P. 104

KKL-JNF is a key entity in Israel with regards to the development of remote and desolate regions. It has engaged all these years in reclamation of lands in the Negev, the mountain region and the Arava, and without a doubt its forestation enterprise has altered the Israeli landscape. KKL-JNF, in coordination with security entities, has placed special emphasis upon regions that are defined as essential to the state's security. In the wake of numerous fires in the fields and forests of the region called the "Gaza Envelope", KKL-JNF firefighters were the first on the scene to extinguish them.
Towards the third decade of the 21st century, KKL-JNF is engaging in planning the demographic shift in the country. The "Israel 2040" Plan aims to grow the outlying areas to an unprecedented degree. The official name of the plan is "Israel Relocation – KKL-JNF Builds the Country of Tomorrow", and it aspires to settle a million and a half Israelis in the Negev and the Galilee.
These are not old methods but rather the establishment of growth engines – Hi-tech centers, scientific campuses, sophisticated development centers as well as the establishment of new urban centers. In order to achieve these objectives, KKL-JNF plans to carry out widespread investment in the worlds of education, employment and settlement.
In its initial decades, financing for the KKL-JNF activities was secured via original campaigns such as the "Blue Box" and the "Gold Book." The "Blue Box" is a tin box less than twenty centimeters in height. Various models of it were created over many years, until a uniform model was designed in 1934, with a map of the Land of Israel and the KKL-JNF's land purchases appearing on its front. Later models of the box displayed more updated maps of the land purchases.
The author of the idea was, as far as we know, a bank clerk from Poland named Haim Kleinman. Shortly after the decision of the Fifth Congress to establish the KKL-JNF, he sent off a letter in German to Die Welt, the newspaper of the World Zionist Organization, and proposed:
In keeping with the saying, 'bit and bitty fill the kitty' and following the Congress resolution [on KKL's founding], I put together an 'Erez Israel box', stuck the words 'National Fund' on it and placed it in a prominent spot in my office. The result has been astonishing. I suggest that like-minded people, and particularly all Zionist officials, collect contributions to KKL-JNF in this way.
Over the following years, the blue box became a must-have item in countless Jewish homes around the world. Small donations that were put in the boxes accumulated in time to large amounts. The idea had "taken" a key place primarily in schools in the Land of Israel and throughout the Jewish World. In schools in the Land of Israel, prior to the establishment of the state, it was customary for each child to bring a donation on Friday, and every month the results were tallied and the best classrooms were determined.
The box constituted not only a tool for collecting donations but also an educational tool, through which the children and teenagers carried out events and ceremonies related to the return of the people of Israel to their land and their settlement in the Land of Israel.

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