The World Zionist Organization (WZO) was founded by Theodor Herzl in 1897 for the purpose of creating "for the Jewish people a home in Palestine, secured by public law." The organization is composed of various international groupings represented in its supreme organ, the World Zionist Congress. The Jewish Agency, originally founded under the League of Nations mandate to promote Jewish interests in Palestine, comprises the executive arm of the WZO; since 1948, it has been responsible for the organization, training, and transportation to Israel of all Jews who wish to settle there. The United Israel Appeal ( Keren Hayesod ) is the financial instrument of the Jewish Agency; it recruits donations from world Jewry. The Jewish National Fund ( Keren Kayemet le'Israel ) is devoted to land acquisition, soil reclamation, and reforestation. Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, is also active in Israel; it sponsors the Hadassah Medical Organization, which provides hospital and medical training facilities.
There are numerous cultural and religious societies and organizations. The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities promotes public interest in science and cooperates with foreign academies in research and dissemination of information.
The main labor organization is the General Federation of Labor ( Histadrut ), a large economic complex whose interests include some of the largest factories in the country, an agricultural marketing society ( Tnuva ), a cooperative wholesale association ( Hamashbir Hamerkazi ), and a workers' bank.
An important youth organization is Youth Aliyah, founded in 1934, which has helped to rehabilitate and educate children from all countries of the world. Other national youth organizations include the Israeli Boy and Girl Scouts Federation, National Working Youth Movement of Israel, Orthodox Youth Movement of Israel ( Ezra ), Socialist Youth Movement of Israel, Sons of Akiva Youth Movement of Israel, Tel Aviv University Students' Association, Trumpeldor Covenant Youth Movement of Israel, United Kibbutz Youth Movement of Israel. Young Herut, Zionist Youth Movement, and chapters of the YMCA/YWCA.
First aid services in Israel are organized by the Red Shield of David (Magen David Adom), which cooperates with the International Red Cross. Other international organizations include Defence for Children International, and Amnesty International.