March 6th 2014
Adjacent to Golani Junction is The Lavi Forest, which covers almost 750 acres between Tiberias and Nazareth. Here, tourists are welcome to plant trees as symbolic participation in the greening of the land, as an activity overseen by Keren Kayemet Le’Israel – Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF)
Planting trees in Israel is most closely associated with KKL–JNF, arguably the most significant global Zionist organization. Since the very beginning of the 20th century, nearly 50 years before Israel became the Jewish State, KKL-JNF has been engaged in aggressive forestation efforts as a key homeland development activity. To date, the organization has planted 240 million trees in Israel.
KKL–JNF provides the opportunity for individuals to plant a tree in Israel, either by proxy through a donation, or, for those visiting Israel, to actually come and physically plant a tree in one of two tree-planting centers. One of these tree planting centers is located in Nachshon Forest, north of the city of Modi’in. The second tree planting center is at the Golani Junction, located in the Lavi Forest in the Lower Galilee. Its growth has been greatly supported through donations to KKL–JNF from across the world.
Your tour guide will make advanced arrangements for your group to plant year-old saplings in the Lavi Forest. The forest contains conifers, pines, eucalyptus, olive trees, carob trees and fig trees, so there’s no telling which species you will personally plant. At your tree planting ceremony, you’ll receive a celebratory tree planting certificate as well as a copy of KKL-JNF’s special Tree Planters’ Prayer. After you leave, the foresters who work for KKL-JNF will water and care for your sapling, ensuring that it takes root and is well on its way to growing to its full strength.
As long as you’re here, spend some time exploring the rest of the Lavi Forest. You’ll find scenic rest stops, picnic areas and wheelchair-accessible facilities. On site, there is an archaeological park, two different recreation areas for children and a Field Education Center that offers temporary housing and educational programming related to the environment. You can also see the KKL-JNF regional tree nursery. Summer visits to nearby orchards are often rewarded with tree-ripened fruit. Also nearby and worth visiting is Nebi Shoaib, where the tomb of the Prophet Jethro is located.