||Call for assembly in the National Bank Hall, 203 Pine Street, on Thursday, December 31 , at 7 PM to hear an urgent letter, freshly arrived, from R. Joshua Leib Diskin (1816-1898) regarding the solicitation of funds for Kollel America. The call is issued in the name of Philadelphia's rabbinate.
Kollel America of Rebbe Meir Ba'al ha-Nes solicited funds for the poor of Erez Israel. Beginning with the 18th century a Rebbe Meir Ba'al ha-Nes charity box was found in almost every Jewish home, and housewives dropped small change into it just before kindling the Sabbath lights. Due to the miraculous deeds connected with the tomb of Rebbe Meir, it was customary to contribute money, candles, or oil for lighting as a specific protection against all kinds of ailments and dangers; it was also done in the hope of finding something lost, of having children, or of driving away evil thoughts. It is clear, however, that the box also symbolized the longing for Erez Israel where the money was distributed through several competitive Kollels.