(photo credit: kkl-jnf)
"Harry Triguboff is the best possible example of a Jew, Zionist, and human being," said KKL-JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzler at a ceremony dedicating the newly expanded open theater of the Israel Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Center (IICC) on Tuesday, September 14 which center has been named in honour of Mr Triguboff’s myriad of contributions to the State of Israel. "All his life, throughout the fifties and the sixties until today, he has been dedicated to the Jewish people. His fingerprints can be seen everywhere in the land of Israel. I would only hope that we would be blessed with many more people like him. On behalf of KKL-JNF, its administration, employees and all those affiliated with us throughout the world, I would like to thank Harry for everything he has done for KKL-JNF, global Jewry and Israel. May the new year bring him and his family health and happiness." Mr. Stenzler concluded.
Harry Triguboff, a resident and citizen of Sydney Australia and a property developer by profession, has for many years been closely linked with JNF Australia, KKL-JNF and the State of Israel. Over the years there have been a great number of worthy beneficiaries of his generosity. His contributions include water reservoirs and facilities, forests and forest rehabilitation, ecological summer camps, river rehabilitation aside from many projects that he has contributed to through other organizations. The ceremony dedicating the IICC amphitheater in his honour was attended by the acting Australian ambassador to Israel and many other dignitaries, along with top KKL-JNF officials, including KKL-JNF Co-Chairman and WZO head Mr. Avraham Duvdevani, KKL-JNF Vice Chairman Mr. Menachem Lebovic and KKL-JNF CEO Ms. Yael Shealtieli.
Mr. Efraim Halevy, former head of the Mossad and chairman of the Israel Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Center, said that he was very thankful to Harry Triguboff for his enormous contributions to Israel: "We are very proud that the inauguration of the new amphitheater coincides with IICC's 25th anniversary, and in fact, tonight's celebration in honor of that event will take place in the new and expanded amphitheater named in honour of Mr Harry Triguboff. Harry has done so much for Israel, some of what he has done is more known, some less. We wish you and Rhonda many years of health, and we hope to host you here in the future at many other happy occasions." Mr. Halevy presented Mr. and Mrs. Triguboff with enlarged photos of the new amphitheater and added that he hoped that when he looked at them in his office, he would remember this event, just as "we will always remember you."
Mr. Ze'ev Bashan, director of the NSW division of JNF Australia noted that the Jewish community of Australia in general and JNF Australia in particular, is one of the strongest Jewish communities in the world in terms of its support of Israel: "Every Jewish household in Australia contributes and raises funds for the sole objective of the good of Israel. Water reservoirs, forests, the provion of facilities in natural areas for the physically challenged, parks and other facilities especially for new communities – all are close to the heart of Sydney's Jewry and it is fitting that this generosity towards the JNF and the State of Israel should be commemorated here, at the Israel Intelligence Heritage Center especially since Harry recognizes the importance of a memorial site for some of Israel's greatest heroes, so that future generations won't forget them.
"I would like to read a few words from Dr. Stuart Romm, the president of the NSW Division of JNF Australia who unfortunately couldn't be here with us today: 'On behalf of all our staff, I would like to say mazal tov to all those involved in the partnership between KKL-JNF and the Israeli Intelligence Heritage Center. We congratulate Harry Triguboff for his generosity and leadership. Please accept my warmest greetings.' Thanks are also due to Mr. Shalom Norman for everything he has done for Israel and KKL-JNF over the years."
The ceremony was emceed by Mr. Zev Kedem, KKL-JNF Director of Fundraising, who is always fond of quoting Mark Twain: "I recently read a newspaper article describing a meeting between Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, and Binyamin Ze'ev Herzl, the founding father of modern-day Zionism. Twain told Herzl that he was not against the idea of the Jewish people having their own country, but he was concerned that if all the bright minds of the Jewish people were concentrated in one place, they would discover just how strong they were, and it would become impossible for the rest of the world to continue benefiting from them. I think that if Mark Twain were to visit Israel today, he would discover that in fact, we have brilliant people here, but we still have great minds abroad, and Harry Triguboff is a perfect example of one of them."
After a bit of good-natured coaxing, Harry Triguboff came to the podium to speak at the ceremony in his honor: "I am very happy to be here with all my friends with whom I've been working over the past years. When I first started donating to Israel, I thought that a time would come that contributions to the state would become irrelevant, but Ze'ev recently explained to me that although Israel has funding for certain things, there are always critical projects that are not financed by the government. I am happy to be able to help with just those sorts of things.
"We visited a number of the projects I was partner to, for example, the
Hamadia Reservoir in the Beit She'an valley, which was the first
reservoir I helped build. I was amazed to see that thirty others had
followed in my footsteps, which made me realize that it's not just
about giving money, but also inspiring others to do so. I had a similar
experience in the south, at the Besor Reservoir. Reservoirs seem like a
simple thing at the beginning, but when we saw all the fruits and
vegetables being grown in the region thanks to the water it makes
available, I was very, very pleased.
"Another wonderful experience was being at the Mitzpe Ramon Picnic and
Events site at the entrance to the Negev town of Mitzpe Ramon, where we
participated in a graduation ceremony for the nearby Officers Training
Academy. And of course we visited the amphitheater at Ammunition Hill
in Jerusalem, where my very good friend Katcha told me there is more to
be done and he needs more help.
"It is easy to work with KKL-JNF, because I always have the sense that
you are trying hard and doing your best. Don't be grateful to me. I'm
grateful to you for everything you have done for Israel and the Jewish
KKL-JNF World Chairman Stenzler proposed a toast to the Triguboffs, concluding the short but moving ceremony.
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