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OBJECT OF THE MONTH – January 2008

Jewish National Fund Alms Box

Accession No. 173.901
Tin with printed facing, Central Europe, early twentieth century
Height: 124 mm

This alms box originally belonged to the Jewish National Fund (Hebrew: Keren Kayemet LeYisrael) (abbreviated as JNF). This fund was founded in 1901 at the Fifth Zionist Congress in Basel for the purpose of buying and developing land for Jewish settlement in what was then Palestine. Having been continually active since its inception, the JNF celebrated its centenary in 2001. At present, the JNF focuses mainly on planting trees in Israel.
At the outset, the JNF used alms boxes of various shapes for collecting donations. It was not long, however, before the round-edged, blue-and-white rectangular box became the standard model. Alms boxes of the same kind featuring the map of Palestineare still in use today.


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