(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
The first day of discussions at the KKL-JNF World Leadership Conference began at the Mamilla Hotel in Jerusalem. The opening session was "Zionism 2013", followed by a session that focused on KKL-JNF's contribution to agricultural development in Israel. Speakers at these sessions included KKL-JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzler, Co-Chairman Eli Aflalo and the Minister of Agriculture, Yair Shamir.
The President of KKL-JNF Switzerland and WLC Co-Chairman Arthur Plotke served as chairmen of the opening session of the WLC. He began his remarks on a personal note by mentioning that he was born in Basel, just like KKL-JNF. "Our dream has been realized by the 240 million trees we have planted, the parks we have created, the reservoirs we have built and combating desertification, if only to mention a few of KKL-JNF's achievements," he said. He later asked what the difference is between KKL-JNF and other organizations, and answered: "KKL-JNF has become the leading organization in the field of the environment and recreation. Millions of people enjoy the parks we have created. Personal contact has become the focus of our activities."
KKL-JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzler gave the opening address to WLC participants: "The fundamental question of the Jewish people is, what is Zionism in our time, and how is it different from the good old Zionism that we are familiar with from the past?" Stenzler asked. "The entire world looks at us with amazement, and some look at us with envy. Our enemies see KKL-JNF as the spearhead of Zionism and the State of Israel."
Stenzler added: "Our secret is that we were always capable of seeing a few steps forward. The Zionist revolution succeeded because it knew how to harness the entire Jewish world to a common vision. Apparently we will always be a small people, a few against the many, and we must therefore base our future on quality rather than quantity."
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