Bride gets her green wedding wish

January 20, 2010 by Henry Benjamin
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Adopt an Acacia is a new JNF initiative which has itself been adopted by Sydney couple Zoe and Darren Smorgon.

The Smorgons were married in February last year and had requested no presents, opting to raise funds for a project in Israel’s Arava region.

Zoe and Darren

Darren, 33, told J-Wire: “Zoe is a bit of a greenie so donating to the JNF seemed an obvious choice. We saw seven options with the acacia project ending up the most interesting.

The Sydney banker and his 31-yr-old architect wife visited the project on their honeymoon. Smorgon added: “It’s a pity that we can’t be there for the launch but I am glad Zoe’s wishes are being realised.”

A spokesperson for JNF in Israel said:  “The most exciting and heart-warming donation we received was from Zoe Spiegel and Darren Smorgon  who donated their wedding money to the “Adopt an Acacia “ project in the Arava.

Michal Marmory writes from JNF Israel:

Zoe and Darren visit the project. The plaque acknowledges their contribution.

“Acacia trees are a characteristic feature of the Arava region. They form a unique, beautiful savanna desert landscape and constitute the basis for a rich and important ecological system, such as not seen elsewhere in the world. Recent decades have witnessed a substantial mortality among the acacia trees accompanied by virtually no natural propagation.
Keren Kayemeth L’Israel has risen to the task by inaugurating the “Adopt an Acacia” project.
In spite of the project’s enormous cost, KKL-JNF World Chairperson, Efi Stenzler has personally joined in the effort, with the aid of a big contribution made by Australian Jewry that donated several thousands of NIS, designated for the benefit of the project.

The first stage began a year ago; KKL-JNF began a process of mapping and identifying the trees suitable for reproduction. The KKL-JNF Seed Unit began a process of collecting, sorting and mapping the suitable seeds from the most impressive and high-quality trees. After this, the seeds were transferred for germination and planting at KKL-JNF nurseries.

The lengthy process ended after suitable areas were selected for planting together with farmers from the region, open spaces where no future development is intended in order to prevent the trees from being cut down in the future. The trees are now growing to a sustainable size that allows their planting. They will be planted along the edges of agricultural fields and the farmers will be responsible for the care of the trees, their adopted trees.”

The first Acacia trees will be planted today at a festive ceremony ahead of Tu B’shvat.

Local Arava schoolchildren planting the first acacias Photo Ancho Gosh - KKL

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