The German (Fifth) Aliyah and the Development of Israel’s Advertising Industry

in Israel Studies Review

This article analyzes the influence of Jewish immigrants on the nascent advertising industry in British Mandatory Palestine. Until a mass wave of immigrants arrived in 1933–1939, local advertising was rather small and undeveloped. Among these immigrants—many of whom arrived from Central Europe, chiefly, Germany (also known as the ‘Fifth’ or ‘German’ Aliyah)—were advertising agents and graphic designers who set up the foundations of professional advertising agencies in Palestine. These new immigrants infused local society with messages championing Western European lifestyles, portraying comfort and aesthetics as ideals to strive for, values that were, in fact, contradictory to the work ethic and socialist ethos of the Yishuv at the time. The lasting mark left by this German Aliyah on the local advertising industry, and later on the State of Israel, can be observed in two main spheres: the structural-functional sphere of the industry and the content-visual sphere of the industry’s creative products.