Shavuot during the British Mandate

June 3, 2022 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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In preparation for the Shavuot celebration, the Keren Kayemet LeIsrael – Jewish National Fund has published unique photographs of the first Shavuot celebrations throughout the Land of Israel, during the British Mandate and in the early years of Israel.

Shavuot commemorates the revelation of the Torah on Mt. Sinai to the Jewish people and occurs on the 50th day after the 49 days of counting the Omer. It is the second of the three festivals in which the children of Israel would immigrate to Jerusalem.

This day marks the beginning of the first fruits season in special costumes among them processions and dance circles. Back in the day, Shavuot was celebrated in the streets of the big cities – Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa.

Since the 1920s, KKL-JNF created new content for the celebration of Shavuot, through the Teachers’ Movement for KKL-JNF, expressing the return to the homeland and the growing connection to its land.

In these photos from the KKL – JNF’s photo archive, you can see children in kindergartens bringing Bikkurim –first fruits baskets, girls from Givat Brenner celebrating Shavuot, a procession of Shavuot in horse-drawn carts, and the KKL – JNF’s blue box decorating the basket of first fruits.

Efrat Sinai, director of KKL – JNF’s photo archive said:”Ceremonies featuring the ‘Bikkurim’, the first fruits baskets, were held in the cities and villages all over the country starting from the 1920’s – fruit baskets were brought to the Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael building in Jerusalem, large stages for celebrations were set up in Tel Aviv, and colorful, exciting performances took place on the streets of Haifa. In the KKL-JNF’s Archives, there is a fascinating documentation of the Jewish community in Israel from the beginning of the 20th century.In honor of Shavuot, we are happy to reveal nostalgic photographs of the celebrations in big cities during the British Mandate.”


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