Keren Hayesod – United Israel Appeal – is the central fundraising organization for Israel throughout the world (except the USA). It operates in 45 countries on every continent through 57 campaigns under the terms of the “Keren Hayesod Law, 5716-1956” passed by the Knesset, in January 1956, and is a duly registered corporation in the State of Israel.
Keren Hayesod (literally “The Foundation Fund”) was established in 1920 at the World Zionist Conference in London and officially registered in Britain a year later. In 1926, the headquarters of Keren Hayesod were moved to Jerusalem.
The resolution creating the organization called on “the whole Jewish people,” Zionists and non-Zionists alike to do its duty through Keren Hayesod. Jewish communities throughout the world established local campaigns under the Keren Hayesod umbrella, often using local names (UIA, UJIA, IUA, CJA, AUJF). Until the establishment of the state, Keren Hayesod financed activities of the yishuv relating to immigration and absorption, settlement, defense, development of water resources and public works. It aided major economic enterprises such as the Palestine Electric Company and the Palestine Potash Company at the Dead Sea. When the country gained its independence, many functions that had been handled by Keren Hayesod were transferred to the Jewish Agency, and Keren Hayesod concentrated on the financing of immigration, absorption and settlement.
According to the Reconstitution Agreement of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Hayesod is one of the three constituent bodies of the Jewish Agency for Israel (along with the World Zionist Organization (WZO) and the Jewish Federations of North America) and provides 20 percent of the representatives on the Board of Governors and the Assembly. Keren Hayesod occupies four places on the JAFI Executive.
The main goals of Keren Hayesod - UIA are the rescue of Jews from areas of distress, aliya and absorption, Jewish continuity and strengthening Israel.