Sergio Castelbolognesi, Ambassador Gianluigi Benedetti and his family unveil the Italian Ambassador's dedication plaque..
(photo credit: YOAV DEVIR KKL-JNF)
A grove of trees in honor of H.E. Gianluigi Benedetti, the Italian Ambassador to Israel, was dedicated in the Tzora-President’s Forest, at a special ceremony in the presence of the Italian Ambassador and the President of KKL Italy, Sergio Castelbolognesi.
The Ambassador recalled his previous visit to the forest several months ago, and said that "it was in this place that I first became familiar with the activity of KKL-JNF and I planted my first tree in Israel". He recounted that it was in that moment that he promised himself that he would come back with his family and plant their own personal trees. The Tzora-Presidents Forest extends over an area of about 2,700 acres in the Judean plain, on the road between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. KKL-JNF began planting here about 60 years ago, and has since continued diversifying the forest with local species as well as opening up recreation areas, observation points and a hiking trail. One of KKL-JNF’s main planting centers is also situated in this forest, enabling tourists and overseas visitors to participate in the experience of planting a tree in the forest.
The ceremony took place against the backdrop of the beautiful, green forest scenery. Nearby can be found the recognition center established by KKL-JNF in honor of its friends worldwide, whose support has enabled the planting of many groves of trees in the forest. The guests studied the wall of plaques containing the engraved names of donors and honorees, and were impressed by the degree of international participation that went into the establishment of the woods and the forests.
"When I and my family arrived in Israel we immediately fell in love with the country" said the Ambassador. "I remember my 7 year old daughter Gaya coming home from school and saying: ‘I love Israel, it is full of colors and of happiness, and it is also my home’".
Read more, see photos of the grove dedication to the Italian Ambassador.