Workers' Bank, Ltd. Reez - Israel ( Palistine ) 1924 - Established by Histadrut

Workers' Bank, Ltd. Reez - Israel ( Palistine ) 1924 - Established by Histadrut

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Workers' Bank, Ltd. Reez - Israel ( Palistine ) 1924 - Established by Histadrut

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Beautifully engraved certificate from the Workers' Bank, Ltd. issued in 1924. This historic document has an ornate border around it with an embossed red seal with the Star of David. This item is hand signed by the Company’s Secretary and is over 78 years old. This is the first time we have had this certificate. In Israel, the Histadrut was established to promote trade union organization in a non-political basis and to undertake activities in land settlement, work contracts, the improvement of working conditions and productivity, vocational training, co-operative trading and mutual aid, defence, the reception of immigrants and promotions of pioneer immigration from abroad, and the promotion of Hebrew language and culture. All institutions of the political parties hitherto operating in these spheres were to be transferred immediately to the jurisdiction of the Histadrut. It was resolved to establish a workers' bank to finance the movement's operations. At that time the penurious pioneers were unable to provide revenue for the functioning of the organization. The Workers' Bank was successfully established with the aid of a loan from the Zionist Organization and the sale of shares to sympathizers abroad. In its first years the organization was unable to support a full-fledged bureaucracy and was conducted by an informal part-time leadership. Ben-Gurion was appointed joint general secretary and he immediately impressed his imprint upon the movement by his contribution, together with Katznelson and others, to the drafting of a definitive constitution. This was completed and ratified in 1923. The first article of the 1923 constitution which remained in force until 1959 when the constitution as a whole was amended and brought up to date, listed the functions of the Histadrut under four main categories of activity: trade unionism on the basis of disciplined organization, economic enterprise on the basis of co-operation; education to be geared to the national integration of new immigrants; and the promotion of social welfare on the basis of mutual aid. As to the fields of education and social welfare, the Histadrut promoted an intricate network of institutions embracing all members and their familiies, thereby implementing to some degree the social vision of a commonwealth of labour responsible for its own fate. Members' children were educated in schools run by the movement and dedicated to transmitting the labour ideology to the rising generation in the medium of modern Hebrew. In the field of social welfare the Histadrut absorbed the sickness fund of the agricultural workers' union founded in 1911 to promote the health of workers, provide them with medical service and insure them against the losses exacted by malaria and the other hazards of pioneering. The constitution now obliged all members to belong to the sickness fund and endowed the Histadrut with general responsibility for the health of the pioneering community.

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