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Contact: Nina Woldin
JNF Educational Content Manager
212-879-9305 ext. 268
nwoldin@jnf.org

Jewish National Fund Announces Winner of Color Israel Green!
Tu B’Shevat Certificate Design Contest 

1January 4, 2007 -- New York, NY -- Ten-year-old Avigail Goldstein of Memphis, TN, a fourth grader at the Margolin Hebrew Academy/Feinstone Yeshiva of the South, has been named the winner of Jewish National Fund’s first annual Color Israel Green! certificate design contest.  

Chosen from over 350 entries from across the country, Goldstein’s artwork will be reproduced on JNF’s Tu B’Shevat in the Schools tree certificates, putting her in the company of acclaimed artists whose designs have been featured on JNF certificates throughout the years.  The certificate will be sent to thousands of students who plant trees in Israel in honor of Tu B’Shevat and will be showcased online at www.jnf.org/education.

2JNF will also display the entries of the four runners-up on its education website.  They are Rachel Eilbaum and Sarah Jacobs, fifth graders from the Reuben Gittelman Hebrew Day School in New City, NY; Marty Silverberg, age 9, from Temple Kol Ami Emanuel Day School in Plantation, FLNicole Greenwald, age 10, from Levittown, NY; and eighth grader Talia Sessel, from Orange, CT.

The theme of the contest -- which ran from September to December -- was Operation Northern Renewal, JNF’s campaign to restore northern Israel after this summer’s war with Hezbollah. Students in grades 3-8 were asked to submit designs that illustrated what renewing northern Israel means to them. 

3“JNF’s Tu B’Shevat in the Schools program has always been about connecting students to the land of Israel and teaching them the importance of respecting and preserving nature,” said Nina Woldin, JNF educational content manager. “Now, more than ever, that connection is important, and this contest was a wonderful way to engage students in the effort to restore what was lost this summer.  We received an overwhelming amount of entries and are thrilled at the response.”

4Throughout the month-long war with Hezbollah, 400 forest fires erupted as Katyusha rockets rained down on northern Israel, burning 10,000 acres of planted forests, woodlands, and nature reserves, destroying nearly 2 million trees, and severely degrading soil quality.   Forests that were hand-planted two to three generations ago by the pioneers of the State of Israel were destroyed.  It took 50 years for these forests to mature; it will take another 50 years to regain what was lost.

5Forest rehabilitation is only one part of JNF’s 10-year, $400 million Operation Northern Renewal campaign. To make the north home again, the plan also includes upgrading parks and recreation sites; developing tourism; preparing land for agriculture and providing research and development; working on preparedness (more fire trucks, accessible hydrants and equipment storage); the purchase of a firefighting airplane; year-round camps for children; a housing loan program to encourage families to move to the north; funding of Hugey Sayarut, Israel’s elite youth movement; and volunteer activities.

For more information, contact Nina Woldin at 212-879-9305 ext. 268 or nwoldin@jnf.org.

Winning entries, in order of appearance:

1.  Avigail Goldstein, winner.
2.  Rachel Eilbaum and Sarah Jacobs, 1st runners-up.
3.  Marty Silverberg, 2nd runner-up.
4.  Nicole Greenwald, 3rd runner-up.
5.  Talia Sessel, 4th runner-up.

High-resolution jpegs available upon request.

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Jewish National Fund is a non-profit organization founded in 1901 to serve as caretaker of the land of Israel, on behalf of its owners—Jewish people everywhere. Over the past century, JNF has planted over 240 million trees, built over 180 reservoirs and dams, developed over 250,000 acres of land, created more than 1,000 parks, provided the infrastructure for 1,000 communities and educated students around the world about Israel and the environment. Today, JNF is restoring northern Israel, making it home again to its residents, and is putting its century of experience to work with Blueprint Negev, supporting Israel’s newest generation of pioneers in developing the Negev Desert, Israel’s last frontier.  For more information on JNF or to plant trees in Israel, call 800-542-TREE (8733) or visit www.jnf.org/trees.  To contact your local office, please call 888-JNF-0099 or visit http://www.jnf.org/.

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