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
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