(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
A moving ceremony in the presence of many dignitaries was held on Sunday, 16 June 2013, to dedicate a forest planted in memory of the late Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini. The forest is close to the village of Givat Avni near the Sea of Galilee, with the breathtaking scenery of the Yavniel Valley on one side and, on the other, that of the Horns of Hittin – the foot of which was the scene of the fateful battle when the forces of Saladin defeated the Crusaders in 1187.
Over one hundred people participated in the ceremony dedicating the Cardinal Martini Memorial Forest. A large number of political and religious figures were present, including: Francesco Maria Talo, Italian ambassador to Israel; Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmieri, President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts; Monsignor Gianantonio Borgonovo, the archpriest of the Milan Cathedral; Rabbi Elia Richetti, member of the rabbinical court of central-north Italy; Rabbi Eugene Korn, Director of the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation in Israel; Rabbi Angel Kreiman Brill, representative of the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Yona Metzger; Mrs. Maris Martini-Facchini, sister of the late Cardinal Martini; Mr. Raffaele Sassun, President of KKL-JNF Italy; Dr. Silvio Tedeschi Samaia, President of KKL-JNF Milan; Mr. Rafael Ovadiah, KKL-JNF envoy to Italy, and Nathan Ben-Horin, former Israeli emissary to the Vatican.
All the speakers were in full agreement that Cardinal Martini had been a prominent personality regarding everything connected to the ecumenical dialogue between Judaism and Christianity.
The central theme emphasized by all the speakers at the ceremony was the importance of man’s connection with nature, as represented by the trees.
For further information, comments or permission please contact
KKL-JNF – Information and Publications
Phone: 972-2-6583354 Fax:972-2-6583493