Dovrat Grove Dedicated in Yatir Forest

A thousand trees were contributed by the Jewish community of Wellington, New Zealand, in honour of Rabbi Haim Dovrat, their former Chief Rabbi, and his wife Tova.

KKL_310511_E (photo credit: KKL-JNF photo archive)
KKL_310511_E
(photo credit: KKL-JNF photo archive)
A thousand trees were contributed by the Jewish community of Wellington, New Zealand, in honour of Rabbi Haim Dovrat, their former Chief Rabbi, and his wife Tova.  Relatives from all over Israel and representatives from New Zealand joined the Rabbi and his wife in dedicating the grove at a ceremony organised in their honour by KKL JNF in the Yatir Forest in southern Israel.
At the ceremony, Rabbi Dovrat said, “During the time we spent in Wellington, we gave of ourselves with a lot of love for the sake of the community.  This grove attests to the love we were privileged to receive in return.”
Liz Gianoutsos, KKL-JNF President in Wellington, sent her blessings to the event, which were read at the ceremony by Daniel Frank, a member of the Wellington KKLcommunity.  “It is an honour and a pleasure for me to be sending greetings on this special day,” wrote Gianoutsos.  “Everyone who contributed to this project did so with enthusiasm, and all of us are now participating in the celebration with you.  You have given a lot to our community, and for this we are very grateful.”  Frank added a few of his own words of thanks to the Rabbi and the Rebbetzin for contributing so much to his personal growth over the years.
The participation of representatives of the Wellington community in the ceremony, including students, tourists and immigrants, showed that the influence of the Rabbi and his wife on the community was not bound by time or distance but would be long term and for generations to come.
Tzahi Dovrat, the Rabbi’s son, said that for him the grove symbolizes giving - the giving of his parents to the Wellington community, and the giving in return of the community to his father and mother and to the land of Israel.  “A person’s roots are his family, where he grows up and is educated.  The entire Dovrat clan has assembled in Yatir Forest in order to show the trees your grandchildren, of whom we are so proud.”  In the years that Rabbi and Mrs. Dovrat lived in New Zealand, their children remained in Israel.  Their son Tzahi concluded with a big smile and said, “The grandchildren have gotten their grandparents back, and we, their parents, are looking forward to the summer camp you'll be making for them this summer.”
The ceremony was emceed by KKL-JNF representative Avinoam Binder, who spoke about his visit to Wellington with a KKL JNF delegation in May, 1995, to celebrate Israel Independence Day there, and meeting Rabbi Haim Dovrat and his wife.  He said he remembers very well the warm welcome they arranged, and he was pleased to have the opportunity to reciprocate.  “Planting a grove in the land of Israel,” said Binder, “is one of the greatest ways to honour someone.  KKL JNF has turned Israel green, and the grove planted by the Wellington community is part of the sacred endeavour of planting trees.”