Israeli history photo of the week: The fruit of the vine

JPost special feature: A Library of Congress collection of photographs that document Israel before the creation of the state.

Grape picking in Rishon Lezion
Zichron Yaakov workers, 1939
Wine press in Zichron, 1939
Grape-picking in the fields
The Library of Congress has recently digitized a collection of over10,000 photographs, taken by the "American Colony" in Jerusalem, a group ofChristian utopians who lived in Jerusalem between 1881 and the 1940s. Thephotographers returned to the US, and bequeathed their massive collection tothe Library of Congress in 1978. The collection includes Winston Churchill'svisit to Jerusalem, Jewish expulsions from the Old City during Arab riots,and the building of Tel Aviv.
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Wine has always played an important role in Judaism and ancient Israel.Temple libations, religious ceremonies, and meals such as the Pesah Sederand Shabbat Kiddush all required wine. But the production of wine in theHoly Land virtually ceased for 1,000 years after the Islamic conquest in the7th century.
This week's photographs showcase Eretz Yisrael's wine industry throughout the late 1800s and 1900s. In the 19th century, French Baron Edmond de
Rothschild re-established a wine industry in the Holy Land, importing vines and expertise from France. In 1882, Rothschild founded the Carmel Winery
with vineyards, wine presses and wine cellars in Rishon Lezion and Zichron Yaakov.
More photos can be viewed at