Israel’s first Rotary club was established in Jerusalem, in 1929. Today, 90 years later, there are 58 Rotary clubs in Israel, with about 1,500 members.
Rotary Israel members unveil the sign for the Paul Harris Peace Forest in the Desert. (photo credit: DENNIS ZINN/KKL-JNF)
Alarge crowd of over two hundred members of Rotary Israel and KKL-JNF attended the dedication of the “Paul Harris Peace Forest in the Desert” near Ofakim in the Negev.
Paul Harris was the person who founded the Rotary organization 110 years ago in Chicago, USA. The participants met outside the Eshel Hanasi Youth Village on Friday, February 22, 2019, and, led by a KKL-JNF guide, drove in convoy across several kilometers of dry desert terrain to the spot where the new forest was to be planted. On-site to greet the visitors was KKL-JNF Fundraising Department Director Michael Ben Abu. He warmly welcomed the guests and told them: “KKL-JNF is proud to partner with the Rotary organization to create a forest for the benefit of the residents of the area and visitors from the rest of Israel and around the world. We hope and believe that the Paul Harris Peace Forest in the Desert will become a special rallying point, not only for the many Rotary members in Israel and abroad, but also for all those visitors from around the world who come to witness the miracle of transforming the desert into a garden. Rotary and its members are part of that miracle.”
Ben Abu called on Alon Bendet, Governor of Rotary Israel, and other present Rotary officials, to unveil the KKL-JNF plaque marking the establishment of the Rotary Israel’s Paul Harris Peace Forest in the Desert.
The forest’s establishment will have a significant positive ecological impact, and is a meaningful action strongly rooted in the vision of Rotary International, an apolitical organization where laypeople, professionals and business owners engage in social activism on behalf of their local communities and the world at large. Rotary International has been operating already for 114 years.
Founded in Chicago by Paul Harris and three other members in order to help the community, the organization currently has more than 1.2 million members in 36,000 clubs around the world, and promotes significant local and international activism in health, education, water and sanitation, conflict resolution and more under the mottoesService Above Self and One Profits Most Who Serves Best.