Masa program participants from the USA and the FSU plant trees together with IDF border guard recruits in Michmash.
(photo credit: YOAV DEVIR KKL-JNF)
Is there a better way to connect with Israel than planting trees on Tu BiShvat together with young Jews from abroad and IDF combat soldiers who protect the country? This was precisely the mix present at the Michmash Border Guard base in the Judean Desert.
“Tu BiShvat is a holiday for putting down roots and growing,” said Director of KKL-JNF’s Overseas Education Department Hani Dassa. “This exciting encounter between young people from all over the world and Border Guard recruits provides a memorable and valuable Zionist experience that these youngsters will carry with them on their journey through life.”Two hundred and fifty young people from the USA and the former Soviet Union who are taking part in the Masa Israel Journey Program celebrated together at the event. Program participants remain in Israel for ten months, during which they volunteer, study Hebrew, tour the country and take part in a variety of activities and meetings.
“I’ve visited Israel in the past, but this time it’s different,” said Suzanne Margolis of New York. “I feel more at home here and I’m more familiar now with Israeli culture. Our meeting with the Border Guards and the tree-planting has given me a sense of real connection to the country.”
Commander of the Michmash base Ram Kaho told his guests about the Border Guards’ work to protect Israel’s borders. “Today we are strengthening the connection between people and their homeland and watching how the trees take root,” he observed.
Read more, see photos of the unity planting in Michmash