Discount Mortgage Bank Launch:

The First Grove in the Young Forest at Mishmar Hanegev. Among the numerous events held throughout the land by KKL-JNF this Tu BiShvat week, one special event was held at the young forest at Mishmar Hanegev.

January 25, 2011 13:06
4 minute read.

KKL_250111_A. (photo credit: KKL)


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Among the numerous events held throughout the land by KKL-JNF this Tu BiShvat week, one special event was held at the young forest at Mishmar Hanegev. Discount Mortgage Bank's senior members and staff came out on Tu BiShvat to celebrate in a special ceremony the dedication of a 3,000 trees forest grove established by the Bank.

In the ceremony, senior members of the Bank's management participated: CEO, Eti KKL Langermann and the two senior Deputy CEOs, Ze'ev Dekel and Moshe Halperin. They were joined by KKL-JNF representatives, among them, Michael Ben Abu, Director of Israel Fundraising Department and Ephraim Hershkowitz, regional forester. Present also were representatives of the Artillery Corps' Regiment 405 that is adopted by the Bank.

The Bank's CEO, Eti Langermann, noted in her address that "particularly in a bank environment that is saturated with paper, we feel a deeper commitment to the environment, to give back some of what was taken from it and to reduce damage caused". Mrs. Langermann noted that any customer taking a mortgage will have a tree planted in his/her name, "and thus, as of today, our mortgage advisors are not only selling mortgages but also trees in the Land of Israel. As of today, our commitment is not only to the bank's performance but also to afforesting the State".

Mishmar Hanegev forest is a young forest currently being planted by KKL-JNF and is adjacent to the young Negev community of Givot Bar. This community was built with help from supporters of KKL-JNF in the US and Canada. The community is named after the hills of wheat among which it is located. It is a growing rural community with a secular Jewish character that has already reached some 500 households.

Discount Mortgage Bank chose to help establish the forest as part of its activities for Man and the Environment. The 3000 trees contributed by the Bank will be planted throughout the year. The Bank will dedicate a tree in its large wood for each person taking a mortgage with the Bank. This way, the Bank's management hopes to draw people closer to nature and provide a sense of a pioneering mission expressed by planting trees in the young forest.

Michael Ben Abu opened the ceremony by saying, "I look at the desolation around me and am excited by the very thought that 20 years from now, there will be a forest here. We at KKL-JNF are proud to be partners to the act of creation through the establishment of a sustainable green environment that will serve generations to come in Israel". Ben Abu thanked the Bank representatives, saying, "Your contribution is a response to Benjamin Ze'ev Herzl's excited call to contribute to KKL-JNF for there can be no implementation of a vision without financing. This cooperation between KKL-JNF and the business sector will help implement the Zionist vision and tackle the challenges in Israel's North and South."

The event's climax was a symbolic tree planting of 20 saplings in the young wood, among them, acacia, tamarisk, eucalyptus and cypress trees. Prior to the planting, a moving ceremony took place where the recognition sign was unveiled and during which, Michael Ben Abu presented the Bank's CEO and staff with a certificate attesting to their contribution.

Doron Weitz, one of the project's initiators and director of Marketing and Sales at KKLthe Bank, read the Planters Prayer. Then all rolled up their sleeves and proceeded to plant trees. Bank workers and soldiers of Regiment 405 were honored by planting the first trees of the wood that will clothe the desert spaces in green.

Nir Levy, a female soldier, said, "We wish to thank the Bank for giving us this opportunity today and we hope that we would continue to enjoy our joint activity in the future".

Among the planters was also Uri Shani, a bank worker and one of the project's initiators. He said, "Beyond developing the Negev and the contribution to the environment, I see much importance in the fact that the business community is taking part in developing the periphery. There is no more perfect a time to start this blessed project than on Tu Bishvat."

A second before all boarded the buses to return to the Center of Israel, Eti Langermann added on a personal note, "As one who grew up on afforesting Israel as a central value in her education, I am delighted with the opportunity to have the ability to contribute to the realization of these values also during my adult life."

For Articles, comments or use please contact
Ahuva Bar-Lev
KKL-JNF – Information and Publications
Phone: 972-2-6583354 Fax:972-2-6583493

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