37. Danny Atar

Embodying the Zionist spirit

KKL-JNF World Chairman Danny Atar. (photo credit: KKL-JNF)
KKL-JNF World Chairman Danny Atar.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
“Over the past years, KKL-JNF took upon itself an important mission – the realization of the Zionist dream and its transformation from dream to reality,” Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund chairman Danny Atar told the Jerusalem Post Conference in May.
“By acquiring land, cultivating the land and rehabilitating it, we succeeded in turning Israel from an arid land into a green and flourishing country.”
Since he took the helm in 2015, Atar has continued this vision and expanded on it. Today, the organization has made great strides to not only protect the Land of Israel, but its people as well.
As thousands of farmland acres are destroyed by Hamas through its launching of incendiary kites and balloons, KKL-JNF’s services are more in demand than ever. In addition to helping firefighting efforts in the South, KKL-JNF is preparing to engage in a legal battle against the terrorist organization. Specifically, it is gearing up to sue Hamas in international court over the swaths of farmland it has destroyed since March.
Up North, the organization has announced it will invest NIS 50 million to upgrade the Baruch Padeh (Poriya) Medical Center in Tiberias and the Ziv Medical Center in Safed.
The large-scale refurbishing project will add protected operating rooms and reinforce the hospital’s outside structure, as well as introduce state-of-the-art equipment – like a radiation therapy device that will treat cancer patients with greater accuracy.
“Northern region hospitals were left to fend for themselves in the Second Lebanon War, and KKL has thusly decided to spearhead a project as part of which it will assist in shielding the two hospitals,” Atar told Ynet.
This project is just one part of a NIS 400 million initative to invest in the education, health and agriculture in the North.
KKL-JNF has also looked beyond Israel’s borders to cultivate support for the country. Last year, Kenya’s Environment and Natural Resources Minister Prof. Judi Wakhungu participated in a tree-planting ceremony in Jerusalem at which a memorandum of understanding between KKL-JNF and the Kenya Forest Service was signed.