Schoolchildren and Olim 758.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
Some 600 children and youth from all over northern Israel attended a joyful event in Lavie Forest and celebrated their love for the countryside amid natural surroundings. This year KKL-JNF is holding over 410 activities and Tu BiShvat seders in municipalities and regional councils, organizations, community forests and open spaces. A total of around 42,000 people are expected to take part.
“We’re enjoying the trees and the flowers and hearing about KKL-JNF activities,” Liel Dasta, a fifth-grader from Afula, told us. “It’s great to get out of school and spent time in nature, and this is also the best way to learn about the environment and our country.”
The event began at KKL-JNF’s Lavie Nursery, where participants saw how tiny seeds develop
into large trees. They were surprised to learn that saplings can be grown even during Shmita
(Israel's fallow year) if the medium they are grown in is not in contact with the ground.
When the groups reached Lavie Forest’s recreation area, they found activity stations all ready and waiting for them: the events included quizzes on nature and the environment, activities relating to the history of KKL-JNF and the State of Israel, games with hoops and Blue Boxes, pot-plant preparation and a Tu BiShvat seder.
“It’s fun to get out into nature and spend time with friends on a fine day like this,” said fourth grader Liel Dahan of Tiberias. Her friend Lior Ido, who is in the fifth grade, added: “We played with friends, we saw beautiful plants, we prepared saplings and we had a great time.”
Also present throughout the day were members of a group of new immigrants from Ethiopia who are currently living in an absorption center in Tzfat and participating in the Green Dream (Halom Yarok) program, which provides environmental education for immigrants. The group included 46-year-old journalist Tadesse Tarkai who immigrated to Israel from Addis Ababa less than two months ago.
“This is the first opportunity I’ve had to explore the Israeli countryside, and I’m greatly enjoying every moment,” he said. “This is a beautiful country, and the most important thing is that I feel that this really is my homeland. As far as I’m concerned, getting out into nature is an excellent way to learn more about Israel, get to know the country better and strengthen my connection to it.”
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