|Jewish soldiers liberating the Kotel 50 years|
later (Rubinger, Government Press Office)
Many of the soldiers were recruited from the ranks of the disbanded Zion Mule Corps, Palestinian Jews exiled by the Turks in April 1917 who were recruited in Egypt, or from Diaspora Jewry recruited in Canada and the United States.
As many as 500 Jewish Legion soldiers came from North America, with some sources claiming the majority of them were from Canada. Many of them were originally from Poland or Russia.
|The original caption reads "Jewish League Fort Edward Nova Scotia 1918." We |
believe the photo was taken on Yom Kippur a year earlier in September 1917,
one month after the "draft" of soldiers for the Jewish Legion began in Canada.
By September 1918 the Jewish Legion was already in Palestine.
|Leon Cheifetz, Legionnaire|
One Legionnaire was Leon Cheifetz from Montreal who enlisted before the age of 18. Cheifetz assembled an album with dozens of pictures and biographies of many of the Canadians who fought with him.
|A group of Jewish Legionnaires in Ben Shemen from |
the Cheifetz album
Unfortunately, the huge Library of Congress collection of Palestine pictures has few photographs of the Legionnaires.
The pictures in this series of essays come from various other collections, and we hope to receive more from the descendants of soldiers who served in the Legion.