L-R: Dana, Michael, Renee and David Goldenberg next to the sign dedicating Ellie's Oak Tree Corner in Kerem HaCarmel Forest.
(photo credit: DENNIS ZINN/KKL-JNF)
It was grey, wet cold on Sunday, December 30, 2018, when family and friends of Ellie Goldenberg, of blessed memory, gathered at the Keren HaCarmel Forest near Haifa to dedicate a new KKL-JNF recreation area in her name. Ellie Goldenberg was an outstanding 22-year-old student, who was killed in a tragic boating accident in May 2017, the day after she graduated with honors from the University of Miami’s Musical Theater program.
The director of KKL-JNF’s fundraising department, Michael Ben Abu, welcomed the guests led by Ellie’s close family. Her parents Renee and David, her sister Dana, and her brother Michael with his wife Amelia flew in from the USA, and her grandparents came over from Haifa. Dr. Omri Boneh, Director of KKL-JNF's Northern Region, said that it was an honor and a pleasure to meet Ellie’s family and friends at the new picnic site in the southern Carmel Ridge, a region which attracts so many visitors.
“This beautiful elevated spot is the right place to remember Ellie and tell her story. I want to report to you that KKL-JNF staff executed the work carried out at this new site with much love and care. It was not supposed to be so muddy today at our ceremony, but we cannot complain because we Jews pray for rain for half of the year.”
Ellie’s younger sister Dana Goldenberg spoke on behalf of the grieving family.
“I am so happy to see an oak tree in the center of this new picnic site that is dedicated to the memory of Ellie. The oak is a symbol of strength and endurance due to its deep roots. Ellie was much like the oak, with deep roots in the land of Israel, and in the Jewish religion, culture and peoplehood. She loved this country, she lived by her Jewish values, and she most definitely spent her life doing everything and anything for those she loved. I, like the most of our family, managed to survive the past year and a half by taking an example from the resilience and energy that Ellie had, to make the best of a bad situation.” Read more, see photos of the inauguration of Ellie’s Oak Tree Corner