Shaping the Dream
By the early 1900s, members of Washington’s Jewish community were already working toward the dream of a Jewish homeland.
European and Russian Jews had begun fleeing anti-Semitism and violent pogroms in the late 1800s. A small group made aliyah (immigration to Palestine). As conditions worsened during the early 20th century, increasing numbers settled there.
During World War I, Great Britain’s Balfour Declaration announced support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine. In December 1917, the British captured Jerusalem, ending 400 years of Turkish rule. In Washington, a crowd celebrated on Christmas morning at the Belasco Theater on Lafayette Square. Local chapters of Zionist organizations raised money for Jewish settlement in Palestine.
If you will it, it is not a dream.
Zionism founder Theodor Herzl, 1896