On Wednesday, the Winter In Netanya group participated in a tree planting ceremony-"Shtil Lekol Til" -"a plant for each rocket". 1,500 trees were planted by hundreds of soldiers and the JNF to match the estimated number of rockets fired into Israel from Gaza before and during the Pillar of Defense operation. Everyone gathered in one huge tent for the ceremony which preceded the planting.
It was held at Kibbutz Nachal Oz which is just a few kilometers away from Gaza. The mayor of the region thanked the soldiers who serve there for enabling children and families who live in the area to conduct their daily lives quietly. He also thanked Hadassah for sending volunteers to Israel and being there to support us and doing such an important job. We then continued to the actual tree planting with the soldiers and the head of the education corps, Brigadier General Eli Sharmeister who also came to speak to us and hear about this wonderful program. He thanked the group for their help and solidarity for Israel and stressed how important their support is. He asked the participants to come again and to bring more volunteers with them.
The soldiers came to speak to us and hear about what we are doing and praised us saying things like Kol Hakavod. I felt as if we were like the small amount of oil in the Temple at Chanukah which lit up and lasted for eight days. This program has been kept alive with the help of Hadassah and people like Elaine Senter , Barbara Goldstein and others The program needs promoting so that it will grow and not disappear.