Israel News

The Amazing Story of Israel’s Forests

The Land of Israel today has many forests and other luscious plant life, but it wasn’t always this way.

Learn the inspiring story of how Zionist pioneers planted trees all over the country and made the desert bloom, creating an Israeli tradition of tree-planting that lasts to this day!

A century ago, the landscape of Israel was suffering from severe deforestation and was a stark contrast from its current lush, green expanse. However, the transformative vision of Zionist pioneers would soon change the face of the Land of Israel, with their monumental project to plant trees and cultivate forests, setting in motion a reforestation revolution that would shape the environmental destiny of the nation!

Forests as part of the Zionist Vision
AdobeStock_152077958 - Copy

In the early 1900s, the land that would become the state of Israel was suffering from deforestation and lack of trees, leading to environmental issues such as soil erosion and loss of biodiversity, which impacted human quality of life as well. Centuries of human activity, including agriculture, urbanization, and war, had taken a toll on the once verdant landscapes.

With the rise of the Zionist movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, waves of Jewish immigrants settled in the historic Land of Israel with the goal of eventually establishing an independent, self-sustaining state. Taking stewardship and responsibility for the land and its future, these pioneers recognized the importance of ecological preservation and sustainable living, and this included the need for reforestation.

 

Forested landscape in northern Israel today

 

To address the environmental challenges, the Jewish National Fund or Keren Kayemet LeYisrael (KKL-JNF) emerged as a pivotal force in the reforestation efforts. The organization became a driving force behind tree planting initiatives in Israel, encouraging the local Jewish population to actively participate in transforming the arid landscapes.

In addition, KKL-JNF launched fundraising campaings in Jewish communities around the world, which not only successfully financed their forest-planting efforts, but allowed Jews everywhere to feel a direct connection to the Land of Israel by directly helping to revitalize it.

btn
Tree-of-Life-Gifts-2020-CAT-M
Successfully making the Desert Bloom
yoav-hornung-pK3AkbFx_Sg-unsplash

Over the years, the relentless efforts of Zionist pioneers and subsequent generations bore fruit – quite literally! Large forests all over Israel became living testaments to the transformative power of afforestation, Zionist vision, and love of the Land. These lush green havens have helped combat soil erosion, provided habitats for diverse flora and fauna, and contributed to the preservation of biodiversity, slowing climate change, and making Israel a more habitable place for all.

The greening of Israel not only had profound environmental implications but also became an integral part of the cultural identity of the nation. The Jewish National Fund/Keren Kayemet LeYisrael would become a beloved national institution, with its collection drives and tree-planting initiatives symbolizing Zionist hope, determination, and ingenuity.

 

Shokeda Forest in southern Israel today

 

To this day, KKL-JNF continues maintaining and developing Israel's forests, and planting new trees every year. It has become a popular tradition among Israelis and Jews around the world to donate to the organization in order to "sponsor" one's own tree somewhere in the Land of Israel.

 

Israeli forests

 

And now, in response to damaged forests and wildlife in the Galilee, we're helping our customers plant their own trees in Israel!

Purchase your own tree directly through site, or get a FREE tree with any order of $100+ through July 22. Read the full details of our offer here.

Celebrate Israel and its nature by shopping our Tree of Life-themed items, Support Israel collection, and other magnificent gifts from Israeli artists right on our site.

btn
plant-tree

JWS POST YOU MAY LIKE

Israeli flag in the wind
The Meaning of the Israeli Flag
While a flag is essentially a piece of cloth used to distinguish and identify regions, nations, organizations, etc., the choice
Independence day  (Yom Haatzmaut) in israel. Hanging official flag waving on wind with Star of David on it against trees.
The Amazing Story of Israel’s Forests
A century ago, the landscape of Israel was suffering from severe deforestation and was a stark contrast from its current
Beautiful rays of sunlight in a green forest
Plant a Tree in Israel with Your Purchase
For every purchase of $100 and up on our site through July 22nd, we will donate to Keren Kayemet LeYisrael
The concept of political relationships the United States with Is
The History of the US-Israel Relationship
This week, millions of Americans will gather with friends and family to celebrate Independence Day on the Fourth of July.
anointing oil
All About Anointing Oil - in Biblical Times and Today!
What is anointing oil and how is it used today? From the cosmetic, medicinal, and spiritual oils of Biblical times to modern
AdobeStock_516297547
Everything You've Wanted to Know About the Star of David
The Star of David is a six-pointed star made up of two equilateral triangles superimposed over each other. From its place on