Kupath Rabbi Meir Baal Haness
Kupath Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess Kolel Polen, known also by the initials Kupat RaMBaN [קופת רמבעה"ן - כולל פולין], is a charity organization founded in 1796 in Poland by the Torah leaders of European Jewry. It is named after the tanna Rabbi Meir. Present leaders of the organization include Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Lipschitz, Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Alter of Ger, Rabbi Meir Auerbach of Kalish, Rabbi Chaim Elazar Wax, Rabbi Aharon Menachem Mendel Radzimin, Rabbi of Kutna, and Rabbi Yaakov Meir Biderman.
Kupat Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess Kollel Polin was founded by Rabbi Abraham Kalisker, leader of the Hasidim in Tiberias. He secured the assistance of Rabbi Mordecai of Nieschiz, who issued a proclamation urging all Jews of Poland regardless of age, gender, or living conditions, to pay a fixed sum every week for the support of their countrymen who had settled in the Holy Land. The amount was to be paid quarterly, in addition to special donations at weddings, circumcisions, and other religious rejoicings. This proclamation was approved by other rabbis in Poland, resulting in a substantial increase in the halukkah.
Soon the rabbis realized that the fledgling settlements in the Holy Land would need the material support of European Jewry in order to survive. This fund acted as the channel by which they provided assistance to their struggling brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisroel.
- (1868) The Varshever shul (Warsaw synagogue) was founded in the north of the Jewish Quarter in the Old City.
- (1878) The president of the kollel, Rabbi Chaim Elozor Wax, buys land in the village of Kfar Hittim for Balady citron groves.
- (1878) Foundation of the school Chayei Olam [ת"ת חיי עולם] in the Eastern part of the Jewish Quarter in the Old City.
- (1886) The Kolel purchased four residential yards to become a Jewish settlement in the Bab Al Huta neighborhood, in the northeast of the Old City.
- (1894) Began building the Batei Warsaw neighborhood.
- (1972) Construction of the neighborhood of Ramot Polin began.
Today, Kupat Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess uses the following programs to help the poor:
- Yom Tov Fund – Troubled families will receive a stipend before each holiday season of Passover and Sukkot.
- Medical Assistance – Individuals facing medical challenges who cannot afford to pay their bills receive financial assistance.
- Unemployment Fund – Financial assistance is given to those facing temporary unemployment.
- Ezer Nisu’in – Stipends are given for families marrying off children.
- Almanah Support – Widows receive regular stipends throughout the year to help make ends meet.
- Newborn Fund – Those with newborns are given financial assistance.
- בורנשטיין: מורה דרך, עמ' 5
- לוח ארץ ישראל, לונץ, תרס"א
- גרייבסקי, זכרון, א, עמ' 435: בן אריה, העיר העתיקה עמ' 412
- י' גולדמן, 'השקפה כללית על מצב אחינו באה"ק, האסיף, ד (תרמ"ח), עמ' 43
- בן אריה, העיר העתיקה, עמ' 265:273:281
- דבר, אוגוסט, 3, 1979, עמוד 29