Alms Box, Florence, 17th century


This alms box, from the “Matir Assurim” synagogue in Florence, consists of a stone plaque embedded in the wall and divided into a row of individual compartments with wooden doors and a slot above each.
Designated charities appear on each section: maintenance of the synagogue, of an old age home, general charity, lighting (for candles), hospital (for the poor), Jerusalem, and Rabbi Meir Baal haNes (representing the poor of Tiberias). Interestingly, the Jews of Florence distinguished between Jerusalem and Tiberias in collecting for the poor of the Land of Israel.