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April 23, 2012April 23, 2012  0 comments  Events

KKL-JNF has several events planned in celebration of Israel's Independence Day. These include:


KKL-JNF Event at Latrun Amphitheatre:

As part of the 110th anniversary, the KKL-JNF has ensured tjat every KKL-JNF office from around the world will send teenagers to walk the March of the Living in Poland. After seeing the death camps and in order to strengthen the ties between the youth group and Israel, the teens will come to Israel as guests of the KKL-JNF. In addition, KKL-JNF has organized an event on Independence Day in the huge amphi-theatre in Latrun. More than 6000 teenagers from around the world are expected to attend.


The International Bible Contest:

Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael KKL-JNF is hosting 56 students from 24 different countries, who came to Israel in order to attend the 2012 International Bible Contest together with 20 staff members from the IDF Education Office.The International Bible Contest will be held on Thursday, April 26th 2012, at 10:30 in the Jerusalem Theatre. The theme of the contest is social justice. The second place prize will be granted by the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and the KKL-JNF World Chairman, Efi Stenzler.


KKL-JNF Independence Day Stickers:

KKL-JNF will be distributing stickers Signifying Israel's 64th Independence Day, to youth groups, schools, and Jewish children around the world. The logo is 6 cm wide and is made of biodegradable materials. In addition, KKL-JNF will be celebrating Independence day in its different forests.

KKL JNF 110 Nights-Israel Independence Day, 25 April, 3 Iyar, from 22:00 until dawn

On Burma Road in Central Israel, and in Tzipori Forest in the North

In honor of its 110th year, KKL JNF invites the general public to special events in its forests, from dusk to dawn, and on the night of Israel Independence Day the whole family is invited for an extraordinary experience. We will begin with a night tour (by car and by foot) and continue with a musical performance and sing-along. Then we will wake the children, take them out of their tents and do some adventurous night field training. The adults will sit around the campfire and celebrate, and towards daybreak everyone will go by foot to an observation point for a scenic sunrise. We will conclude by morning, but you can go on spending Israel Independence Day in the great outdoors.

Fee: 50 NIS per participant, 40 NIS for e-yarok members. Number of participants is limited. Advance registration is required at Kav Laya'ar, 1 800 350 550

Scaling the Heights with the Warriors:

4X4 Jeep Trip in the Golan Heights
Friday, 27 April, 5 Iyar, 09:00

Operation Syrian Bridgehead, in which Mishmar Hayarden was conquered during the War of Independence, will be the topic of the day. The tour will go from Nahal Mahanayim along the Jordan River and the Hula Nature Reserve and ascend on the patrol roads above Kibbutz Shamir to the Petroleum Route and the road taken by the 129th Brigade, to the memorial that was erected by the road. We will proceed via Kala to the lookout at the Azaziat Post and to Tel Fakher, where Golani soldiers fought fierce battles. We will traverse Odem Forest to Kibbutz Elrom and conclude with the war stories of Oz 77. Duration 6 hours. Navigation medium difficulty. Tour will be guided by David Malka.

Fee: 160 NIS per vehicle, 120 NIS for e-yarok members. One may ride in the ATV with the guide for a special fee. Details and registration at Kav Laya'ar, 1 800 350 550.


Please note that the above tours will be conducted in Hebrew, however, guides generally do know English and based on the previous tours we've attended, will translate.


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Elisa L. Moed is the Founder and CEO of Travelujah, the leading Christian social network focused on Holy Land tours. People can learn, plan and share their Holy Land tour and travel experiences on Travelujah.




February 5, 2012February 5, 2012  0 comments  Jewish Holidays

Tu Bishvat, the 15th of Shevat on the Jewish calendar, celebrated this year on Wednesday, February 8, 2012, is the day that marks the beginning of a "New Year for Trees." This is the season in which the earliest-blooming trees in the Land of Israel emerge from their winter sleep and begin a new fruit-bearing cycle.

Traditionally, Tu Bishvat marked an important date for Jewish farmers in ancient times. It is written in the Scriptures, "When you enter the land [of Israel] and plant any tree for food, you shall regard its fruit as forbidden. Three years it shall be forbidden for you, not to be eaten" (Leviticus 19:23). The fruit of the fourth year was to be offered to the priests in the Temple as a gift of gratitude for the bounty of the land, and the fifth-year fruit--and all subsequent fruit--was finally for the farmer. This law, however, raised the question of how farmers were to mark the "birthday" of a tree. The Rabbis therefore established the 15th of the month of Shvat as a general "birthday" for all trees, regardless of when they were actually planted.


Kkl-chairman and chief rabbi Metzger

Chief Rabbi Yoni Metzger with KKL-JNF Chairman Worldwide Avi Stenzger  and Kiryat Ono Kindergarden kids


In modern times, Tu Bishvat has become a symbol of both Zionist attachment to the land of Israel as well as an example of Jewish sensitivity to the environment. Early Zionist settlers to Israel began planting new trees not only to restore the ecology of ancient Israel, but as a symbol of renewed growth of the Jewish people returning to their ancestral homeland. Within Israel the practice of creating a Tu Bishvat Seder is becoming increasingly popular among some groups.


Christian Friends of Israel Tu Bishvat Sedar

Christian Friends of Israel staff at Travelujah's Tu Bishvat Seder with CJCUC Founder Rabbi Riskin; Photo courtesy Travelujah


Some schools in Israel organize Tu Bishvat seders in the classroom and have the children bring in nuts and an assortment of dried fruits.  Meitarim, a pluralistic school in Ra'ananna organized a combination "food rescue" /seder and after they finished gleaning the fruit in the fields, they then recreated the kabbalistic Tu Bishvat Seder in the same spot. Non-profit organization Leket (formally Table to Table) organizes gleaning activities for groups interested in getting involved with the land adb they are very active on Tu Bishvat. Some American and European Jews observe Tu Bishvat by contributing money to the Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael - Jewish National Fund, an organization devoted to reforesting Israel.

For environmentalists, Tu Bishvat is an ancient and authentic Jewish "Earth Day" that educates Jews about the Jewish tradition's advocacy of responsible stewardship of God's creation as manifested in ecological activism. Among them, contemporary versions of the Tu Bishvat seder, emphasizing environmentalist concerns, are gaining popularity.


Special Activities on Tu B'Shevat


This Tu B'Shevat the KKL-JNF (Karen Kayemet L'Yisrael / Jewish National Fund) marks 110 years since its establishment as an organization dedicated to strengthening the bonds between Jewish communities outside of Isarel and the land of Isarel. It is the major green organization in Israel and invests tremendous resources in maintiaining forests and open spaces around the country.


There is no better way to feel like an Israeli than to participate in one of the many activities The KKL- JNF is offering on this holiday.


carmel mountains

Carmel Forest; Photo courtesy Travelujah


Our recommended list of special Tu B'Shevat activities includes:


1. Experience "Darom Adom" - also known as the Red south. This annual festival celebrates the expansive anemones that blossom in the western Negev during February. Hiking in the fields carpeted with anemones as well s visiting the historical and recreational sites of the area are a local passtime that tourists can also enjoy. Tours with KKL JNF Guides from the Re'im Recreation Center and Ruhama Forest are offered every Saturday in February, and the first Saturday in March, at 10:00, 12:00 and 14:00 .

An information station at Yad Mordechai every weekend during the Scarlet South Festival.

Information Stations and Free Tours (at 10:00, 12:00 and 14:00) on Saturdays:

• Re'im Recreation Area, at the entrance to the Water Installations Route - the story of the pioneers in the area before the establishment of the State of Israel. The tour is in private cars on the Water Installations Route in Be'eri Forest. Duration 1.25 hrs.
• Ruhama Forest, at the entrance to the Kibbutz - with explanations about the early days of Kibbutz Ruhama in the early twentieth century. The tour is to the Jamama Well and the Byzantine church mosaic, through fields of anemones (by car and by foot).

Free. Information stations will be open from 10:00 to 15:00. Register by calling Kav Laya'ar, 1 800 350 550.


darom adom

Anemones blooming in the northwestern Negev - Darom Adom festival, Photo courtesy Travelujah


2. Enjoy the Shoshana Damari Anemone Walk on Saturday, 11 February
The Scarlet South Festival features a walk in the rolling hills near Kibbutz Ruhama, through tree groves and carpets of anemones, with activity stations all along the way, and explanations for the whole family with KKL JNF volunteers. At the conclusion of the walk, there will be a musical celebration and fun activities for the whole family. The walk is organized by the Festival Committee.


Fee. For more information call Kav Laya'ar, 1 800 350 550.


3. Plant a tree - Wednesday February 8  - 10:00 - 15:00 pm

The Jerusalem Municipality is giving residents herb saplings that you can plant and decorate at Safra Square.


4. Plant and Drive - February 10th - 9:00 am - 15:00 pm.

You can join the KKL at a planting sites around the country to plant a tree. In the north - the Masad Forest close to the Golani Junction, in the south by Lehavim adn in the central part of teh country - at Ben Shemen Forest.


tree planting

Tree planting - KKL-JNF

5. Natural Colors - Ben Shemen Forest on Saturday February 11 10:00 am - 14:00 pm

Fun and games for the family on the subject of trees and animals in nature.



Recommended non-profit organizations for donations in honor of Tu Bishvat:

KKL-JNF - Jewish National Fund

Leket - Food Rescue Non profit organization based in Ra'ananna, Israel


Elisa L. Moed is the Founder and CEO of Travelujah, the leading Christian social network focused on travel to the Holy Land. People can learn, plan and share their Holy Land tour and travel experiences on Travelujah.


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