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Plant a Memorial Tree in Israel

Deborah Lee Rossiter /

Planting a memorial tree is one way to express sympathy to those of the Jewish faith.

If you've recently lost someone who belonged to the Jewish faith, you may be thinking of ways to honor their life and extend sympathy. It's important to know what's appropriate and what's not. One gesture of love and support that is appropriate is the planting of a tree in Israel.

Extend Sympathy by Planting a Tree in Israel

Planting a tree in Israel in memory of a loved one is a time-honored Jewish tradition that is symbolic and heartfelt. During all life-cycle events, but in particular when someone has experienced a loss, planting a tree is a very appropriate way to show your support.

After placing an order for a mourning tree, a beautiful certificate will be mailed to the recipient accompanied by your personal message.

Why Plant Trees in Israel?

In Judaism, it is important to perpetuate the lives and legacies of friends, family and ancestors. There are many ways in the Jewish faith to celebrate, honor and commemorate those who are no longer with us. Planting a tree in Israel is one way to show you care. You can plant trees in memory of a loved one while helping to "green" the land of Israel. 

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* Life-Cycle Events: Within Judaism, the celebration, honoring and commemorating of individuals during various rituals, rights of passage and stages of life, including births, marriage and deaths have been symbolically marked by the planting of trees. The significance draws upon the roots of a tree,  connection to Israel and even the expansion of tree branches.

* Spiritual, Cultural and Religious: There are a numerous interpretations that place religious and spiritual significance on the tree and connect to Israel.  In many respects the life cycle of a tree mirrors closely to that of the human life cycle and bridging the the planting of a tree helps to connect and in some ways is representative to life itself.  Conceptually, the seeds of trees spread wide and far like humans do, across the entire world. In a Biblical context, the Tree of Knowledge was one of the first things shown to Adam, thus demonstrating the importance of a connection between man and trees. In Judaism, Tu B'Shevat is a Jewish holiday celebrated annually honoring the birth of the trees and the fruit that they deliver to help sustain humankind. 

* Greening of the Earth: The land of Israel is located in the Middle East, which is a dry and desert region possessing limited trees and no natural forests. Therefore, all forests are hand-planted and require humanity to ensure that the land is fertile and habitable.  Through dedication and devotion to greening in less than 60 years Israel has become one of only two countries in the world that entered the 21st century with a net gain in its number of trees.

* A Gift to Future Generations: There are many known environmental advantages to planting trees. Most notably, trees reduce carbon emissions, clean the air, conserve water, provide habitat, all of which help to protect against climate change. 

History of Planting Trees in Israel

Over the past 113 years it has been a primary focus to plant trees in Israel to help green the lands. During this time, JNF has lead the way, planting over 250 million trees, creating and building over 240 reservoirs and dams, developing over 250,000 acres of land, and establishing more than 2,000 parks. in partnership with JNF carry on this timeless tradition, helping to continue the planting of trees, and helping individuals and families to honor and commemorate the lives of their loved ones. 

Results of Planting Trees

Since the tree planting effort began, hundreds of picnic areas, forests, and parklands have been created helping to expand the greening of the land beyond Jerusalem. This has created vast areas with vibrant parklands in more isolated and desolate areas including Yatir in the southern Hebron Hills, the Eshkol region in the cleft of the southern hills and others in the Negev, on the edge of the desert. Most notably the capital of the Negev, Be'er Sheva, a known desert area, was heavily planted to create a forest consisting of over 45,000 acres of land. partners with, a leading resource for Jewish mourning resources, to help guide individuals around the traditions, customs and rituals of Judaism.