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With yishuv ( Hebrew יִשּׁוּב Jiššūv / Jischūv , German , 'inhabited land, settlement' , also Jischuw ) is used to describe the Jewish population in Palestine before the establishment of the State of Israel .


The term has been used since the Zionist movement of the 1880s for the original Jewish population who lived in Palestine between the first wave of immigration (= first aliyah ) in 1882 and the Palestine War in 1948. It is still used today.


The yishuv is divided into an old and a new yishuv.

Old yishuv

The Jewish population and their descendants who lived in Palestine before 1882 were referred to as the old yishuv.

Since the early Middle Ages, immigrants from Ashkenazi and Sephardic diaspora communities have come again and again to study Jewish law, to fulfill the commandment to live in the land of Israel, but also to find their final resting place here. They adapted their way of life to their oriental environment.

The old yishuv settled mainly in the four holy cities of Judaism in the second half of the 19th century: Safed , Tiberias , Hebron and in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem . Other places were Jaffa , Haifa , Pek'in , Akkon , Nablus , Schefar'am and until 1779 in Gaza .

In the old yishuv there was predominantly great poverty. Many people lived on donations from all over the Jewish world. Already in the pre-Zionist epoch one can find donation boxes of charitable associations for the benefit of the yishuv in many Jewish houses of the diaspora. For their part, people from the yishuv made ritual objects out of olive wood - for example besamim cans , mezuzah and cutting boards , which they offered for sale in the diaspora.

In Jerusalem's old town , the Isaac Kaplan Old Yishuv Court Museum is located on Or-Ha-Haim Street, the Museum of the Old Yishuv.

New yishuv

The new yishuv refers to the Jewish community of Palestine, which arose as a result of the predominantly Zionist-motivated immigration since 1860, mainly from Central and Eastern Europe. It became more and more clear that this wave of immigration was not a continuation of the traditional immigration of small groups and individuals, but rather the beginning of a completely new immigration. This fed the concern and fear of the long-established residents that with each wave of Aliyahs in Eretz Israel a development intensified that was very different from the traditional way of life. It became a very disturbing reality that created a sense of alienation. During this time the terms old and new yishuv are used for the first time . The classification was not made according to the time of immigration, but according to lifestyle.

With each further alija the new yishuv grows.

Members of the new yishuv founded the first quarters of Jerusalem outside the city walls and with the moshavot the first agricultural Jewish settlements in Palestine. In doing so, they laid an important foundation for the establishment of the State of Israel .

Since the new yishuv saw itself as a political movement, it formed structures in Palestine for the organization and administration of the Jewish community, which initially stood alongside the older forms of administration of the Ottoman Empire and later the British mandate administration .

Important organizations were:

The first Knesset was founded in 1903 , and elections to a delegate assembly took place in 1920. The Palestine Office followed in 1908 and the HaSchomer self-defense organization in 1909 . Schools and universities (e.g. the Technion ), workers' organizations, health and cultural services were also founded.

In 1928 the yishuv was officially recognized by the British government.


In 1860 the yishuv in Palestine comprised about 12,000 people. When immigration began in 1880, there were already around 25,000 people.

According to counts by the British military government in 1918, there were 573,000 Arabs (around 10% of them Christians) and 66,000 Jews living in Palestine.

By the time the State of Israel was founded in 1948, the yishuv had grown to around 700,000 people.

From 1914 the old yishuv was in the minority compared to the new yishuv.


Immigration of Hasidim began at the end of the 18th century and into the early 19th century . The first organized Hasidic immigration took place in 1764 and was led by students of Ba'al Shem Tov , the founder of Hasidism. They settled in Tiberias, Safed, Hebron and Jerusalem and established the tradition of the four holy cities of Judaism.

In 1808 the Peruschim , the students of the Gaon of Vilna , an opponent of Hasidism, organized an aliyah and founded a community in Jerusalem.

In 1830 a wave of immigration from Germany, the Netherlands and Hungary began.

In 1834 there were pogroms in Hebron and Safed in connection with the Egyptian-Ottoman war

During the 19th century, thousands of Jews immigrated from oriental countries such as Turkey, North Africa, Iraq, Persia, Bukhara, Kurdistan, Afghanistan, the Caucasus and Yemen, which marked the arrival of the Messiah for the year 5600 Jewish calendar (1840). expected. In 1840, Jews were the largest group in Jerusalem. The conquest of Syria by Muhammad Ali Pascha brought relief for the Jewish population. B. the permission to rebuild the buildings in Safed and Tiberias that were destroyed in an earthquake in 1837.

The Crimean War (1853-1856) offered the opportunity to achieve better protection of Christian sites and Christians in Palestine under the Ottoman Empire . In the following years, Russia and France in particular developed into Christian protective powers . During this time, many Christian associations for the acquisition of land in the Holy Land were founded.

1857: The Italian Jew Sir Moses Montefiore , who lived in London , had an eighteen-meter-high windmill with a small settlement of twenty houses built outside the city walls of Jerusalem, thus creating an important livelihood for the Jewish population.

1903: Establishment of a predecessor organization of the Knesset .

1908: Palestine Office to promote the immigration of Jews and their settlement in Palestine.

For the development after 1917 see: League of Nations Mandate for Palestine .


  • Ron Kuzar: Yishuv. In: Dan Diner (Ed.): Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture (EJGK). Volume 3: He-Lu. Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2012, ISBN 978-3-476-02503-6 , pp. 199-203.
  • Georg Lubinski: Who should lead the yishuv? [before the Assefat Haniwcharim elections] Miflegeth Poale Erez Israel, Department for the Olim from Central Europe, [ s. l. , Palestine] 1944, DNB 992558255 , urn : nbn: de: 101: 1-2014011111735 (digitally stored at the German National Library , can only be viewed in the reading room; later author's name in Israel: Giyora or Giora Lotan)

Web links

Commons : Yishuv  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Yishuv  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. According to Kuzar, pp. 202 f., Abraham Isaak Kook used the term.
  2. a b c d Joel Berger : "What I always wanted to know ..." Glossary with terms from Judaism. Yishuv (Hebrew). (No longer available online.) In: Zentralratdjuden.de. Central Council of Jews , January 29, 2016, archived from the original on May 27, 2016 ; Retrieved on March 30, 2019 (Volume 16, No. 1 / 19. Schwat 5776).
  3. The Isaac Kaplan Old Yishuv Court Museum. Israel Museums Authority website, accessed April 27, 2020. -
    The Museum of the Old Yishuv in Jerusalem. Sights in the old city of Jerusalem. In: theologische-links.de, January 12, 2012, accessed on May 1, 2017.
  4. In the Promised Land. Different views on the Hebrew language. In: jafi.jewish-life.de, accessed on July 14, 2018.
  5. Thomas Philipp : The Palestinian Society at the time of the British Mandate. Federal Agency for Civic Education , accessed on July 14, 2018.