Kaelen Sherman unveils the plaque dedicating a grove of trees to her parents Barry and Honey Sherman Z"L in Carmel Forest.
(photo credit: DENNIS ZINN/KKL-JNF)
The pouring rain and inclement weather did not deter the friends of Kaelen Sherman from attending the plaque unveiling ceremony in the KKL-JNF Carmel Forest marking the planting of a grove of trees in honour of Kaelen’s parents Honey and Barry, of blessed memory. The event took place almost exactly one year after they died in tragic circumstances.
The group had to be ferried in jeeps to the location due to the waterlogged forest roads. Waiting to meet them were KKL-JNF’s Elisha Mizrachi from the Fundraising department, Gioia Menasce of KKL-JNF's Canadian Desk and Anna Kos from JNF Canada. The participants were handed umbrellas and invited to proceed to the dedication site. Kaelen unveiled the plaque, which read: Grove Rehabilitation in the Carmel Forest
The Sherman Family
In memory of our parents
Honey and Barry Sherman Z”L
‘We love you forever Mom and Dad’
The rain stopped at that stage for enough time for Elisha Mizrachi to again welcome the group, and tell them of the connection between the Sherman family and KKL-JNF.
“Honey and Barry’s kindness and generosity were well known all over the world and in particular in Jewish organizations in Canada and in Israel. They were proud Jews who supported their community and supported Israel. One of their favored charities was KKL-JNF.”
Mizrachi described some of the major KKL-JNF projects that were financed by the Shermans. These were the restoration of the Jerusalem Peace Forest and the construction of a recreation area there; the provision of protective bomb shelters in Beer Sheva, at a home for children with special needs and for communities around the Gaza Strip; and the construction of the Mediterranean Botanical Gardens in Acre. He said that due to their modesty and humility there were no big signs bearing their names at these sites. “However now after their awful death, JNF Toronto decided to plant a grove of trees in their memory. The new grove is here in this forest. Their grove overlooks the valley just as they look over us now.”
Kaelen was comforted throughout the event by her friends, who provide a great deal of support thru this difficult time, she said “This is the first Yortzheit - memorial, for my parents. Anything I say will just make me cry.”
Barry Sherman was a Canadian business executive and owner of a large pharmaceutical manufacturing company. Barry and Honey were an example of giving back to the community. At their joint funeral, their four grieving children - Jonathan, Lauren, Alexandra, and Kaelen - promised to continue their parents’ legacy of caring for others.
The KKL-JNF dedication ended with a tree planting ceremony, which took place in the falling rain, the rain was viewed as a symbol of fertility for the land and prosperity for the trees. Elisha Mizrachi handed each participant a well-developed pine sapling, which he said was specially grown in a KKL-JNF nursery
. “These pines usually do not have the luxury of abundant rainfall and have been honed and developed to be able to withstand long dry periods which can last 8 months or longer.”
Gioia Menasce explained the technique of planting the sapling. “Make sure that the entire root system is completely and firmly covered by earth. This rain is going to do wonders for these new trees. It’s a double celebration because we celebrate Tu Bishvat
, the New Year of the Trees, in a few days’ time.”
Once the saplings were firmly in the ground, the participants dashed back to the vehicles for shelter and final hugs. Everyone was surprised that despite the torrential rain, each one actually managed to keep quite dry under the umbrellas.
See more photos from the ceremony for Barry and Honey Sherman Z”L