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Lot 80435
Palestine/Yishuv: "Kofer ha'Yishuv" female donor ring, 1938-1939; size: 1.95cm; weight: 1.95g. Between the years 1938 and 1948 the Jewish community in Palestine (the "Yishuv") instituted a mechanism by which to raise funds for self-defense, and this initiative operated under the name "Kofer Ha'Yishuv" (sometimes translated too directly as the "People's Ransom Fund" and so perhaps it's more accurate to refer to it as the "Community Levy"). Unlike other forms of fundraising by the Yishuv, the "Kofer" was not a voluntary charity but an actual levy imposed on the Jewish residents of Palestine: although the British Mandatory government did impose compulsory taxes, these were relatively light and insufficient for the provision of various services to the Mandate's residents. Until the Arab Revolt of 1936-1939, the Jewish community had raised supplemental funds for areas like education through the issuance of vouchers called "Shekels" - donors who gave money received a "Shekel" token which entitled them to participate in elections to the Yishuv's various bodies. The intensity of the Arab Revolt led to the inception of the "Tower and Stockade" ("Khoma u'Migdal" in Hebrew) settlement movement whereby barricaded Jewish agricultural settlements were created literally with wooden walls and a stockade, for additional protection; the Mandatory government also approved the foundation of special Jewish constabulary services. The constables, known initially as "Supernumary Police" and later as the "Special Police", the "Jewish Settlement Police", the "Special Night Squads" (of Orde Wingate) and even the "Palmach" shock companies formed the core of what came to be known in Hebrew as "Notrim" ("Constables") - or, as a cultural-military movement, the "Notrut". With funds for these settlements and armed branches lacking, the Yishuv instituted the "Kofer ha'Yishuv". In this framework taxes were levied on imports, entertainment events, on drinks at coffee shops - and even as imposed contributions during key Jewish holidays. Evaders faced "honor courts" and the movement as a whole generated a culture of its own with slogans, jingles and informative booklets. In this context, residents were encouraged to donate items of precious metals, under the framework of an initiative called "Matat Takhshitim" ("giving of jewelry"), in exchange for which they would receive a 'token' in return - a ring, a pin, a document. In this regard there were men and women who even donated their wedding rings and so in exchange the Kofer fund gave male and female token rings in return, with the words "Kofer ha'Yishuv" stamped on them. This item is a female ring given in exchange for a donated wedding ring: it bears the words "Kofer ha'Yishuv" in Hebrew along the band, and retains its original clean and shiney silvery appearance.

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Palestine Kofer ha'Yishuv Jewish self-defense fund

Estimate $450 - $840Oct 17
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