Greetings from Zion, 1885

In 1885, Zeev Kalonymus Wissotzky , visited Palestine. In that year, Wissotzky, who founded the tea company carrying his name in 1849, was already a wealthy and influential man, and was called "the Russian king of tea". He had become a prominent figure in the Hovevei Zion movement and was part of the leadership of the Bilu movement, founded in 1882. In 1885 the movement sent him to Palestine following an argument with the heads of the Jewish Yishuv, regarding the use of funds sent to the Holy Land from the Jewish diaspora. Hovevei Zion thought the money should be spent on founding new Jewish colonies, while the heads of the Yishuv, naturally disagreed. Wissotzky was given the role of touring the land in order to find a way of solving the debate, while keeping everyone happy.
When he arrived, Wissotzky was greatly impressed by the scenery and the immense potential of the country to solve the Jewish problem. While touring Palestine, he met with Jews from Jaffa, and they devised plans to settle Jews in the heart of the Arab cities Gaza, Nablus and Lod. The Gazan  group of potential settlers was the biggest. With Wissotzky's economic support a group of Jews from Jaffa soon left for the city, and by the end of 1886, the Gazan Jewish Yishuv comprised of 30 families. The character of the little colony was very religious. In 1917, this small group of settlers was deported from the city by the Turkish army, together with all other Gazan residents – Muslims, Christian and Jews alike - as the British Army drew near the gates of the city.
The greeting card for Rosh Hashana presented here, was sent by Wissotzky from Palestine during his trip, to Eliyahu Kaplan, a Russian-Jewish merchant who was one of the founders of the Bilu movement. It expresses the awakening of the Jewish pining for the Land of Israel in the late 19th century, even before Herzl appeared on the scene.
ברכת שנה טובה מארץ ישראל - עותק.jpg