The Birth of the Israel Health Care System: An American Mother and a Russian Father Academic Article uri icon


  • In 1920, there was a meeting in Palestine, which was then under British rule, between Dr. De Sola Pool, who was manager of American philanthropic funds for the Jewish community in Palestine, and Abraham Hartsfeld, a representative of Kupat Holim-the Hebrew Workers' Sick Fund 1. They had a stormy discussion about the amount of funding to be allocated for the provision of health services to the workers. In the course of the dispute, Dr. De Sola Pool lost his temper and slapped Mr. Hartsfeld. This incident caused great indignation and led to an immediate response: a boycott of the American organizations active in the field of health services in the country. The workers demanded the removal of the American Zionist Medical Unit under Dr. Isaac Rubinow's direction. 2 The Medical Unit had been working in Palestine under the auspices of the Women's Zionist Organization of America (Hadassah) and was …

publication date

  • January 1, 2002

published in