KKL-JNF launches ‘social forest’ for Tu Bishvat

Group launches project in honor of Tu Bishvat, as well as Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund’s 110th anniversary.

February 6, 2012 04:38
1 minute read.
Rabbi  Metzger, JNF Chairman Stenzler plant trees

Rabbi Metzger, JNF Chairman Stenzler plant trees. (photo credit: Ancho Gosh)

In honor of Tu Bishvat, as well as Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund’s 110th anniversary, the organization is launching the world’s first-ever “social forest.”

The social forest will allow Internet users to plant virtual trees on KKLJNF’s website, and then foresters will plant live trees in honor of their online avatars throughout the country’s wooded regions.

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“For the 110 years that KKL-JNF is celebrating this year, KKL-JNF is targeting the younger generation with the purpose of providing it access to forests and nature,” KKL-JNF Chairman Efi Stenzler said.

“The initiative of the world’s first social forest is innovative, young and suitable for both youth and adult web surfers; it enables Internet users to plant trees, influence quality of life and the environment, and contribute to greening the State of Israel.”

On Sunday, Stenzler and Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger opened a week of Tu Bishvat events by planting a carob tree with children from a kindergarten in Kiryat Ono, according to a KKL-JNF spokeswoman.

“In the Torah, Tu Bishvat is defined as the new year for trees, creating a day where people go out into the field and plant a tree, thus emphasizing the connection between man and land,” Metzger said, according to a KKL-JNF statement. “This action is an important contribution to Israel’s prosperity.”

Also for the week of Tu Bishvat, KKL-JNF truckloads of over 1.1 million trees are making their way to nurseries in 1,200 communities throughout the country, the organization said. For the third year in a row, the group is planning on planting a “tree for every resident” of Israel this month.

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