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OBJECT OF THE MONTH – December 2008

Alms box for the poor in the Holy Land

Alms box for the poor in the Holy Land Alms box, Inv. No. 173.897
Tin, Bohemia, late 19th century
Height: 148 mm

Charity has always played an important role in Jewish societies, as can be seen today from the many alms boxes and dishes that have been preserved. Charities were involved either in general philanthropy or on an ad hoc basis. Alms boxes of various materials and shapes were used for collecting donations and were kept in public spaces, usually in the synagogue lobby. The purpose of the alms box is usually inscribed on its surface; the item on display was used to support the poor in what was then Palestine. Judging by the Hebrew-Czech inscription and the specified purpose of the donation, this item probably dates from the late 19th century.


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