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The Second Aliyah

palestine, 1904-1914


The Second Aliyah proved to be a more consequential wave of immigration than the First, running from the beginning of the 1900s up to World War One in 1914. The Second Aliyah brought some 40,000 Jews into Palestine. As with the First Aliyah, most would end up leaving, some after just a few weeks. But those who stayed became the leaders of the Yishuv, building the institutions that would transform the land and turn the Jewish national homeland into the State of Israel. 

The Second Aliyah brought in high-minded bourgeois European Jews looking to recreate the urban European landscapes that they took for high culture and elite intellectualism. So they began building cities like Tel Aviv. But mostly the Second Aliyah brought in immigrants to work the land. They took socialism and merged it with hard labor, and they created Israel’s perhaps most famous institution: the kibbutz.