Tragedy struck on Mount Carmel near Haifa in December of 2010, during a particularly hot and dry winter, when a fire raged out of control and destroyed millions of trees, as well as parts of settlements, including the artists' village of Ein Hod. Israel had to call on foreign countries to assist in putting out the fire, which took four days to accomplish. It then took over a year for the land to recover sufficiently to begin replanting trees lost in the fire.
Experts estimate that it will take 40 years to replant the entire fire-damaged region. Israel Today made the decision to sponsor the replanting of 3 000 trees in an area on the mountain now known as the Israel Today Forest. Of course, this task could not be accomplished without the support of Israel Today subscribers and readers!
In February 2012, staff of Israel Today traveled to the Carmel Mountain region in northern Israel for the dedication ceremony of the Israel Today Forest. The Jewish National Fund (JNF) undertakes the actual planting of the trees, and welcomed the Israel Today staff with warm words for our readers. JNF official Eran Avadi said that Jewish and Christian friends of Israel had done much to help, both in spirit and through generous donations. Mr. Avadi said he was not surprised by the fact that Israel Today readers were willing to help fund forests in Israel, given their great love for the Jewish state. "Israel Today gives a different perspective on Israel that many are missing, and we appreciate that," said Mr. Avadi. "Your readers are seeing Israel for what it really is, and we thank them for their help."
Mr. 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 plaque with the same inscription is 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 two years) has touched me personally, and I thank you on behalf of the magazine, the Land and the people of Israel."
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 directions are available on 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 Holy Land, Click here to buy your tree.