Palestine Jewish Colonization Association

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The Palestine Jewish Colonization Association (Hebrew: חברה להתיישבות יהודית בארץ־ישראל), commonly known by its Yiddish acronym PICA (Hebrew: פיק"א), was established in 1924. It played a major role in purchasing land and building Jewish settlement in Palestine and later the State of Israel until the association disbanded in 1957.

The Jewish Colonization Association (JCA or ICA) was founded by Bavarian philanthropist Baron Maurice de Hirsch in 1891 to help Jews from Russia and Romania to settle in Argentina.[1][2] Baron de Hirsch died in 1896 and thereafter the JCA began to also assist the Jewish settlement in Palestine.[2] At the end of 1899 Edmond James de Rothschild transferred title to his colonies in Palestine, plus fifteen million francs to the JCA. In 1924, the JCA branch dealing with colonies in Palestine was reorganized by Baron de Rothschild as the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association,[1][3] under the direction of his son James Armand de Rothschild.[4]

After the 1929 Palestine riots, PICA helped to rehabilitate agricultural colonies that had been damaged.[4]

James de Rothschild, who died in 1957, instructed in his will that PICA should transfer most of its land in Israel to the Jewish National Fund.[5] On December 31, 1958, PICA agreed to vest its right to land holdings in Syria and Lebanon in the State of Israel.[6]

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  1. ^ a b Brandeis, 1973, p. 499.
  2. ^ a b Pat Thane, ‘Hirsch, Maurice de , Baron de Hirsch in the Bavarian nobility (1831–1896)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 1 June 2007
  3. ^ Norman, 1985, p. 153.
  4. ^ a b Avneri, 1984, p. 159.
  5. ^ Fishbach, 2003, p. 162.
  6. ^ Fishbach, 2003, pp. 163-164.


  • Avneri, Arieh (1984). The Claim of Dispossession: Jewish Land-settlement and the Arabs, 1878-1948. Transaction Publishers. ISBN 0-87855-964-7
  • Brandeis, Louis Dembitz (1973). Letters of Louis D Brandeis. SUNY Press. ISBN 0-87395-231-6
  • Fischbach, Michael R. (2003). Records of Dispossession. Palestinian Refugee Property and the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-12978-5
  • Norman, Theodore (1985). An Outstretched Arm: A History of the Jewish Colonization Association. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
  • Halbrook, Stephen P. (1981). "The Alienation of a Homeland: How Palestine Became Israel" (PDF). Journal of Libertarian Studies. V (4).

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