Poll: Men like olive trees, women almond [pg. 4]

The olive tree is most popular among Israeli men, while women favor the almond and new immigrants prefer the oak. This is according to a random poll of 500 people conducted for the Jewish National Fund by the Geocartography Institute to determine how a spectrum of Israelis celebrate Tu Bishvat, the festival of trees being marked today. Twenty-seven percent of men said that the olive was their favorite tree, 25% of women said the almond was theirs, and 24% of immigrants said oak. Fifty percent of those polled revealed that in recent years they had planted one or more trees to commemorate the holiday, 20% of whom planted a tree within the last year. When asked how they would like to celebrate the holiday this year, 45% responded that they would like to have a Tu Bishvat Seder, while 31% would prefer to go to the forest and plant trees. Only 10% stated that they would rather stay home and watch television. Forty percent of those polled indicated that they believed it was important that the JNF forests continue to provide free admission. The JNF is planning to plant over 600,000 trees in its forests throughout the country this Tu Bishvat. The main tree-planting ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. in Nitzan, where many of the Gush Katif evacuees were relocated, in the presence of JNF world chairman Yehiel Leket and Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin. Between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., there will be tree planting ceremonies in three locations across the country: at the Gilon Forest in the North, at the Bareket Forest near Modi'in in the center of the country, and at the Beit Kama Junction for those in the South. These are free events and the public is invited to participate. Tu Bishvat celebrations began last Friday, as thousands of families gathered to plant more than 10,000 saplings at the three forests. "Our park rangers will plant more than 600,000 new trees in fields of the JNF forests not accessible to the public, spanning more than 3,000 acres and covering 70 percent of the south of Israel," said the JNF's Talila Lipschitz. For more information of other events taking place today call 1-800-350-550. To plant a virtual tree, go to www.kkl.org.il.