New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and his wife Tammy with their newly planted tree in Yad Kennedy.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
In emphasis of his deep love for Israel, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy planted a tree at the Yad Kennedy Memorial in the Jerusalem Hills.
This was the governor’s sixth visit to Israel in four years together with his wife Tammy.
On October 23rd, 2018, KKL-JNF’s Elisha Mizrahi welcomed Governor Murphy and his wife to Yad Kennedy, the site that commemorates the life of assassinated US President John F. Kennedy. Mizrahi said that the site was built on the edge of a large hand-planted forest – the Peace Forest, which, at the time it was planted, was located along the Jordanian-Israeli border, in hopes that one day there would be peace in the region.
“When a leader is killed, the clock stops, not just for a minute but for many years,” said Mizrahi. “We in Israel remember.”
He noted that a day earlier, Israel had marked the assassination of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin 23 years ago.
As the world struggles to face the effects of climate change, KKL-JNF has been hard at work trying to mitigate its effects, yet the organization had already been planting forests for decades.
“Trees can do quite a bit of effort to lower Co2 values,” said Mizrahi. “KKL-JNF is one of the leading institutions in these kinds of methods. We have been in action since 1907.”
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Murphy was also greeted at the ceremony by a group of Jewish community leaders from the New Jersey region, including Linda Scherzer, of the Jewish Federation of Greater Metro-West; Rabbi Seth David Kirshner of Temple Emmanu-el, in Closter; Steve Klinghoffer of Shorthills; Sheri Goldberg of Livingston, and Eric Lavtisky, president of the Jewish Federation of Somerset, Hunterdon, and Warren counties.
Israeli Consul General to New York, Dani Dayan, also was present at the ceremony.
“I am incredibly honored and humbled to be planting a tree in such a beautiful historical place named after one of my heroes,” said Murphy. “I grew up in Boston and he was a hero beyond words, and when he was killed, it was beyond words.”
Tammy Murphy read aloud the Planters’ Prayer before the couple planted the tree sapling together. Mizrahi presented Murphy with a framed commemorative certificated marking the occasion.
“This marks our love of Israel. We love the country, we love the people,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.
See more photos of NJ Governor Phil Murphy planting a tree in the Jerusalem hills