Protesting a society in which women were relegated to the kitchens while men worked the land and built the country, the women who made Aliyah made it their goal to become equal partners in the life of the founding of the state of Israel, the Labor movement and the future of the Jewish people. Pioneering women believed that a women’s Labor Zionist organization would engage immigrant and working women in the Zionist cause and organized the first feminist movement in Palestine; NA’AMAT, formerly Moetzet Hapoelot – The Working Women’s Council.
Rachel Yanait Ben Zvi, one of those women. She worked hard to establish a tree nursery in the middle of the desert, but there was a severe lack of water threatening its existence.
Pioneer Women became a powerful link between women striving to build a life in the homeland and Jewish women in the United States and Canada. Chapters formed in cities across North America. By the 1940s, the organization’s membership exceeded 25,000. At the same time, its goals and outreach grew. In addition to its support for agricultural schools, it provided funding for children’s day care centers, and for vocational training for women seeking to enter the work force.