Jerusalem Election Announcement, Doar Hayom, 1920
This article entitled “Elections in Jerusalem” was published in the newspaper Doar Hayom on May 5, 1920 and describes the ceremony held to honour the completion of the tally of votes cast for the elected assembly of the Jewish community.
The article expresses the community’s great excitement about the elections. A number of publications were keen to point out that these were the first Jewish elections to be held in Israel and it was therefore a hugely significant moment for the Yishuv (the Jewish population in pre-State Israel). This excitement is reflected in the words of Joseph Meyuchas, then chairman of the regional election committee. He wrote that the election was a historically “sacred” event for which the Jewish People had waited two thousand years.
It is hard to find the exact words to express all the joy that is felt at this moment, a moment which is both national and historic. It is a moment for which the Jewish People have been waiting two thousand years, and we must celebrate openly – Blessed is He who has sustained us and brought us to this moment...
A row of all the vote slips in the next room – a very long line, testifies to the interest that has been shown by the Jerusalem residents … demonstrates their commitment to the nation and to Israel…
Soon we will know the names of the representatives who will begin the actual work of the community…
Jewish History teachers can use this resource to discuss the development of the political infrastructure in Palestine during the period of the British Mandate.
Politics class can use this in discussions about the importance of democracy, and more advanced Jewish Studies classes could contrast the democratic structure of the Yishuv with the political structure suggested by biblical sources.
What is this article about?
Where was the article printed and when?
Reading Between the Lines
What point is the author of the article making?
Who was Joseph Meyuchas? What was his role in the elections?
What did Meyuchas think about the significance of the elections?
Why do you think Meyuchas wrote that this was “a moment for which the Jewish People have been waiting two thousand years”?
Why were there such widespread celebrations after these elections?
“Blessed is He who has sustained us and brought us to this moment.” What is the meaning and relevance of this blessing?
Before the establishment of the State of Israel, during the British Mandate, the Yishuv created the infrastructure for a democratic country.
How does this article demonstrate this?
What other things were being prepared for the new State?
The Assembly of Representatives was the supreme representative body of the Yishuv.
What institution has replaced this institution in the State of Israel?
Have you ever voted in an election? How did you feel?
In 1914 Lord Kitchener was featured in a famous poster asking for volunteers for the army. Design your own poster, based on this, stressing the importance of volunteering.