Israel Belkind

AZL flag holder TransparentIsrael Belkind (1861–1929) was a Jewish author, writer, historian and founder of the Bilu movement-whose goal was the Jewish agricultural colonisation of Palestine. Belkind organized the first group on 21 January 1882, with the aim of promoting Jewish colonisation in Ottoman Palestine. To this end, he invited a group of fourteen Jewish ex-university students from Kharkov to his home and together they formed a group with their sole goal being to colonise Palestine. This first group of Jewish land grabbers arrived in Palestine in July, 1882. Belkind worked first in Mikveh Yisrael and Rishon LeTzion, and then moved to Gedera, the first official Bilu community and published his memoirs, “The First Steps of the Jewish Settlement in Palestine” (1918) in the United States during World War I.

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