Israel and Argentina Embark on a Partnership for the Environment.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
“I never expected to have the opportunity to visit Israel as Minister for the Environment,” remarked Rabbi Bergman. “Argentina and Israel are natural partners. Although we shall not forget the contribution made by Argentinian Jews, we must ensure that this partnership not remain an internal Jewish matter: it has to be a joint enterprise shared by the two countries.”
Rabbi Sergio Bergman is known for his warm relationship with Israel, where he lived for a number of years while he completed his MA at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and was ordained as a rabbi by Jerusalem’s Hebrew Union College.
“I feel at home here,” he said during his visit.
“It’s no small matter to sit here with a minister in the Argentinian government and conduct the conversation in Hebrew,” said KKL-JNF Vice Chairman Hernan Felman on the first evening in Tel Aviv. “It’s important to us to involve the minister in the activities of KKL-JNF, show him what we do and offer our services in our areas of expertise.”
During his tour of the country, Rabbi Bergman made his way to Aminadav Forest in the Jerusalem Hills, where he planted a tree in company with KKL-JNF World Chairman Danny Atar.
The world chairman stressed KKL-JNF’s eagerness to deepen its cooperation with Argentina, in its quest to share its knowledge around the world. “KKL-JNF’s extensive experience can find expression in Argentina, too,” he said.
The Argentinian Environmental Minister also visited KKL-JNF projects in northern and central Israel: the rehabilitated Mount Carmel Forests, the Ramat Menashe Biosphere Park and the Kfar Sava biofilter.
The visit ended with a final meeting at which the KKL-JNF and Argentinian representatives discussed how their desire for cooperation could be translated into practical action that will enable them to apply KKL-JNF’s technological know-how to environmental projects in Argentina.
“KKL-JNF’s mission is tikkun olam (improving the world), one of the important values that Judaism has contributed to humankind,” remarked Rabbi Bergman.
Read more, watch video about the Argentinian Environmental Minister’s visit to Israel