In September, 1882, the Baron met with Rabbi Shmuel Mohliver, one of the leaders of the Hibbat Zion (Lovers of Zion) movement, who led a project, together with Yechiel Brill, the editor and publisher of the Hebrew newspaper Ha-Levanon, to create an agricultural colony in Eretz Israel. Their initiative led to the creation of the Mazkeret Batya colony.
Some weeks after the meeting with Rabbi Mohliver, Yosef Feinberg, the representative of the pioneering Rishon le-Zion village, turned to the Baron de Rothschild to request financial assistance to help dig its first well and support poverty-stricken families and to send a gardener (agronome, as it was called then). The Baron agreed to help, and in November 1882 sent the gardener of Mikveh Israel to advise the village. He extended further aid to the village with a grant of 30,000 francs. The Baron requested that his name not be mentioned publicly, and promised to expand his support on condition that the settlers of Rishon le-Zion accept another 10-15 families in the village.
A short time afterward Zadok Kahn, Chief Rabbi of France, informed the Baron of the dire condition of the residents of Zamarin (which eventually became the village of Zikhron Ya'akov). The Baron assisted them and added the colony to the roster of settlements under his protection.
Thus, from 1882 onward, the Baron became ever more involved in the renewed Jewish settlement in Eretz Israel, eventually earning the honourary title 'the Renowned Benefactor'.