JNF ‘Blue Box’ erases Green Line

Israel/Palestine
on 15 Comments

One theme on the site is the erasure of the green line in Jewish life – both in Israel and the U.S. The green line demarcates Israel’s internationally recognized border at the 1949 armistice line, and its absence on Israeli and American Jewish maps alludes to a broader Jewish claim over Greater Israel.

As I searched for an image today for Allison’s post on the new $1 billion Jewish National Fund fundraising push, I was somewhat surprised to find that most of the iconic JNF blue boxes fail to show the green line. For those not familiar, the JNF blue box is a ubiquitous grassroots donation collection box found in almost any communal mainstream Jewish space, including many homes. The boxes are a bedrock symbol of the Zionist movement, the JNF even claims the first collection box was Theodor Herzl’s hat.

Here’s what the blue box looks like today:

(Photo uploaded in Flickr in 2012 by user Al_HikesAZ)

(Photo uploaded in Flickr in 2012 by user Al_HikesAZ)

Commemorative JNF box used in the 2000s (Photo: Wikipedia)

Commemorative JNF box used in the 2000s (Photo: Wikipedia)

It even makes its way into JNF educational efforts:

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An illustration of “Blue Box Bob,” a JNF mascot.

Blue Box Bob visits the Hebrew Academy of Morris Academy.

Blue Box Bob visits the Hebrew Academy of Morris Academy.

Strangly enough, this box below does include the green line. It is vaguely what I remember the box looking like when I was a kid (in the early 1980s):

(Photo: Flickr/ savtadotty)

(Photo: Flickr/ savtadotty)

The Jewish National Fund’s Israeli website has a photo gallery of blue boxes through the years. This box isn’t there, I wonder when, or where, it’s from?

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