The ceremony took place at KKL-JNF’s planting center at Golani Junction. KKL-JNF Chief of Protocol Andy Michelson
, who presided over the event, told those present about KKL-JNF’s work to develop and preserve Israel’s forests
and about Mr. and Mrs. Ojares’
both to KKL-JNF and to the Ohalo College of Education, where students from all sectors of Israel’s population study together.
Also present at the ceremony were additional representatives of Heaven TV7; Deputy Head of Mission at the Finnish Embassy in Israel Niina Nykänen
and other embassy officials; Ethel Salutskij
, President of KKL-JNF Finland; students from Katzrin’s Ohalo College; and Liri Eitan-Drai
of KKL-JNF’s Finland Desk.
Martti Ojares’ special connection with Israel began in 2007, during a visit to Jerusalem
. He had the idea of establishing a television channel that would broadcast from Israel, too, and, despite difficult beginnings, today the channel is flourishing and has hundreds of thousands of regular viewers in Finland, Sweden and Estonia – and, of course, a studio in Jerusalem.
In his speech at the ceremony, Martti Ojares told his listeners: “In November 2007 I visited Jerusalem, and even back then I already had a few ideas for a news channel from Israel. There were a number of obstacles: I wasn’t familiar with Israel and I didn’t speak the language. You can understand that it was a difficult task. To make a long story short, everything that has happened since has been like a poem. I began to feel great love coming from Israel. In Finland there are a lot of people who love Israel. Just as God has blessed Israel, we, too, are blessed when we contribute to it.” In conclusion he thanked KKL-JNF foresters for planting the trees
, and KKL-JNF’s Liri Eitan-Drai.
President of KKL-JNF Finland Ethel Salutskij explained at the ceremony: “We are gathered here to celebrate the establishment of TV7’s second grove of trees, this time on Mount Tabor. The first grove was inaugurated three years ago in the beautiful Nazareth area. Mount Tabor
, which is situated in northern Israel’s Galilee
region, is 600 meters above sea level, and it is an important site in both the Old and New Testaments. Today it boasts a leisure area for excursions and a launching site for paragliding.”
“Cooperation between KKL-JNF and TV7 began in the summer of 2012, and since then Finnish visitors with the channel have planted 4,219 trees in the Holy Land
,” added Ethel Salutskij. “This is a great achievement, and I should like to thank the TV channel and KKL-JNF Jerusalem for this excellent result. For us at KKL-JNF Finland it has been a pleasure to work with the TV channel in an agreeable and sociable atmosphere. At meetings and at events where we have chanced to work together, there has always been a sense of family, because Mirja and Martti are very warm people who make everyone feel welcome.”