Wednesday, April 30, 2014

On Israel Independence Day, Israel Salutes the Women of Israel. We Present Here their Grandmothers who Built Israel.
Part II, The New Yishuv

Nahalal Girls' agricultural training school. Group of girl students. (Library of Congress, 1929) The original
captions refer to the young women as "girls."  View more here
"Grandfather helping his granddaughter to plow" in the Jezreel Valley
(Library of Congress, 1920s)


The Aliya movements -- encouraging young Jewish Zionists to move to Palestine -- were launched when the Turks ruled Palestine, but immigration increased after the British captured the land in 1917-1918.  The stream of Jews escaping an increasingly hostile Europe became a fast-flowing river until 1939, when Britain shut the gates.

Harvesting grapes in Zichron Ya'akov (notice the armed guards). 1939
View more here
The young, often secular, Jews were usually not attracted to the seminaries of Jerusalem or Bnai Brak.  They were drawn by the socialist dreams of the kibbutz, moshav, and workers industrial cooperatives.  Universities were established, factories were built, and large tracts of land were purchased and cleared for agriculture.

Into this socialist and egalitarian society women were welcomed. 

In this Part II of the Salute to the Women of Israel, we present the "New Yishuv's" women and their contribution to the formation of Israel through agriculture, industry and political activism.




Preparing a new settlement (circa 1920)


Men and women pioneers at the  Ein Gev kibbutz on the Sea of
Galilee, 1937. The man second from  right is Teddy Kollek who
became mayor of Jerusalem. See women mending fishing nets here























Women in Industry

Diamond polishing (1939)
Most of the Library of Congress' photographs were taken by the photographers at the American Colony Photographic Department in Jerusalem between the 1890s and 1946.  The LoC's archives contain hundreds of pictures of the New Yishuv's industries. We present several photographs of the women workers.

Making safety blades (1939)








Making cigars (1939)










Producing yarn (1939)

Women packing cheese in factory (1939)














Women and Public Affairs


Women protest the British White Paper (1939)
In 1939, the British government, headed by Neville Chamberlain, issued the "MacDonald White Paper," a policy paper which called for the establishment of a single Palestine state governed by Arabs and Jews based on their respective populations. 

The White Paper was approved by the British Parliament in May 1939, thus signing the death sentences of millions of Jews precisely when the Nazi tide was threatening to engulf Europe.

In May 1939, the American Colony film team photographed a protest by the women of the Yishuv, led by some of the leading women figures in Jerusalem at the time: Ita Yellin, Rachel Yanait Ben-Zvi, and Sarah Herzog.


Women led by (right to left) Ben-Zvi, Herzog and Yellin protesting the British White Paper (May 22, 1939).
 Library of Congress  caption: "The procession of young women raising their right
hands in attestation to their claim."


Young women outside of a "recruiting office" during the protests against the British
White Paper. The women on the right are identified as "revisionists" or "brown shirts." (1939)

 

Monday, April 28, 2014

On Israel Independence Day, Israel Salutes the Women of Israel. We Present Here their Grandmothers who Built Israel.
Part 1, The Old Yishuv

Jewish women in Jerusalem's Old City, 1903. How do we know these "peasant women" are Jewish? Note the
crowd of Jewish men behind them, and compare the design of their shawls to those at the Western Wall below.
(Library of Congress)


Israel Independence Day will be celebrated on May 6. 

On its eve, May 5, twelve torches will be lit by 14 honored Israeli women - Jewish and Arab, old and young, social activists, educators, athletes, former political figures. The ceremony commemorates, "The Era of Women -- Achievements and Challenges."
Women at the Western Wall (circa 1900). Note the absence of benches and barriers between the
men and women worshipers which were prohibited by the Turkish and Arab authorities.  The
two sexes voluntarily maintained a separation. (Library of Congress)

Women obviously played a major role in the Jewish life of both the New and Old Yishuv. The New Yishuv was comprised of many new immigrants from Europe in the late 19th and early 20th century, mostly secular Jews, and many imbued with a socialist dream of a new society. They were driving forces behind the establishment of new settlements and factories around the country.

"Poor Jewish women leaving Tiberias hospital after the feast which was
given them"  Christmas, 1924. (Dundee University Archive Services,
MS 38 Torrance Collection). For more click here
The Old Yishuv was the traditional Orthodox community, centered in the age-old towns of Jerusalem, Tzfat, Tiberias, and Jaffa. many tracing their Eretz Yisrael families back many generations. Their customs and lifestyles often reflected their eastern European, North African, Yemenite, Babylonian and Persian origins.

The Jewish women of the Old Yishuv, the great-grandmothers of today's Israelis are honored in this posting.


Next: the women of the New Yishuv, the other great-grandmothers of today's Israelis.


"Jewish Arab" by Tancrede Dumas,
1889 in Damascus (Library of Congress)
Women's Old Age home in Jerusalem (1900) (Library of Congress)




















Shlomo Narinsky's portrait of a Jewish woman,
1921 "Perspective on Life" (Laurent Philippe
collection) For more click here


"Maiden of Rishon LeZion" picking almonds,
Circa 1921 (Library of Congress)

























 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Hidden in a 74-Year-Old Newreel about Palestine:
The Foundations of What Would Be the State of Israel

The Jewish version of a "barn-raising" in what appears to be a new settlement
in the Jezreel Valley (British Pathé newsreels, 1940)
In our last posting we introduced readers to the latest archive released online -- British Pathé -- with its 85,000 newsreels uploaded to YouTube in April 2014.

Historians will have a field day. 

This Israel Daily Picture site presents early photographs and films and ends its research at the 1940 point. 

The British Pathé films include many films on the struggle to bring Jews into Palestine in the 1940s and the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

We were intrigued by one 8-minute silent film entitled Peasant Farmer Plugs Field With Bullocks, 1940. 





The film open with an Arab peasant tilling his field with a primitive plow.  But after that 10-second segment the films shows Jewish settlers building a new community in the Galilee, Jewish farmers plowing and irrigating their fields, a street scene in what appears to be Tel Aviv, Jews praying at the Western Wall, doctors and students on Mt. Scopus' Hadassah Hospital and Hebrew University.  There are also segments showing the Arab shuk and the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount.

We invite readers to identify the location of the "barn raising" photo above and to "plow" through other films to find noteworthy scenes.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Breaking News: Thousands of Vintage Newsreel Films Just Went Online. Films Include Historic Scenes of the Holy Land

Scene of the Western Wall from a British Pathé newsreel
The giant newsreel archive, British Pathéreleased its entire collection of 85,000 films to the public this week.

The films, dating from 1896 to 1976, include hundreds of newsreels from Palestine prior to the establishment of Israel in 1948.  We found of particular interest the films of combat between British and Turkish forces during World War I and the brave attempts to push desperate Jewish refugees from Europe past British barriers in the 1930s and 40s.

"This unprecedented release of vintage news reports and cinemagazines is part of a drive to make the archive more accessible to viewers all over the world," British Pathé announced.

“Our hope is that everyone, everywhere who has a computer will see these films and enjoy them,” said Alastair White, General Manager of British Pathé. “This archive is a treasure trove unrivalled in historical and cultural significance that should never be forgotten. Uploading the films to YouTube seemed like the best way to make sure of that.”

We present here several of the exciting films now on the British Pathé YouTube collection. Many of the newsreels are silent films.


Video: Dedication of Hebrew University and speech by Earl Arthur Balfour (1925)

 
Video: 1929 disturbances against Jews, a crude Jewish barricade,  and the arrival of a
British naval ship in an attempt to restore order.





Item title reads - Thousands of American Jews take part in [1929 "monster"] demonstration before offices of the British Consul, demanding protection for their kinsmen in Palestine. New York, U.S.

According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 35,000 Jews marched through New York City on August 27, 1929 in response to the massacre of 67 Jews in Hebron on August 24. Among the dead, according to JTA, were "12 American Jewish boys."


Responsible archivists and librarians digitize their
historical treasures.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The "Other" Passover Commemoration --
The Samaritans Still Sacrifice the Pascal Lamb
(Updated from two years ago)

Samaritan high priest Yitzhak ben Amram
ben Shalma ben Tabia (circa 1900). View
other pictures of priests here and here
The Samaritan population in the Land of Israel numbered more than a million people 1,500 years ago, according to some estimates.  This ancient people lived in northern Israel and claimed to have been descendants of those tribes of Israel which were not sent out into the Babylonian exile.  One line of Samaritans traces their lineage back to Aaron the priest, and they consider their "holy mountain" to be Mt. Gerizim outside of Nablus (Shechem) -- not Jerusalem.  

Samaritan family (1899)






The Samaritans worship the God of Abraham, revere a scroll comparable to the five books of Moses, and maintain Passover customs, including the sacrifice of the Pascal Lamb. 


Samaritan synagogue in Shechem
(1899). Also view here

Jews ceased the Passover sacrifice with the destruction of the second Temple.


Already in Talmudic days, Jewish authorities rejected the Samaritans' claims to be part of the Jewish people. The Cutim, according to rabbinic authorities, arrived in the Land of Israel around 720 BCE with the Assyrians from Cuth, believed to be located in today's Iraq.

Over the millennia, the Samaritans almost disappeared.  Persecuted, massacred and forcibly converted by Byzantine Christians and by Islamic authorities, the Samaritans' community today numbers fewer than 1,000 who are located on Mount Gerizim near Nablus (Shechem) and in Holon, Israel.


Baking matza on Mt. Gerizim (circa 1900)

 This year, the Samaritans celebrated their Passover on Sunday, April, 13, 2014.


Preparing a lamb (1900)


































The photographers of the American Colony photographed dozens of pictures of the Samaritans' sacrificial service.  Their photos, and other early photographers can be found in the Library of Congress online archives.


"The prepared carcasses
ready for the oven" (1900)


Praying on Mt. Gerizim (1900)


















According to Samaritan officials, the community totals 751 persons.  Here is the breakdown with the first figure showing the number near Nablus (Shechem) and the second number showing the number living in Holon.

On January 1, 2012, the Community numbered 751 persons [353 in Kiryat Luza-Mount Gerizim, Samaria; 398 primarily in Holon in the State of Israel: 396 males [190:206] and 355 females [170: 185].  These included 350 married persons [158:192], 215 unmarried males [104:111], 153 unmarried females [70:83];  7 widowed men [4:3]; 23 widowed women [15:8]; 2 Divorced Men [0:2]; 1 Divorced Woman [0:1].

 
 Color photographs of a recent Passover sacrifice on Mt. Gerizim can be viewed here.

Why Was a Ton of Matza Delivered to the US Army's 77th Division in France during World War I?
Special Passover Feature

A version of this article appears in today's Jerusalem Post Magazine
Original caption: "Packing shipment of Matzoths [i.e. matzos] for the 77th Division for
men of Jewish faith in the A.E.F. [American Expeditionary Force] for the Passover Holiday,
 at Warehouse #40, Q.M.C. Depot, St. Denis  [France] / Signal Corps. U.S.A."
(April 9, 1919, Library of Congress)
The Jewish tradition of eating matza (unleavened bread) on Passover is so profound that the armed services of several countries provide Passover supplies to their soldiers even at the front. That's the practice in Israel, for sure, but the archives of several libraries provide pictures of Jewish soldiers observing Passover in the British and American armies during World War I, almost 100 years ago.

The Jewish Legion soldiers of the British army celebrating Passover
in Jerusalem in 1918. (Harvard Library/Central Zionist Archives)


But when we saw the picture above of perhaps a ton of matza sent to American forces in France we wondered why so much was required.

Thanks to the archivists at the Library of Congress' Prints and Photographs Division for acceding to our request and digitizing and publishing online the photograph above.  


The 77th Division and the "Lost Battalion"

The 77th Division was made up of draftees from the New York City area, one of the first draftee units deployed in combat in World War I.  They assumed the name of the "Metropolitan Division" or the "Statue of Liberty Division." Many of the men had lived a tough hardscrabble life on the streets of New York, perhaps a factor in their surviving a hard-fought battle in the Argonne Forest in October 1918 where the Division's "Lost Battalion" was surrounded by German troops and held out for a week without food and water.  In a 2001 film about the "Lost Battalion," the men were described as Irish, Italian, Jewish, and Polish "gangsters."

Of the battalion's 550 men, almost 200 were killed and 150 were captured or missing.

A Jewish chaplain, Rabbi Lee J. Levinger, served in France during World War I and wrote that the 77th Division had "thousands" of Jewish soldiers -- for whom the matza in the picture was intended.
Patch of the 77th Division

Levinger described several incredible moments in his memoir:
The great event of my service in Le Mans was our Passover celebration on April 14th, 15th and[77] 16th, 1919. The general order for Passover furloughs read:
"Where it will not interfere with the public service, members of the Jewish faith serving with the American Expeditionary Forces will be excused from all duty from noon, April 14th, to midnight, April 16th, 1919, and, where deemed practicable, granted passes to enable them to observe the Passover in their customary manner."
The full program included a Seder, four services, a literary program, a vaudeville show, a boxing  exhibition, two dances and a movie.... But certainly the most popular of all was the Seder. The soup with matzah balls, the fish, in fact the entire menu made them think of home. We held the dinner in an army mess hall, standing at the breast-high tables. The altar with two candles and the symbols of the feast was at the center of the low-roofed unwalled structure. Toward evening the rain, so typical of winter in western France, ceased; the sun came out, and its last level rays shone directly upon Rabbi Kaufman and his little altar. It was a scene never to be forgotten, a feast of deepest joy mingled with solemnity. Afterward we adjourned to the Theatre Municipale for a full religious service with a sermon.
Pvt Krotoshinsky: "You know a Jew finds
strength to suffer...."
During the Argonne Forest battle, the 77th Division's "Lost Battalion" was finally relieved after taking heavy casualties for five days.  Their rescue is often credited to a carrier pigeon that delivered a message to headquarters with their position.  Levinger told a different story:

New York Times, November 5, 1953












Private Abraham Krotoshinsky ... was awarded the D. S. C. [Distinguished Service Cross] for bearing the message which informed the division of the exact location of the unit, and was instrumental in releasing[118] them. Krotoshinsky was an immigrant boy, not yet a citizen, a barber by trade. His own words give the story simply enough:

"We began to be afraid the division had forgotten us or that they had given us up for dead. We had to get a messenger through. It meant almost certain death, we were all sure, because over a hundred and fifty men had gone away and never come back. But it had to be done. The morning of the fifth day they called for volunteers for courier. I volunteered and was accepted. I went because I thought I ought to. First of all I was lucky enough not to be wounded. Second, after five days of starving, I was stronger than many of my friends who were twice my size. You know a Jew finds strength to suffer. Third, because I would just as soon die trying to help the others as in the 'pocket' of hunger and thirst.
"I got my orders and started. I had to run about thirty feet in plain view of the Germans before I got into the forest. They saw me when I got up and fired everything they had at me. Then I had to crawl right through their lines. They were looking for me everywhere. I just moved along on my stomach, in the direction I was told, keeping my eyes open for them.... It was almost six o'clock that night when I saw the American lines. All that day I had been crawling or running doubled up after five days and nights without food and practically nothing to drink.
Then my real trouble began. I was coming from the direction of the German lines and my English is none too good. I was afraid they would shoot me for a German before I could explain who I was.... Then the Captain asked me who I was. I told him I was from the Lost Battalion.[119] Then he asked me whether I could lead him back to the battalion. I said, 'Yes.' They gave me a bite to eat and something to drink and after a little rest I started back again with the command. I will never forget the scene when the relief came. The men were like crazy with joy."
[Note: Later Krotoshinsky moved to Palestine to try his hand at agriculture.  Unable to make a living there, he moved back to New York with his family, but he was still unemployed.  He received a presidential appointment to work in a New York post office.]
Watch "The Lost Battalion" Movie here.
Rabbi Levinger described another incredible event during the fighting:  A soldier in a famous fighting division ... sought a private interview with me. It seems that in the advance on the St. Mihiel sector he had rescued a Torah, a scroll of the Law, from a burning synagogue. Throwing away the contents of his pack, he had wrapped the scroll up in the pack carrier instead, and carried it "over the top" three times since. Now he wanted permission to take it home to give to an orphan asylum in which his father was active. A soldier was not ordinarily allowed to take anything with him besides the regulation equipment and such small souvenirs as might occupy little room, but in this case a kindly colonel became interested and the Torah went to America with the company records.

Click on pictures to enlarge
Responsible archivists and librarians digitize the historic photographic treasures in their institutions.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Rabbi Kook and Mr. Cook -- in Jerusalem on Passover, 1928


Original caption: "Jewish Pilgrims Celebrate Passover in Jerusalem, 1928." (Harvard Library/
Central Zionist Archives)
The Harvard Library/Central Zionist Archives collection provides a series of pictures from 1928, all captioned "Jewish Pilgrims Celebrate Passover in Jerusalem."

No other information is provided, but we can deduce quite a bit.

The picture above shows the Chief Rabbi of Palestine, Abraham Isaac Kook, delivering a Torah discourse to a large audience.  Where? Quite possibly near his home between Jerusalem's Prophets Street and Jaffa Road. While women are sitting separately from the men, the audience is most certainly not an ultra-Orthodox crowd.  With their heads covered, they are more likely a religious Zionist grouping.  Their holiday dress suggest that it either the Passover holiday or the Sabbath of Passover.


Where are the pilgrims heading?  They appear to be walking in the area of Prophets Street.  There seems
to be a commotion in the back of the march, with men turning to see what happened. We welcome
suggestions from readers. (Harvard Library/Central Zionist Archives)





















The next picture shows the pilgrims' destination -- the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City.  The crowd entered the Old City through Jaffa Gate and is streaming into the shuk at the end of David Street on the way to the Kotel.  The Thomas Cook travel office was a prominent landmark already prior to 1898 and could be seen in the last picture on this page.

The crowd entering the Arab shuk of Jerusalem's Old City. (Harvard Library/Central Zionist Archives)
 
David Street, inside the Jaffa Gate of Jerusalem's Old City. The picture appears to have been taken prior to 1898
when the moat on the right was filled in and the road widened to allow entry of the German emperor. 
(Credit: Keystone-Mast Collection, California Museum of Photography at UCR ARTSblock, University of California, Riverside)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Celebrating Passover in the Holy Land 100 Years Ago

"National Passover Party" in Rehovot, 1900.  The march of the students of
the Gymnasium (school) in Jaffa. (Harvard/Central Zionist Archives)

Passover in Israel is marked by two weeks of school holidays, tourist visits, hikes into nature preserves, and special programs at museums, amusement parks, and theaters.

So it was 100 years ago, as well.


Three women riding on a camel at Passover celebration in Rehovot
(Harvard Library/Central Zionist Archives, 1912)
Rehovot, south of Tel Aviv and established in 1890, was the site of a national fair during Passover in the early 20th century.  Photographs and even an early film show Jews flocking to the town for amusement and sports competition.  Note the Turkish flag in the video.

The same photo of three women riding on a camel appears elsewhere in the Harvard Library as "Visitors at the camel and donkey show in Rehovot," dated from the 1920s. The 1912 date is probably more accurate and explains the armed guard -- possibly Turkish.  Rehovot was the target of  attacks by Arab marauders in the early 20th century.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Who Ever Heard of a Jewish "Mukhtar*," and in Tiberias, no less.
The story of the Varhaftig-Amitai family over the generations

The "Mukhtar" and the Varhaftig-Amitai family of Tiberias, 1917
*Mukhtar means "chosen" in Arabic and refers to the head of a
village in many Arab countries and Turkey.
Morris Amitay of the Washington DC area sent this picture of his Tiberias ancestors in 1917.  He wrote:

The picture was taken in 1917 before the Turks fled Palestine and Allenby marched in. The old man in the middle was my father’s grandfather – and the “mukhtar” of the Ashkenazi community in Tiberias appointed by the Turks. His wife is alongside, and my dad’s sister is in front.

The “Alter Mukhtar” was Alter Pinchas Elazar, and the family name was gradually being changed at the time from Varhaftig to Amitai [later to Amitay]. His wife was Freidl and his granddaughter (my father’s sister) was Sara. In the back row from left to right is Yehoshua, Yona, Asher, Yitzhak and Leibl.  Note the diversity of my father's uncles! A Turkish soldier, Chasid, two Turkish businessmen (fez and all), and one perhaps "Modern Orthodox."
Gravestone of Ya'akov Moshe Varhaftig in Tiberias (source:
Morris Amitay).  Nava Safrai's family history explains that
he was a pharmacist who died in a cholera epidemic. He
saved many during the epidemic, Safrai writes.


One son, Amitay's grandfather, Ya'akov Moshe, passed away in 1902.  A tombstone on his grave reads:

Here is buried the young Talmud scholar (avrech), our dear grandfather Ya'akov Moshe Varhaftig-Amitai, son of Alter Pinchas Eliezer, mukhtar, grandson of Avraham Peretz Moshe, died 2 Heshvan 5663 (November 2, 1902).

The "Alter Mukhtar" of Tiberias, Pinchas
Elazar Varhaftig-Amitai, 1916. (Source:
Morris Amitay)





Morris Amitay wrote that his father was proud of his "family's origins in 'Palestine' in 1777."  Research done by one of Amitay's cousins reports, "The Varhaftigs originated from Slonim, (near Minsk and Vilnius) in Lithuania. They departed February, 1777 for Palestine via Turkey, arriving six months later in Acco. They settled in Safed until 1781, and then  moved to Tiberias."  According to another family account published in Israel by Nava Safrai, a granddaughter of Sara from the 1917 picture, the Varhaftigs arrived in 1808 from Pinsk.  

A wave of Hassidic "aliya" to Eretz Yisrael took place in the latter part of the 18th century and early 19th century, including the son of the "Karliner Rebbe."  The Varhaftig family belonged to the Karliner Hassidic group, and one member of the family, Mordechai Wolf, traveled to Tzfat to visit a leading Karliner rabbi in 1837.  A catastrophic earthquake hit, destroying much of Tzfat and killing Mordechai Wolf.

Alter Pinchas Amitai (born 1851) was appointed the "Mukhtar" (village elder) of Tiberias in 1891 by the Turks.  According to Safrai, the "Alter Mukhtar" was forced from the position in 1915 by the Turks because of his forging documents to help Jews avoid the Turkish draft. 

Note that one son in the 1917 family portrait was a Turkish soldier or policemen, perhaps precisely because of his father's experience with the Turkish authorities.

We also present an 1886 picture of Tiberias, part of our photo essay on Jewish life in the Galilee town. We uncovered this picture in the photo archives of the University of Dundee Medical School.

Patients waiting outside of the Scottish Mission hospital in Tiberias, 1886. (Torrance Collection)
Postscript:  Morris Amitay, a descendant of Tiberias Jews, was a senior aide to U.S. Senator Abe Ribicoff of Connecticut.  The only other Jewish senator at the time was Jacob Javits of New York.  Javits' mother, Ida Littman, was originally from Tzfat, not far from Tiberias.  Amitay went on to head the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Celebrating Passover in Jerusalem 95 Years Ago with the Jewish Legion -- Part 1 -- Updating a previous posting

Updating earlier postings which appeared here and here.

The British army captured Jerusalem from the Turks in December 1917 and continued their Palestine campaign for another year until the capture of Damascus. Meanwhile, the Jewish Legion, consisting of Jewish volunteers, sat in Cairo chafing at the bit to join the fight in Palestine.  They finally joined Allenby's forces in June 1918 and fought against the Turks in the Jordan River Valley.

Jewish soldiers of the British army celebrating Passover in Jerusalem in 1919. (Harvard 
Library/Central Zionist Archives)  The photo is signed by Ya'akov Ben-Dov who moved to
Palestine in 1907 from Kiev. He was drafted into the Ottoman army during World War I and
served as a photographer in Jerusalem.  Ben-Dov filmed Allenby's entry into Jerusalem in 1917
The Jewish battalions of the Jewish Legion were manned by volunteers from Palestine, Europe, the United States and Canada, soldiers stirred by the call to action by Zionist leaders Zev Jabotinsky and Yosef Trumpeldor.  Colonel John Henry Patterson, the unit's first commanding officer, described the Legion:

Recruiting poster for Jewish soldiers
(Library of Congress)
"The Jewish Legion was the name for five battalions of Jewish volunteers established as the British Army's 38th through 42nd (Service) Battalions of the Royal Fusiliers. The initial unit, known as the Zion Mule Corps, was formed in 1914-1915 during World War I, when Britain was at war against the Ottoman Turks, as Zionists around the world saw an opportunity to promote the idea of a Jewish National Homeland."
Enlargement from the picture above. Who is the rabbi?













Read more about Colonel Patterson and the Jewish Legion at The Seven Lives of Colonel Patterson: How an Irish Lion Hunter Led the Jewish Legion to Victory.


Jewish soldiers -- their headgear and uniforms suggests they are from from various units -- celebrating 
Passover at the British Jewish Soldiers Home in Jerusalem, 1919 (Harvard Library/Central Zionist Archives)
Father and daughter?

Note the soldier in the front, possibly an officer, with a child on his lap and a young boy behind him. 

We invite readers to respond if they can identify any of the soldiers in the photos.  

The following picture is dated Passover 1918.  The uniforms and hats are even more varied and include Australian bush hats and Scottish tams.

Jewish soldiers from various British units celebrating Passover in
Jerusalem, 1918.  (Harvard Library/Central Zionist Archives)

Jewish soldiers in the British army in Jerusalem for Passover, 1919 (Harvard Library/Central Zionist Archives)
Hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of Jewish men from Canada and the United States volunteered to fight in the British Army's Jewish Legion to liberate the Holy Land.


The caption on this Wikipedia photo reads "Jewish Legion soldiers at the Western Wall after British
conquest, 1917."  Was the photo taken in 1917 after the British captured the city in December, in
 which case this was a group of Jewish soldiers from various  units, or after June 1918 when the
Jewish Legion was first dispatched to Palestine?

View American volunteers from the British army's Jewish Brigade here and here and here