In honor of Gilad Shalit’s long-awaited homecoming after 5½ years in captivity, JNF Canada asked its supporters from across the country to send personal messages to Gilad Shalit. Many very moving responses were received and reprinted in a book for Gilad that was recently sent to his home in Israel. For every message sent, JNF Canada planted a tree in his honor as part of its Miles of Trees project. Thanks to its wonderful supporters throughout Canada, over 1000 trees were planted to help protect the communities that border on the Gaza Strip by shielding them from sniper fire. A plaque honoring Gilad will be placed at the site in the future. 

Frank Wilson, National President of JNF Canada said that "Gilad Shalit's release from captivity truly affected communities worldwide, and the heartwarming messages we received from across Canada are evidence of the relief and jubilation experienced globally. We were overwhelmed by the sheer volume of messages received from cities all over the country, and we are thrilled to share this outpouring of joy with the Shalit family. JNF Canada is proud to plant a tree for each message we received in the important 'Miles of Trees' project, which helps to protect residents of communities living in Israel's southern region."

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Nathan Disenhouse, president of JNF Toronto, said "We felt that it was only fitting to plant trees in honour of Gilad Shalit's release in our "Miles of Trees" project, which is designed to act as a security barrier in the South. Trees were planted in his name in the very region from which he was kidnapped. The staff of the Toronto JNF office, in cooperation with JNF offices across Canada, compiled a commemoration book to express the concern the Toronto JNF community and Canadian Jewry at large had for Gilad's well being. Planting a tree in his honour is an expression of Gilad's symbolic rebirth after the many months he spent in captivity."

For further information, comments or permission please contact
Ahuva Bar-Lev
KKL-JNF – Information and Publications
Phone: 972-2-6583354 Fax:972-2-6583493