(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
“When you plant a tree in the name of someone, keep watering it, because you never know if the belief in life after death won’t come true.” This is Michael Krape’s take on life. With sixty-six years of life experience, Krape, from Melbourne, Australia, decided to change the paradigms of fundraising for the benefit of the community.
Michael and his wife Judy arrived in Israel from Australia to participate in a dedication ceremony in the Hula Lake Park in the Galilee for an unusual contribution in honor of his father, Saul Krape. In the midday heat, thirty-six degrees in the shade, with a handful of their old friends in Israel in attendance, one of the most unusual ceremonies in the history of donations for KKL-JNF projects took place on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - the inauguration of wheelchair accessible bio lavatories.
Michael Krape, a man with an original way of thinking, has been active in Jewish organizations in Australia for decades, through which he has been fundraising for different projects for the benefit of the people in Israel. These include Hadassah, Keren Hayesod, WIZO and, of course, KKL-JNF. He started getting interested in philanthropy forty-four years ago, on his first visit to Israel, when he saw ambulances with long dedications on their sides in honor of donors, “who donated an ambulance, or its tires, its rear lights, or its seats,” as he explained it.
Why bio lavatories in particular? “The simple answer is the name Krape,” said Krape, “which my wife Judy decided to adopt thirty-four years ago. A less simple answer is that the goal of a marketer is to turn a disadvantage into an advantage. Just like an alchemist tries to turn lead into gold, we believed that we could use our name as a means to achieve good ends. As a result, not only was our family name often a source for jokes, but we believed that if we could inspire others to find original ways of their own to support Israel, then we could say we succeeded.”
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