TuB’Shvat – Friday, January 22 – Community Tree Planting Event & ‘My Experience by R. Whitehill

    Friday, 22 January, was the JNF/KKL National Tree Planting Event that took place in the Zorah forest located between Shimshon Junction and Nachshon Junctions on road to Jerusalem, from Tel Aviv. The area had a bad fire last summer so KKL chose this site to plant this year.

    The CAARI Group, dressed in KKL sweatshirts and green hats, departed promptly at 7:30 am and was welcomed by

    Asa El, the KKL Staff that briefed the group.  

    The CAARI  received saplings from the JNF/KKL foresters to hand out to the public at large that flocked to the site until 2:30 PM..  Nursery schools with parents and teachers, as well as organizations, individuals and families made a day of the event and it was great interacting with the Israeli public at large. There was music and lots of TuBshvat songs. A warm sunny day of TuBShavat celebration was enjoyed by all. CAARI returned to welcome in the Shabbat.

     Candle lighting took place in the lobby, some went to Friday services at near by synagogues. The group enjoyed  a wonderful Friday night meal that began with the traditional Kiddush that all recited together and then we met for an Oneg Shabbat led Gloria Kaufman and the Oneg Shabbat Committee.
    By Rosalie Whitehill:

    Yesterday, Friday, we were out early to go to a forest where they offered tree planting.  Since Tishe B’Av (Jewish Arbor Day when everyone plants a tree) is Monday, they had this planting…mainly for preschool children on Friday…when dads could come with their youngsters (Israel is now closing many business on Friday…..giving a two day weekend)…..and it was so wonderful to see so many fathers with their families.  Our CAARI group gave out the seedlings (about a foot high with about a foot of soil) so that the children can plant them in holes already dug and marked with flags…..and when the seedling is planted, the child takes the flag…..Of course, we Chag Sameach, (Happy Holiday) (Happy Holiday) and Shabbat Shalom ( welcome the Sabbath….as it was Friday)….and the kids and their parents respond…..some of the kids come with small shovels or handles of about 2 feet…..and we did not get quite the 1000 people we expected, we were close……and this is a day and activity that always fills my heart with special love for Israel, where trees are so important.  We were at the forest, near Jerusalem, which had experienced a fire last year, from 8:30 a.m ubtil 3:30……and were very tired when we got back.

    However, I did not rest, as I wanted to go to the charming little synagogue where the rabbi dances around and the services include so much of what I know in Kabbalat Shabbat….I walked there and back…..and we had wine with dinner, welcoming the Shabbat with songs and prayers…..always special here.  Our Oneg (after dinner get-together) included some inspirational poetry, readings of Rev Abraham Joshua Heschel,, as well as songs and dances……..and to say I was exhausted, would be a  BIG understatement……and so I went right to bed and awoke around 8:00 this morning…..10  hours of much needed sleep!!!
    I love Israel……my trip is my yearly gift from Ralph, making it extra special. I am so blessed to have you and Israel in my life!!
    love, and peace,

    Elliott – that’s all folks!  No more saplings!

The Canadian American Active Retirees in Israel, CAARI, offers active seniors a unique opportunity to experience Israel. The program is designed to explore the biblical landscapes, follow the footsteps of the early pioneers, and envision the future of our Homeland. The CAARI Program includes community service, toursa speakers forum and the camaraderie of the CAARI Family. The Program is designed for to feel, touch, hear and see Israel from the mountains to the desert, from sea to sea, and from ancient to modern.

Contact Us at: [email protected]
Facebook: https://facebook.com/CAARI-Volunteers

Links: Jewish National Fund USA : https://www.jnf.org/