Elections for the Jewish National Council, 1931
This poster encourages the residents of Safed to vote in the elections for the National Council (Va'ad Leumi). In the poster, the National Council suggests that residents would benefit from a municipal body that would represent them and protect them, their property, and the peace and order of the city. This, they claim, would modernize the ancient city, bringing into the present and future.
The poster is signed by some of the members of the National Council's executive. It is interesting to note that Henrietta Szold is the only woman on the list. Henrietta Szold was the first woman to serve on the executive board. Although the poster is not dated, it is likely to have been printed in 1931, as that was the year during which Henrietta Szold was a member of the executive board.
In her role on the National Council, Henrietta Szold served as the head of social welfare. She established local offices for social affairs in all the local councils funded by the National Council, and oversaw the training and competence of all social workers. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services continues her legacy today.
The Jewish National Council was established in 1920 as the representative body of the local Jewish community in Palestine during the time of the British Mandate. It dealt with external affairs such as relations with the local Arab population, connections with the Jewish Agency, and dealings with the British government and later became involved with internal affairs of the Yishuv as well, such as education, social welfare, health, culture, and even internal security and defence. The Jewish National Council laid the groundwork for the establishment of the first Knesset.
Read more about the Jewish National Council here.
This poster could be used in Jewish History/Israel Studies classes when discussing pre-state Jewish leadership. It could also be used in Citizenship Studies when discussing politics and the role of women. Hebrew teachers could use this poster to introduce the use of persuasive language.
What was the Jewish National Council? What did it do?
Where is Safed? Look it up on a map of Israel or on Google Earth.
Why was the National Council asking people to vote?
What is interesting about the signatories on the bottom of the poster?
Look up one of the people who signed the poster. What, in your opinion, was their most important contribution to the Yishuv (the pre-state Jewish population in Israel)?
Why is Henrietta Szold’s name on this poster? What was her role in the National Council?
The Jewish National Council Poster to the Jews of Safed
Today you are required to rejuvenate the historical city of Safed by introducing public order and discipline into the Jewish community living in the city and by voting for a community council.
Come to the elections
The Jewish National Council
Rav Moshe Ostrovsky
Dr A. Katznelson