Yad Levi Eshkol is a non-governmental organization working to commemorate the life and actions of Levi Eshkol, third Prime Minister of the State of Israel (1963-1969).
Shortly after Prime Minister Eshkol's passing, in 1969 the government approved the formation of a commemorative organization in his honor. Yad Levi Eshkol was founded in April 1970 and headed for many years by Mrs. Miriam Eshkol while its aims and goals were "to gather, sort, list, edit and publish any writings, letters, speeches and documents concerning Levi Eshkol's life and remembrance". Yad Levi Eshkol also holds the Prime Minister's personal archive.
In 2014-16, we have been active in the following fields:
- The maintenance of Levi Eshkol's archive and personal documents - soon to be digitized and copied in cooperation with the State Archive.
- The creation of educational programs and lectures to be offered to the Ministry of Education and other educational bodies. Dozens of activities have been held throughout the country.
- Yad Levi Eshkol's leadership programs have been established. Two classes of leading executives have completed our 4-months program. One international youth exchange program has taken place.
- Supporting the publication of a new biography on Levi Eshkol, focused on his the years 1944 to 1969.
- Cooperating with numerous academic institutes in offering research grants.
- And last but not least, in 2014 we have signed a historic agreement to rehabilitate the residence of Levi Eshkol in his years as Prime Minister and the creation of an interactive visitors' center, in cooperation with the Society for Nature Protection. The opening will take place during the second half of 2016.
Yad Levi Eshkol remains to this day an organization based on the work of volunteers and public funding. If you wish to learn more and join us, please contact us via the following form.
Levi Eshkol served as Prime Minister of the State of Israel for six crucial years, leading Israel during and after the Six Days War.
Born in 1895, he had a traditional Jewish upbringing and enrolled in a Hebrew high school in Vilna at the age of 16. The 18-year-old Eshkol immigrated to the Land of Israel, then part of the Ottoman Empire.aged eighteen, he emigrated to the Ottoman-ruled Land of Israel. He quickly became involved in labor issues and headed the Agricultural Worker's Union. During the years was among the founders of Kibbuz Degania Bet and a member of the national directorate of the Hagana organization. Eshkol was deeply concerned with the promotion of cooperative agricultural development and was an active member in the Zionist Movement, heading its Settelment Commission and represneting the Movement in Germany while overseeing the Haavara operation in which German Jews committed their property to the development of British Palestine.
A long time supporter of ensuring water sources throughout the land, shortly after his return from Germany in 1934 he played a central role in the formation of Mekorot Water Company and served as its director from 1937 to 1951. Simulatenously, he headed the Workers' Council in Tel Aviv and rejoined in 1940 to the national leadership of the Hagana, appointed in 1948 to oversee the formation of the Israel Defense Forces. In 1948-1949 he acted as the first general director of the Ministry of Defense and in 1949-1963 he headed the Settlement Division of the Jewish Agency. Elected to the Knesset in 1951, he served as Minister of Agriculture and Development (1951-1952) and Minister of Finance (1952-1963). In 1963 he replaced David Ben-Gurion as Prime Minister and Minister of Defense. Prime Minister Eshkol passed away while in office, in February 1969.
Levi Eshkol oversaw the foundation and development of Mekorot Water Company, headed the Settlement Division in years of mass immigration and served as Miinister of Finance in crucial years when the Israeli market and society were being shaped. As Prime Minister and Minister of Defense he acted greatly to enhance strategic relations with foreign countries and in preparation of the armed forces and military industries, while also acting to end the military rule over the Arab minority. Following the Six Days War he was a strong supporter in negotiating with enemy states to achieve a peaceful solution and later on oversaw the integration of the new territories economically and socially.