(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
"I want to thank the people who donated these scholarships, which mean much more to us than just money. This is a gift of a warm and loving embrace." Olga Ohana was speaking on Monday, July 30, at the KKL-JNF scholarship distribution ceremony for the children of fallen members of the Israel Prison Service (IPS). Olga's husband Kfir was one of 44 people, most of them IPS cadets, who were killed in the December 2010 Carmel Forest fire. The ceremony took place at the Dan Gardens Hotel in Ashkelon, where over forty families whose dear ones were killed in the course of IPS duty were spending a summer vacation. The scholarships for the new school year were the gift of the Maurice OBM and Laura Simons Fund of England and the Correctional Officers Ride Fund (COR), through JNF Toronto.
"I have two children, Noa and Ofek," Olga continued. "Ofek was born a month after Kfir died. If Kfir was alive, he would have been celebrating his 33rd birthday today.
Being here with the other families gives us an opportunity to meet other widows. We all have different stories, but we share a common fate. The scholarships reflect an understanding of our needs and create a connection between people, for which all the families here are very grateful."
KKL-JNF Director General Meir Shpigler said that besides its commitment to a greener, more sustainable environment, "KKL-JNF puts education at the top of its priority list. We have five educational centers throughout the country where students come and learn about KKL-JNF activities and values. Together with Laura Simons and the Correctional Officers Ride Fund of Toronto, KKL-JNF is honored to support the IPS orphans, both those whose parents were killed in the Carmel Forest tragedy, and also those who lost their lives in other circumstances. Laura has committed herself to this project, and together with our Canadian friends, I want to assure you that the scholarships for the IPS children will be an annual tradition."
At the conclusion of the ceremony, certificates of appreciation were presented by the Israel Prison Service to Laura Simons, the COR, JNF Toronto and KKL-JNF in Israel.
For further information, comments or permission please contact
KKL-JNF – Information and Publications
Phone: 972-2-6583354 Fax:972-2-6583493