Zara Mart Combines Business with Ecology through KKL-JNF

"We wanted to combine Judaism and patriotism," said Yermi Haker. "Planting a tree is way for us to give a bonus to our customers and to express our love of Israel and its forests.

June 3, 2010 15:33
3 minute read.

KKL. (photo credit: KKL)

Albert Zara and Yermi Haker of, a leading internet supplier of kippot,  Judaica and Israeli items, had a novel idea about how to combine business with support of Israel. Every customer who makes a purchase of $400 or more will have a tree planted by KKL-JNF in their honor. The tree will be planted in the Judean Mountains and the customer will receive a tree-planting certificate with a personal inscription.

"We wanted to combine Judaism and patriotism," said Yermi Haker. "Planting a tree is way for us to give a bonus to our customers and to express our love of Israel and its forests. Since 2007, when we began this campaign, we have planted over 1,200 trees in areas of where there were forest fires that were in need of rehabilitation."In recognition of Zara Mart's contribution, a ceremony unveiling a donor's appreciation plaque was held at Haportzim Dedication Center in KKL-JNF's Rabin Park on the way to Jerusalem. Speaking at the ceremony, Michael Ben Abu, KKL-JNF Director of Israel Fundraising Department, noted that KKL-JNF had been planting trees in Israel for the past 109 years: "Tree planting with KKL-JNF has become a revered tradition for thousands of people who wish to commemorate a loved one or an event, or to express solidarity with making and keeping Israel green. In honor of its 100th birthday, KKL-JNF was awarded the prestigious Israel Prize for its unique contribution to society and the State of Israel, and for its activities in greening, ecology and environmental protection.

"Here at Haportzim recreation area, KKL-JNF has created recreational facilities and picnic areas, signposted hiking trails and built scenic lookouts. It is part of Yitzhak Rabin Park and it tells the story of the heroic battle to break the siege on Jerusalem before 1948.

"I would like to thank the entire Zara Mart team, especially Albert and Yermi, for their unique initiative and for such an inspiring project. It is an example of fruitful collaboration between KKL-JNF and the business world. Thanks to your efforts and support, we will be able to continue the work that we began at the Fifth Zionist Congress, when KKL-JNF was founded on the initiative of Binyamin Ze'ev Herzl."

Yermi Haker spoke on behalf of Zara Mart, beginning with a quote from Psalms: "If I forget you, o Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its cunning. Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you; if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy.

"All the trees at the Zara Mart grove are dedicated to and planted in honor of our customers, who, through their love of Israel and commitment to nature have made this grove a reality. These trees have been planted within the context of KKL-JNF's project to plant seven million trees over the next decade – one tree of each of Israel's citizens. I would like to thank KKL-JNF for this special project and for its important contribution to Israel over the past 109 years. We are happy to be part of this effort and have set a goal to plant, together with our dedicated customers, at least another 1,000 new trees at Zara Mart grove.

"Planting trees helps to protect our environment and contributes towards combating global warming. We at Zara Mart are committed to sustainable development. We even have an eco-suede kippa made out of recycled cardboard that is an alternative to kippot made of leather. Planting trees in Israel is a wonderful way to support the country. A tree is a symbol of longevity and it stands for a broad spectrum of meanings we all wish to be blessed with: sturdiness, prosperity, continuance and more. I feel privileged to contribute towards the fulfillment of a great mitzvah, in which reality and symbol combine through planting trees in our promised land."

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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