israeltravelslogcheckprivatetours

Transformed By The Train: Jerusalem’s Bak’a Neighborhood

park-hamesila-1644-965x543

An isolated farming outpost until the arrival of the Jerusalem-Jaffa railway 125 years ago, the area now boasts some of the capital’s most splendiferous buildings.

A few years ago, the Keren Kayemet LeIsrael (Jewish National Fund) introduced the world to a new and different Blue Box. You may remember the old ones: they were blue and white and had Keren Kayemet LeIsrael written on the front in Hebrew. The money you shoved into their slots was sent to the JNF, charged with land reclamation in Palestine.

The idea of purchasing land in Palestine using coins collected in a box was first presented in 1884 by an early Zionist, German Professor Zvi Hermann Shapira. Nothing came of it at the time, but it is said that during the Fifth Zionist Congress in 1901, Theodor Herzl removed his hat and asked delegates to fill it up with money – thus contributing towards the re-establishment of a Jewish homeland in Israel.

In order to raise funds for the KKL, established during that same congress, a bank clerk from Galicia put a box in his desk and wrote on it “Keren Leumit” (National Fund).

The results were so astounding that he suggested Zionist officials use similar boxes in order to collect donations.

Not long afterwards, tin collection boxes known as Blue Boxes in English and “pushkes” in Yiddish began making their way into Jewish homes and communities all over the world.

The pushke factory was located in a gorgeous neighborhood that tourists rarely see and even Israelis often ignore.

Although the neighborhood’s official name is “Geulim” it is known by almost everyone as Bak’a.

derech-beit-lechem-1691-965x543

 

Read the full article over at The Times of Israel

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

facebook
Subscribe to Israel Travels

Follow Latest News and Posts

Testimonials
I feel prompted to write this email to you all and your wonderful company after the tour my daughter and I took with you throughout Israel. From the moment you picked us up, to the time we arrived for our airport departure, I was impressed with the service you delivered. Shmuel is an absolute legend and quite clearly has a real passion for his country and culture and loves to share it with others. His love and knowledge of Israel and the people whom live there is in my mind what made the trip all that it was. Shmuel has left a large impression on me re-igniting a spark inside me that has been slowly smothered by the pressures of living in our fast paced modern society in the United States. During the tour I came to realize the reality of the Bible stories and felt a new connection spiritually. I can’t thank both of you enough for making such a trip so informative to the average person like myself, as I believe it has left me with a new outlook on life and passion to get out there to what is real - our love of Israel, it’s culture and most importantly to have compassion and support for those who care for this great land. Ignorance only comes through a lack of knowledge and people like Aviva and Shmuel makes a big difference. We highly recommend seeing Israel with them, shalom! Yours Gratefully, Christine and Genevieve Ivory





Christine and Genevieve Ivory