biriya dedication kkl.
(photo credit: )
A surprise awaited Chen Lamdan, CEO of Orian Logistic Services, when he arrived at Biriya Forest for the dedication ceremony of a new trail and scenic lookout on Friday, February 13. When the dedication plaque was unveiled, Chen discovered that his mother, Hannah Lamdan, had donated the scenic lookout in honor of his fiftieth birthday. Orian employees, who had traveled to Israel's northern border especially for the occasion, applauded enthusiastically in appreciation of their CEO.
And what, you may wonder; does Orian have to do with forests and KKL-JNF? During the 2006 Second Lebanese War, many KKL-JNF forests in northern Israel went up in flames as Katyusha rockets were fired on them from Lebanon by Hizballah. KKL-JNF fire fighters fought the fires day and night, while small aircraft sprayed chemical fire inhibiters on the flames. In the course of the war, KKL-JNF's supply of these chemicals ran out, and Orian was asked to arrange a new shipment of materials. When Chen Lamdan saw the situation in the north, he immediately decided that Orian would help fund the restoration of some of the forests that had been burned.
Yariv Pozner, Orian VP in charge of Marketing and Sales, told us that this was only the beginning of the ties between Orian and KKL-JNF: "When Dr. Thomas C. Lieb, Chairman of the Management Board of DB Schenker of Germany, which is the second largest logistics company in the world and Orian's strategic partner, visited Israel, we told him about the war and that Orian was involved in rehabilitating the forests. He immediately announced that he wanted to be part of this project, so together with Dr. Lieb, we sponsored the creation of the beautiful 'Rock Path' that we are dedicating today. Orian also contributed towards making the Carmeli Path, in memory of soldiers of Batallion 7002 who fell during the Lebanese War."
The observation point was built at a site of breathtaking beauty overlooking the Hula Valley, with majestic, snowcapped Mount Hermon visible in the distance. Yaakov Danino of KKL-JNF's Northern Region, who envisioned and planned the observation point and rock path, described the bigger picture: "KKL-JNF policy is to make its forests and parks accessible to the general public, who then become our partners in protecting and caring for Israel's open spaces. The Chen Lamdan Observation Point is part of a chain of special sites that begins at Mahanayim Junction, climbs up to the city of Tzfat and ends at Mount Meron. Most of our energy over the last two years has gone into forest restoration, so we haven't been able to promote this project as much as we would have liked to. It would be wonderful if other Israeli and foreign companies were to follow the example set by Orian and DB Schenker."
Michael Ben Abu, director of KKL-JNF's Israel Fundraising Department, said that here, on the northern border, we see the love of Israel as it is expressed by three generations of Zionists who planted trees and forests and made the north green: "There have unfortunately been other colors here also. When Hizballah rockets rained down on the north during the Second Lebanese War, the landscape turned to red, black and bright orange of the flames. Orian was one of the first to help, and then there was another color - the reddish orange hue of the company's fire inhibitors. Thankfully, the green is back, and Orian and its employees have been our partners in accomplishing this feat.
"The observation point and Rock Path are expressions of the commitment of Orian management and employees to the love of man and the love of our land. I have gotten to know the Orian 'family' over the last couple years, and it is heartwarming to see the spirit of unity and sense of focus you share. Thank you on behalf of KKL-JNF and everyone who will be visiting this site in the future."
It was just Tu Bishvat a couple days ago, so no KKL-JNF event would be complete without planting trees. After Michael Ben Abu read the Planter's Prayer, veteran KKL-JNF Northern Region forester Yossi Karni gave instructions on how to plant a tree properly. The mountain slope was soon full of new saplings that would join the other trees planted by KKL-JNF to replace those that had been destroyed during the war.
The day concluded at Biriya Fortress, where KKL-JNF had arranged activities for the children, some of which were so interesting that some thirty and forty year old also participatedâ€¦ Activities included making recycled paper out of old newspapers and other waste paper, preparing potted plants, learning about pine trees and making Blue Boxes out of paper.
Towards the end of the day, we spoke with Hannah Lamdan, Chen's mother, and asked her why she chose to build a forest observation point in honor of her son's fiftieth birthday: "My family has deep roots in the land of Israel. I am the sixth generation to be born here. Whenever I hear about a forest being burnt somewhere, it is as if part of me is being burnt up with it. Sharing in restoring Biriya Forest and making it accessible to visitors is my way of helping to repair the damage done to the forests and bringing the green back. What better present could there be for someone's fiftieth birthday?"
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