Kofer HaYishuv


The logo of "Kofer HaYishuv"
In the course of the Arab Revolt of 1936-1939 the Jewish settlement’s sense of security was weakened and many in the Yishuv felt that the British were not doing enough to protect them. On 24.7.1938, the Vaad Haleumi, the Jewish National Council, initiated a special fund which aimed to raise the finances necessary to cover the Yishuv’s security needs. The fund was given the name “Kofer  HaYishuv”, literally “The Jewish Settlement Ransom”. The fund raised money by imposing indirect taxes on products and collecting contributions. These taxes were paid by the Jews of Palestine out of their own free will, along with the taxes they paid to the British Mandate. The funds collected were used for security needs, such as the training of soldiers, the establishment of new defense units, the building of fences and fortifications around the settlements, the construction of security routes and the building of “tower and stockade” settlements (Homa UMigdal).
The taxes were imposed on imported products, such as cigarettes, oil, wine, radios and public transportation. A person who paid the tax on a certain product or service received a stamp of Kofer HaYishuv. There were factories that paid the tax in advance and printed the logo of the fund on the packages of their products. In the years of the Second World War, additional taxes, the Emergency Tax and that of the Enlistment and Rescue Fund, were imposed on the Jewish Yishuv in order to support Jewish soldiers who served in the British Army and to help Holocaust survivors. Kofer HaYishuv was abolished on the foundation of the State of Israel.
The papers of Kofer HaYishuv are kept at the CZA and contain much documentation about the activity of the fund, and many posters that were published by it.