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Youth Aliyah: Movers and Shakers, Educators, and Pupils

By accepted estimate, Youth Aliyah has taken in more than 300,000 adolescents and children over the years and placed them in the hands of teachers, caregivers, and counselors. If so, hundreds of thousands of Israel citizens have a Youth Aliyah chapter in their biographies—either as hosts or as the hosted.

Several of Youth Aliyah’s founders are fondly remembered: Recha Freier, the initiator; Henrietta Szold, the first director; and Siegfried Lehmann, who established Ben Shemen Youth Village—the role model for all the rest. Within the cramped confines of this site, we cannot tell the stories of all the executives, educators, and caregivers in Israel and abroad who arranged the youngsters’ resettlement in Israel, served many of them as surrogate parents, and helped them to negotiate the difficulties of acculturation safely. They taught their charges, educated them, and, in the main, helped them to form an Israeli identity.

Similarly but from the other side of the desk, we can mention only a handful of the hundreds of thousands of youngsters who found shelter with Youth Aliyah. They came from the four corners of the earth over a period of years, and each and every one of them has a fascinating story to tell. Youth Aliyah alumni are integrated in all walks of Israeli life, including the social elites: intellectuals, actors, singers, artists, politicians, senior army officers, etc.

We urge you, Youth Aliyah staff and pupils from all periods, and your families, to add your stories and photographs to this site and help us build a broad and diverse information base that will tell the Youth Aliyah story.


Dr. Samuel Spiro 1885–1960
Dr. Samuel Spiro 1885–1960
Dr. Spiro established the Youth Aliyah medical service & directed it
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Recha Freier 1892–1984
Recha Freier 1892–1984
Conceived the idea of bringing organized groups of Jewish youth to kibbutzim
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Henrietta Szold 1860–1945
Henrietta Szold 1860–1945
The first director of Youth Aliyah, established the Zionist women's organization Hadassah
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Hans Beyth 1901–1947
Hans Beyth 1901–1947
The right hand of Henrietta Szold & Youth Aliyah director 1945-47
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Dr. Siegfried Lehmann
1892–1958
Dr. Siegfried Lehmann <BR/> 1892–1958
The founder and first director of Ben Shemen Youth Village.
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Moshe Kol (Kolodny)
1911–1987
Moshe Kol (Kolodny) <BR/>1911–1987
Moshe Kol headed Youth Aliyah for 20 years.
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Reuven Feuerstein 1921–
Reuven Feuerstein 1921–
Formulated diagnostic methods for youth with special needs
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Pictures and Documents
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