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Helping the Desert Bloom with JNF

February 12, 2018


In the spirit of Tu Bi’Shevat, the Jewish National Fund invited the community to join in a celebration at Desserts Plus on Saturday, February 3 with entertainment by Ron Paley and Keith Macpherson.


Though Tu Bi’Shevat comes during the heart of winter in Winnipeg, the holiday allowed us to warmly come together and strongly show our commitment to Israel. The Jewish National Fund hosted this opportunity for people to appreciate the fruit of the vine and celebrate the holiday with music and dancing as they were immersed in the flavours and songs of Israel. Those in attendance enjoyed live music, delicious gourmet appetizers, and a glass of Israeli wine.


For the Jewish National Fund, the theme of Tu Bi’Shevat is planting. Tickets to this celebration cost $36 which included an $18 tax receipt towards JNF’s Tu Bi’Shevat campaign.


The Jewish National Fund has a long record of contributing to the development of Israel. Coinciding with Tu Bi’Shevat, their annual telethon campaign raises much needed funds for projects in Israel. On Sunday, February 4, volunteers of all ages came together under one roof to make phone calls and raise funds to help the desert bloom by encouraging people to make donations. Funds raised were directed to planting trees in the Mishmar HaNegev Forest located in the northern Negev. Purchasing trees to be planted helps to improve the landscape, creating a green belt around the village of Tarabin for the benefit of its residents and creating an ecological corridor along the Nahal Shmarya tributaries. The project includes preparing the land for planting and creating installations to collect runoff.


JNF plants trees with its particular brand of expertise aiming at creating a green environment appropriate for the desert. The tree species used in this project are adapted to harsh desert conditions and are planted at low densities per acre which allows the saplings to survive with no additional irrigation. Savannization was developed at JNF as a tool for rehabilitating eroded soils, stabilizing them and preventing further erosion, thus allowing the desert to bloom. The final product will be a well-balanced desert with its unique flora and fauna.


By planting trees, we actively transform and repair the world for future generations and us. Joining together to celebrate the new year of trees allows us to reaffirm our commitments to the environment and Israel. The holiday continues to remind people about the importance of the land of Israel, in addition to serving as an opportunity for personal and spiritual reflection. Tu Bi'Shevat is a time of renewal and a good time for planting all kinds of seeds, both actual and metaphorical.


The Jewish National Fund would like to thank donors for helping them to continue to make positive change and improve the quality of life by creating green and shade for the people of Israel. If they missed you, it's not too late to donate. By making a donation to JNF, you can reaffirm your bond with the land of Israel as symbolized by the deep roots of the tree. To make a donation, contact the JNF office at 204-947-0207 or [email protected] or donate online

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.