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Freier (Née Schweitzer), Recha

FREIER (née Schweitzer), RECHA (1892–1984), founder of *Youth Aliyah. Recha Freier was born in Nordeney, Germany, and became a teacher and scholar of folklore. In 1932 she conceived the idea of Youth Aliyah and founded the first organization for the resettlement and agricultural training of young people in Palestine. After Hitler's rise to power, the idea was endorsed by the Zionist Congress of 1933, and the movement became a large-scale operation. After settling in Palestine in 1941, she founded the Agricultural Training Center for Israel Children for the education of underprivileged children in kibbutz boarding schools. She founded the Israel Composers' Fund in 1958 to foster original musical compositions, and, in 1966, established the Testimonium Scheme, a project aimed at recording major episodes in Jewish history in words and music based on authentic texts. In 1981 she was awarded the Israel Prize. She wrote the texts for two oratorios, Massadah and Yerushalayim. Her book Let the Children Come: The Early History of Youth Aliyah was published in 1961.


Tidhar, 6 (1955), 2668–69.