PICA (The Palestine Jewish Colonization Association)

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PICA (The Palestine Jewish Colonization Association)

PICA (The Palestine Jewish Colonization Association ), society for Jewish settlement in Palestine, active between 1924 and 1957. In 1923, as a result of the rapid development of his settlement projects in Palestine, Baron Edmond de *Rothschild decided to establish a separate body to achieve his ideal. The new association, headed by his son James, took over from the *Jewish Colonization Association (ica), which had managed the villages assisted by the Baron since 1900. pica was officially recognized by the Mandatory authorities in 1924.

pica founded and assisted Jewish settlement in the moshavot Pardes Ḥannah and Binyaminah, in moshavim such as Naḥalat Jabotinsky, Bet Ḥananyah, Shadmot Devorah, and Sedeh Eli'ezer, and in kibbutzim such as Ashdot Ya'akov, Ma'yan Ẓevi, and Kefar Glickson. It also engaged in swamp drainage (e.g., at Kabarah in 1925), afforestation (at Ḥaderah), stabilization of sand dunes, and agricultural research and modernization. It gave financial support to cultural institutions, including the Hebrew University and the Technion, and developed the industrial enterprises started by Baron de Rothschild, though it always tried in some way to link its efforts in industry with agriculture or land. After 1948 it modernized and expanded the Grands Moulins flour mill, Haifa, and the salt works at Athlit, as well as acquiring shares in Fertilizers and Chemicals, Haifa, and other enterprises. On the death of James de Rothschild in 1957, pica wound up its operations and transferred its considerable property to the State of Israel.

bibliography:

pica, Memorandum and Articles of Association (1924); idem, Memorandum Submitted to the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (1947); idem, Exchange of Letters between Mrs James A. de Rothschild… and Mr. David Ben Gurion… (1958); pica: Ha-Ḥevrah le-Hityashevut ha-Yehudim be-Ereẓ-Yisrael (1957).

[Avital Levy]