At least 2,000 people have donated funds to plant a grove of more than 3,000 trees in Israel in memory of the victims of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, last month.

Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, has raised more than $61,000 toward planting trees honoring the 26 victims of the December 14 massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The trees will be part of the Beersheba River Park, a 1,700-acre water, environmental and commercial area being constructed by the Jewish National Fund in Israel’s desert city.

The idea for the Newtown tree grove grew from a request made by Veronique Pozner, whose son, Noah, was the only Jewish victim of the shooting at the Connecticut school.

Pozner said memorial contributions in honor of Noah could be directed toward the planting of trees in Israel.

Last week, Marcie Natan, national president of Hadassah, planted the first of thousands of trees.

“The roots of this mulberry tree will hold the desert soil, produce fruit, and give shade to the families recently under fire who will enjoy the park,” said Natan. “Trees are a biblical symbol of life, and the saplings donated will bloom, grove after grove, in the memory of the children and the staff in Newtown.

“We decided that the trees needed to be planted for all the victims,” she said. “We had responses from around the country and even around the world from those who wanted to plant new life as a memorial.”

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