The Blue Box: More Than a Fundraising Device
Photo: KKL-JNF Photo Archive
Photo: KKL-JNF Archive
The funds raised through the Blue Box (the "pushke," as it was widely known) were an instrument to redeeming the land in Eretz Israel on which the Jewish home was to arise. But the Blue Box was more than just a fundraising device. From the beginning, it was an important educational vehicle spreading the Zionist word and forging the bond between the Jewish People and their ancient homeland.
The Blue Box has changed form many times over the years, and often wasn't even blue. It is a symbol. A symbol of KKL-JNF and its efforts to develop the land of Israel, plant forests, create parks, prepare soil for agriculture and settlement, carve out new roads and build water reservoirs – A symbol of connectedness with the land.
For many people, KKL-JNF's Blue Box is inseparable from their childhood memories. Blue Boxes were placed in every classroom, into which every Friday small coins were dropped. For several decades the Blue Box raised funds for environmental goals, though over time its status whittled away until it disappeared from the Israeli scene. The Blue Box was reinstated after the Second Lebanon War. Giant Blue Boxes designed by the finest Israeli artists were exhibited on Tel Aviv's Rothschild Boulevard where the public was invited to contribute to rehabilitating Israel's northern forests which had been destroyed in the war. Isrotel Hotels also took part in the effort with a large donation and awarded a tree planting certificate to every guest in each of its hotels.