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British Banking History Society

Jewish Colonial Trust

The Jewish Colonial Trust was the first Zionist bank, and the brainchild of the founder of the modern Zionist organisation, Dr Theodor Herzl.

The Jewish Colonial Trust was registered in London in March 1899, and it was Dr Herzl who defined its purpose and structure. Its purpose was to act as the financial institution of the Zionist Organisation, and its board of directors consisted of the elected representatives of the Zionist Jewish congregations worldwide.

The Jewish Colonial Trust founded the Anglo-Palestine Company which was duly incorporated as a company in London on 27 February 1902. Its board of directors was virtually identical with that of the Jewish Colonial Trust. The Anglo-Palestine Company was given the main objectives and responsibilities of the Jewish Colonial trust.

In 1931, the Anglo-Palestine Company became the Anglo-Palestine Bank and in 1951 the bank's name was change to Bank Leumi Le-Israel (National Bank of Israel).

The Jewish Colonial Trust is no longer active as a business entity and its purpose now is holding the founders shares and the connection between Bank Leumi Le-Israel and the Zionist Federation.

Click here for a picture of a Jewish Colonial Trust cheque.

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