Clean Up the Kinneret

September 20, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
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The Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) together with the Australian Embassy in Israel, The Kinneret Authority and KKL-JNF joined together to Clean Up Israel.

Cleaning up the Kinneret

Cleaning up the Kinneret

It is a programme that originated in Australia and has now made its way to international shores, including now at Tzinbari Beach on the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). The Australian Ambassador to Israel donned rubber gloves and worked side by side with over 150 Aussies, including 120 from gap year Israel programs, collecting litter and separating garbage from recyclables,

Australia's ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma

Australia’s ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma

“The international clean-up day initiative, which started initially in Australia, has become an international tradition,” said Australian Ambassador Dave Sharma. “One hundred years ago Australian soldiers fought right here against the Ottoman Empire to liberate the country, and now, Australian youngsters are here to safe-keep and preserve it.”

Willing helpers

Willing helpers at the Tzinbari beach on the Sea of Galilee

Most of the participants are on Gap Year Israel programs with Habonim Dror, Bnei Akiva, IBC. Israeli participants who are learning together with the IBC participants on the  Kol Ami mechinot joined as well. ZFA Israel Programs Director Yigal Sela said: -“The Israelis among you have witnessed through your Australian peers what a strong Zionist connection the Jewish community in Australia holds with Israel. Today you were able to see what a special and ever so warm relationship there is between the people of Australia and the people of Israel.”

Sela went on to say: – “Ambassador Sharma is the personification of this special relationship. To the Australians among you – you are very fortunate to grow up in Australia… A country, which enables and encourages you to be proud Australians and proud Jews. There are very few countries in the world which enable their Jews to enjoy such freedom and pride. I sincerely hope that you will take this pride back with you to your communities and work to further this strong relationship not only in the community but also between the people of Australia and Israel.”

An embassy spokesman told J-Wire: “The site at the Tzinbari Beach on the Sea of Galilee is situated close to where the historic WW1 battle of Semach took place in which Australian troops fought to drive the combined German and Ottoman forces from the town and open the way for allied troops to push on towards Damascus.

So having helped liberate this land some 100 years ago, young Australians and Israelis have now returned to help protect and maintain it.”

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