Bulgarian Prime Minister Plants Tree in KKL-JNF Grove of the

"Human beings have many ways of expressing closeness and friendship – a handshake, a smile, a pat on the back. In our tradition, the way to demonstrate a connection is by planting a tree.

January 19, 2010 19:00
3 minute read.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Plants Tree TOP1. (photo credit: KKL)


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"Human beings have many ways of expressing closeness and friendship – a handshake, a smile, a pat on the back. In our tradition, the way to demonstrate a connection is by planting a tree." KKL-JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzler was speaking at Jerusalem's Forest Grove of the Nations, where the Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Honorable Boyko Borissov, had come to plant a tree, in the custom of heads of states on official visits to Israel.

"Before you arrived at the forest grove," Stenzler continued, "you visited the Yad VaShem Holocaust Memorial. I would like to take this opportunity to express the Jewish people's gratitude to for protecting its Jewish population from the terrible fate of the rest of European Jewry. We will never forget Dimitar Peshev, the Deputy Chairman of the Bulgarian Parliament, who influenced the Bulgarian King and government to refuse German orders to

deport 50,000 Bulgarian Jews. With the help of the Church, became the only European country under Nazi occupation that prevented the destruction of its Jewish population.

"KKL-JNF is 's largest Green organization. We have planted over 230 million trees in . The tree you plant here today will offset all the carbon that will be emitted by one Israeli household over the course of one month. We have also built 212 water reservoirs which store purified effluents and harvest floodwaters for agricultural use. We are proud to say that the water in these reservoirs now account for 50% of our agricultural needs. In desert afforestation, I can safely say that KKL-JNF is the leading world pioneer in this field. We have successfully planted trees in arid regions where experts said it simply couldn't be done.  All in all, we have no desire to keep our knowledge and expertise to ourselves. We are more than happy to share it with other countries. I would like the future to see extensive cooperation on environmental issues between KKL-JNF and ."

Mr. Borissov, the Bulgarian Prime Minister, expressed his thanks to Stenzler and to KKL-JNF for the opportunity to plant a tree in Israel. He laughed and said that if one tree has such a powerful effect on the atmosphere "we may have to plant a few more trees here before we go back to . I am happy to see that you work so hard promoting Green energy. Although we didn't reach a final agreement about climate change in , I believe it was a good starting point for future change. I think that if the conference had not taken place during a global financial crisis, the conference would have been more successful.

"Earlier today, I met Reuven Rivlin,  the Speaker of the Knesset. I was very impressed by him! He told me that he was a ninth-generation Jerusalemite and said that his fondest hope was that in another 200 years, would be an even better place to live in. We express the same hope for and the rest of the world. We want to leave a better world and a better for future generations. But as for now, I say, let's get to work planting that olive tree!"

The Bulgarian Ambassador to Israel, H.E. Dimiter Tzantchev,  read the Planter's Prayer in English. The Bulgarian Prime Minister made enquiries about how the trees are watered and was shown the underground drip irrigation system. At the conclusion of the ceremony, graciously emceed by Andy Michaelson, KKL-JNF Head of Protocol & VIP Ceremonies, the Prime Minister was presented with a certificate in honor of the tree planted in the Grove of Nations. The olive sapling he planted joins the many trees at the same site planted by other heads of states, expressing the hope of a greener and better future for , and the whole world, as Stenzler had stated. 

For more information, please visit our website at www.kkl.org.il/eng 
or e-mail ahuvab@kkl.org.il
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