A Forest Of Symbols In Tel Aviv


Tishrei, the time of tzedakah in Israel, took symbolic form in Tel Aviv this week.

During the Ten Days of Repentance, when the crucial role of charity assumes a prominent role in the High Holy Days liturgy, when the yom tov expenses of Jewish households rise dramatically, the Latet organization brought the concept to one of Israel’s central gathering places — through cardboard cutouts.

Latet, which feeds the poor, conducted its annual, nationwide fundraising campaign by erecting thousands of white, cardboard images, in human shapes, in Rabin Square.

The images are a silent protest against poverty.

According to government reports, more than 1.6 million Israelis, including 775,000 children, live below the poverty line. They receive inadequate government support, advocates say.

“We are ashamed that the government had deserted a million people,” Latet Director-General Eran Weintraub says. “We try to fill in the gap.”

A cyclist, left, makes his way through the forest of cardboard images. An Israeli woman, top, takes the route by foot.