JEWISH National Fund (JNF) Australia has a proud record of contributing to the development of communities in Israel’s desert-dominated Ramat Hanegev.
And in a fitting move, it is bringing that region’s mayor, Eran Doron, to Sydney next week to headline its annual Green Week fundraising events.
Doron will speak at several functions, including a special Shabbat dinner at Maroubra Synagogue from 6pm on February 9, and an evening function at Masada College on February 12.
As mayor of Israel’s largest regional council – which covers 22 per cent of Israel’s territory but has only 0.1 per cent of her population – Doron is devoted to exemplifying David Ben Gurion’s pioneering spirit and vision to populate and develop the Negev.
It’s an exciting time for the steadily-growing desert communities, strengthened by a range of recent ecological, technological, water solution and community development projects, including Israel’s largest solar energy facility.
Doron said central to his efforts in making the desert bloom is “the implementation of environmental Zionism – developing and promoting the communities and settlements in Ramat Hanegev while conserving environmental resources and values”.
JNF CEO Dan Springer said JNF Australia “is proud to welcome Mayor Doron to our shores, as we look to expand our partnership with his strategically important region and support the growth of young communities that are vital for Israel’s future”.
In recent years, JNF Australia has provided the Merchav Am community in Ramat Hanegev with new playground and garden areas.
It has also helped Kibbutz Telalim to turn a dusty, vacant patch of land into a beautiful parkland equipped with children’s play areas, sun shades, walking tracks and picnic areas, while providing new housing and community infrastructure at the nearby community of Sheizaf.
The biggest fundraising event of JNF Green Week is the national Green Sunday Telethon on February 11, when volunteers will man phones in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth to raise funds for specific projects.
JNF NSW will direct funds raised towards building a green oasis within the Beit Halochem Rehabilitation Centre in Ashdod, which is a home away from home for injured soldiers and victims of terror living in Israel’s southern coastal region.
To donate to the Green Sunday campaign online, visit www.jnf.org.au/donatetogreensunday.