United with Israel is planting thousands of fruit trees in various locations throughout southern Israel.
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In response to the 1500 rockets that exploded in Israel during the war with Hamas this past November, United with Israel ran a successful campaign whose goal was to plant 1500 fruit trees in southern Israel. We are happy to report that this goal was reached and surpassed. Due to the overwhelming response, the tree count has now exceeded 2000 and is still growing. The trees have been distributed among six different communities in the south and will continue to extend to others.
Besides the very important objective of expressing solidarity with communities who are living under fire, this special project has given us the opportunity to further develop the ecology and natural beauty of southern Israel. Planting fruit trees is an ideal way to help fulfill Israel’s dream turned reality of “making the desert bloom”.
The communities that benefited from UWI’s Fruit Tree Campaign are Shuva, Be’ersheva, Kidron, Tifrach, Otniel and Mitzpe Ramon. Here you can learn about each of these communities:
Moshav Shuva is a village located very close to Netivot. The village was established in 1950 by Jewish immigrants from Tripoli, who were later on joined by Jewish immigrants from other areas of the Arab world. The name Shuva is taken from Psalms 126:4, “Return, O Lord, our captivity like rivulets in arid land.”
In 2006, the village had a population of 393 people. Moshav Shuva will now experience fresh life with the planting of fruit trees in a section owned and maintained by David Baruch, one of the founders of Moshav Shuva. Baruch has been a farmer for many years and the new trees will greatly assist him.
Be’ersheva is the city of seven wells where the patriarch Avraham dug a well to water his flock, made a covenant with the King Avimelech, and planted a tamarisk tree to seal the covenant. According to Genesis 21:21: “Therefore he called that place Be’ersheva, because there the two of them took an oath.” The modern-day city of Be’ersheva, however, was founded by the Ottoman Turks in the twentieth century as a means of asserting control over the Negev region, and the remnants of Ottoman Turkish Be’ersheva can still be witnessed to date within the Old City of Be’ersheva.
Since 1949, Be’ersheva has emerged to be Israel’s provincial capital of the Negev region. Today, the city has museums, historical sites, and a zoo; hosts one of the largest universities in Israel; and on Thursday, has its famous Bedouin market.
Finding the right location to planting trees within the city Be’ersheva was not an easy task. The decision was made to plant trees in the Dalet neighborhood, considered one of the poorer areas of the city. Local children will assist in caring for the trees, providing them with a great educational opportunity to learn about the ecology of trees as well as the Jewish laws related to the planting and harvesting of fruit trees in the Land of Israel.
Moshav Kidron is located near the port city of Ashdod. This agricultural community was founded during Israel’s War of Independence by Holocaust survivors from the former Yugoslavia. Kidron has an area to grow fruit trees that are 100 percent organic.
United with Israel sought to promote environmental sustainability by choosing to contribute towards this organic community, which presently has 300 trees. With the assistance of our campaign, Kidron will be able to exceed 1000 fruit trees by the end of the growing season.
Located near Ofakim, between Netivot and Be’ersheva, Moshav Tifrach is a religious community that combines Torah study with working the land. A yeshiva exists in Tifrach right next to the fruit tree orchards and the community plants to open up a religious high school that will combine religious and agricultural studies. The Moshav was established in 1950 by immigrants from Hungary and North Africa, and has a population of approximately 1500 people.
The name of Moshav Tifrach was taken from Isaiah 35:1, “Desert and wasteland shall rejoice over them, and the plain shall rejoice and shall blossom like a rose.” We are working to make Tifrach truly blossom like a rose. United with Israel visited Moshav Tifrach during our solidarity trip to southern Israel on the holiday of Lag B’Omer, where a group of Israel supporters had the opportunity to plant over 100 trees in a new section of Tifrach’s large olive tree orchards. United with Israel hopes to continue to assist Moshav Tifrach in developing its olive and pomegranate tree orchards.
WATCH THE VIDEO OF UWI’S RECENT TREE PLANTING TRIP IN TIFRACH:
Otniel is a religious community located in the south Judean Hills near Hebron, the second holiest city for Jews, where the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Jewish people are buried. The region of Judea, located in the heartland of Israel, is an area that is rich in Jewish history.
With United with Israel’s gift of fruit trees, made possible by the generosity of friends and supporters of Israel from all around the world, the community of Otniel will experience fresh growth and new life. A total 1200 new trees will be planted, a portion of which were donated by United with Israel, during a special celebration hosted by the community, with music, singing and dancing.
Mitzpe Ramon, a town located close to Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion’s kibbutz, was founded in 1951 as a camp for workers building the road to Eilat. The town’s first permanent residents moved there in the 1960’s, many of whom immigrated to Israel from North African countries and Romania.
Thanks to the hard work of 15 families that live in the area, thousands of grapevines already exist in Mitzpe Ramon, with thousands more expected to be planted. The community is in the process of planting new orchards with a total of 2000 argan trees, some of which were allocated from United with Israel’s campaign. These unique argan trees produce a nut whose oil can be utilized for cosmetics and medical purposes. The arid climate of southern Israel provides the perfect environment for these trees to thrive.
United with Israel thanks YOU – the supporters of Israel – whose kindness and generosity have turned the dream of planting thousands of fruit trees into a reality. Our Fruit Tree campaign is ongoing, and we invite everyone to participate in this wonderful mitzvah (good deed) of beautifying the Land and making it fruitful!