The Law of Return was passed in 1950, guaranteeing every Jew around the world the right to return to the Jewish homeland.
Between 1948 and 1952, 648,000 Jews came on aliya to Israel from Eastern Europe, mainly Holocaust survivors, and from North Africa, Yemen, and the Middle East, doubling the population of the young state.
The economic burdens of the first few years forced the government to declare rationing. Minister of Rationing and Trade Dov Yosef distributed ration coupons to all citizens for food, clothing and other necessities.
The 50’s were marked by major development projects in Lachish in the south, and the Jezreal Valley in the north. The huge Huleh Valley land reclamation project was a symbol of the period. The decade was also marked by Fedayeen infiltrator attacks across the Jordanian and Egyptian borders.
Training Department for Women
In the 1950’s, the Ministry of Labor entered into partnership with WIZO and provided part of the financing for the courses in which the Ministry was interested. This partnership continues to the present day in certain courses. Additional vocational courses in pedicure and manicure are given in conjunction with the Ministry of Labor, and diplomas are awarded to graduates by the Ministry.
1950- WIZO begins massive work with new immigrants in the ma’abarot (transit camps), absorbing children into schools and youth villages, hosting families in the homes of WIZO chaverot, raising funds and providing educational and welfare services.
1951- The Equal Rights for Women Law, proposed by WIZO Knesset member Rachel (Cohen) Kagan, is passed. Other laws promoted by WIZO and passed over the years include the Law of Common Property (195l), Law of Inheritance (1965), Grant to Families with Many Children (1965) Alimony Law (1972) and
Insurance of Housewife Against Accidents (1974).
1956- WIZO activist Hannah Levin is elected first female mayor, of Rishon L’tzion. She later serves as Chairperson of WIZO Israel, 1961-1971.
1958- WIZO schools become regional high schools to absorb pupils with adolescent and social problems who continue to live at home. Vocational training and social integration are added to the
1959- WIZO is recognized by the UN as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), and becomes the first Zionist organization to be granted consultative status with ECOSOC. WIZO is granted representation (6 non-voting members) at the World Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency for Israel.educational goals, alongside agricultural training.