November 29, 1947 is a key moment in Jewish history. On that day the United Nations General Assembly approved Resolution 181, the Partition Plan for Palestine. The plan called for the establishment of separate states for Arabs and Jews in Palestine after the expiration of the British Mandate in May 1948.

The video above tells (it’s short) tells the story of the vote. It is easy to forget how impossible it seemed that the state of Israel would exist, how utterly unthinkable it was that the Jews would re-enter history. Listening to the voices of the people who were there–ordinary people who accomplished extraordinary things–reminds us that no matter how critical or cynical we may have become, people really can change the world.