Skip to Main Content

Al-Nakba: 1948 Palestinian Exodus: Jewish Immigration

The guide was created in support of The Palestinian Oral History Archives Project at AUB Libraries. The guide focuses on the various aspects of historiography of 1948 Palestinian Nakba and highlights selective library resources, projects and websites.

First Aliyah: 1882-1903

Took place in late 1800s and prior to political Zionism. Immigrants arrived mainly from Russia and Yemen.

Immigrants from Russia arrived in two waves

  • The first wave followed pogroms in Russia (1881-1882)
  • The second wave took place from Moscow (1890-1891)                                                                      

In all, nearly 35,000 Jews came to Palestine during the First Aliyah.

Second Aliyah: 1904-1914

Took place prior to World War One. Immigrants arrived mainly from Russia and the majorities were single and young.

At this stage immigrants established the first kibbutz (Degania 1909) and revived the Hebrew language.

In all, 40,000 Jews immigrated during the Second Aliyah

Third Aliyah: 1919-1923

A continuation of the Second Aliyah which was interrupted by the First World War.

Immigrants were mainly young pioneers from Russia and Poland. British Occupation of Palestine and Balfour Declaration triggered the Third Aliyah.

Approximately 40,000 Jews arrived in Palestine and relatively few returned to their countries of origin.

Fourth Aliyah: 1924-1928

Immigrants arrived mainly from Poland, Russian, Romania, and luthuania. most immigrants were from middle class.

This wave was the result of the economic crisis and anti-Jewish policies in Eastern Europe as well as the restrictive immigration quota of the United States.

In all, the Fourth Aliyah brought 82,000 Jews to Palestine

Fifth Aliyah: 1929-1939

Began after the 1929 Palestine riots and ended with the beginning of the World War Two.

Bring Jewish immigrants mainly from Germany. Majority of these immigrants were professionals (engineers, doctors, etc.)

The Fifth Aliyah becomes a massive immigration between the years 1933 and 1935 when Hitler rose power in Germany.

By 1940, nearly 250,000 Jews had arrived to Palestine

Aliyah Bet: 1939-1948

Illegal immigration resulting of severe restrictions that Britain imposed on immigration of Jews.

This illegal immigration started in 1934, continued in World War Two and concluded in 1948.

It is estimated that between 1939 and 1948 around 110,000 Jewish immigrants had participated in Aliyah Bet.

Chronology of major events on Jewish Immigration from 1878 to 1946

1878 First modern Zionist agriculture settlement of Petach Tiqwa established.

Turkish regulation restricting Jewish immigration to Palestine.

Baron Edmond de Rothschild of Paris starts financial backing for Jewish settlement in Palestine.

First waves of Jewish Immigrants (1882-1903).

1896 Jewish Colonization Association founded in 1891 in London by German Baron Maurice de Hirsh who starts aiding Zionists settlement in Palestine.
1901 Establishment of Jewish National Fund. Charged with the task of fundraising for the purpose of Acquiring a land to be inalienably Jewish and employing exclusively Jewish labor.
1904 Second wave of Jewish immigrants (1904-1914).
1909 Establishment of the first kibbutz, based exclusively on Jewish Labor.
1919 Third wave of Jewish immigrants (1919-1923).
1924 Fourth wave of Jewish immigrants (1924-1928).
1930 Hope - Simpson Report on land settlement, immigration and development in Palestine. The report concluded that there is no sufficient agricultural land for substantially increased number of Jewish settlers.
1939 MacDonald White Paper restricts Jewish land purchases and immigration to Palestine.
1940 Land transfers regulations, suggested by 1939 White Paper enter into force.

N. B. 60,000 Jewish immigrants entered Palestine between the years 1940 and 1945, including 20 to 25,000 who entered the country illegally.
1945 Ernest Bevin issues White Paper announcing continued Jewish immigration into Palestine after exhaustion of 1939 White Paper quota.
1946 Anglo-American Committee recommended admitting 100,000 Jewish refugees into Palestine.


Scroll Down

Search the library Library Catalog to find books on Jewish emigration and immigration into Palestine.

Selected Titles