Albert Zara and
Yermi Haker of ZaraMart.com, 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.
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."
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.
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.
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."
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."
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