The Valero Bank

The first Hebrew bank , 1848-1915


The exhibit deals with the banking activities that took place in the Jewish Yishuv in Jerusalem in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Financial documents, shares, bonds, bills, checks and other documents will be on display. Today, when shares are simply recorded on the computer, it is hard to imagine the work that was invested in planning share certificates that were issued in those distant times. They incorporated decorations and motifs that carried an ideational and Zionist message.

Jakob Valero, who founded the first Jewish financial institution in Palestine, opened his bank in 1848. It served mainly as a conduit for transferring monies that supported the Jewish community in Palestine, also on behalf of the Pekidim and Amarkalim [Clerks and Administrators] in Amsterdam which was the chief European body that engaged in raising donations for the residents of the country and the kolelim( Jewish communities in Palestine that received financial support from the halukkah fund]. The bank also provided services for the Ottoman government and carried out financial transactions with numerous banks in Palestine and throughout the world, among them banks that belonged to the Rothschild family.


Curator: Cecilia Meir