurion, and his then girlfriend Rachel Nelkin arrive in Jaffa with a group of other young adults from Plonsk, Poland, making aliyah to the Land of Israel. Upon arriving in Jaffa, the new immigrants were carried off the boat by the Arab dockworkers and Gruen went to settle in Petah Tikvah to work in agriculture.

In his first postcard home after arriving he wrote, “My dear ones, Hurrah. Today at the ninth hour I alighted on the shore of Jaffa…We’re going to Petah Tikvah. I’ll write in more detail from there. I wasn’t ill on the journey even once! I’m feeling well, full of courage, and full of faith.” (Peres, Shimon and David Landau, “Ben-Gurion a Political Life.” New York, NY: Schocken Books, p. 13.)

The photo above is of the Poalei Zion group “Ezra” of which Ben Gurion was a founder taken in Plonsk in 1906. David Ben-Gurion is in the front row, second from left.