The staff of Israel Today traveled to the Carmel Mountain region in northern Israel this morning for the dedication ceremony of the "Israel Today Forest".
The Jewish National Fund actually plants the trees (many of them beforehand), and welcomed the Israel Today staff with warm words for our readers.
"Welcome to the forest you have sponsored in honor of Israel," said JNF official Eran Avadi. "We work hard to develop the land, especially after the devastating [December 2010 Carmel Mountain] wildfire. And we need your help."
Avadi said that both Jewish and non-Jewish friends, like the Christian readers of Israel Today, "have done much to help us, both in spirit and through generous donations."
Avadi said he was not surprised by the fact Israel Today's readers were willing to help fund forests in Israel, given their great love for the Jewish state.
"Israel Today is giving a different view of Israel that many are missing, and we appreciate that," said Avadi. "Your readers are seeing Israel for what it really is, and we thank them for their help."
Avadi presented Israel Today Editor-in-Chief Aviel Schneider with a plaque reading: "Israel Today Forest - Dedicated in love by the readers of Israel Today in honor of the people of Israel." A metal plague with the same inscription will be mounted in stone at the edge of the 12-acre forest.
Following the plaque presentation, Aviel Schneider expressed his own thanks towards the readers of Israel Today:
"After the Carmel fire, we knew we had to help by planting trees. Every donation (over the past year) has touched me personally and I thank you on behalf of the magazine, the land and the people of Israel."
Aviel said all Israel Today readers are invited to make use of and enjoy the forest, which is situated just south of Mount Carmel in the Ramat Menashe region. (Detailed instructions can be given upon request)
In the meantime, there are still tree certificates remaining for the Israel Today forest. If you would like to be part of this work of restoration in the Land of Israel, click here to buy your tree.