Burnt Forest Grove Restored in Aminadav

On a warm spring morning, friends and family of the Kirsh family gathered in Aminadav Forest, which is located in the hills just outside of Jerusalem

KKL_060611_A (photo credit: KKL-JNF)
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
On a warm spring morning, friends and family of the Kirsh family gathered in Aminadav Forest, which is located in the hills just outside of Jerusalem, to dedicate a forest grove in honor of South African-born businessman and philanthropist Natie Kirsh, his wife Frances, and their family.
The grove, part of a KKL-JNF project to restore a forested area that was destroyed last year by a fire, was donated in honor of the Kirsh family by the Magal Security Systems. Guests included Magal chairman of the board of directors Ya’acov Perry, former director of the Israeli General Security Service; Eitan Livneh, director general of Magal Security Systems; former Herzlyia Mayor Eli Landau with whom Natie Kirsh worked together to build the Herzlyia Marina; and former Rehovot Mayor Shuki Forer.
Michael Ben Abu, director of KKL-JNF Israel Fundraising Department, warmly KKLgreeted the Kirsh family, including the children - Wendy Fisher, Linda Mirels and Philip Kirsh - and grandchildren David, Deborah and Justine Fisher. Prior to the dedication ceremony Ben Abu showed Natie Kirsh the results of last year’s fire, which left blackened areas with burnt trees. Natie Kirsh listened attentively as Ben Abu explained how KKL-JNF was working together with nature to allow the stronger saplings to flourish and grow.
At the beginning of the ceremony Ben Abu welcomed the guests, noting that KKL-JNF has been planting trees in Israel for the last 110 years: “So far we have planted over 240,000,000 million trees throughout Israel." Ben Abu also noted that during its centennial year, KKL-JNF was the recipient of the prestigious Israel prize for its unique contribution to society and its ecological and environmental projects, including fighting desertification and global warming.
“I believe that a tree is a symbol of life and of the past, present, and future,” Ben Abu said. “You are here with your family, your children and grandchildren. A tree has roots that are its strong and solid base, it has a trunk, which is like your children who symbolize the present, and it has branches which bear fruits for the future, which is like your grandchildren.”
Ya'akov Perry also greeted the Kirsh family, mentioning that the idea to plant a forest grove in their honor was proposed by friends and business associates during a celebration marking Kirsh’s 51 years of business. Kirsh’s interests in Israel include a business partnership in the Magal Security Systems with long time associate and friend Kobi Even Ezra.