FEATUREJune/July 2023

My Tree in Israel

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There is a terrific organization in Israel called My Tree in Israel. It lets people support Israel by sponsoring an Israeli farmer and then getting something very special in return.

Kobi Assaf, CEO and founder of the company describes how In 2019, he founded My Tree in Israel with two primary goals. First, to promote the local Israeli farmers. And second, to connect Israel supporters from around the world to the land of Israel in a unique and personalized way.

“We do so because we believe that a rooted and value-based connection, to the land, agriculture, and the local farmers creates a deep connection over the years. Therefore, people from all over the world, especially in North America, see My Tree as the robust bridge between them and the land of Israel and the people of Israel.” says Assaf.

“The way My Tree connects people to the land and people of Israel is through the Israeli farmers, our pioneers. The people who sparked the first flame of success which Israel now shares with the entireThrough My Tree in Israel, people can invest in the Israeli farmers by what we call ‘adopting’ an olive tree, and now a grapevine in the land of Israel.”

This adoption yields you the fruits that are harvested in the form of a private brand which is shipped directly to your doorstep: Six bottles of olive oil from your olive tree and six bottles of wine from your grapevine.

The olives and grapes, which are one of the seven species known to the land of Israel, represent Israel and its traditions. The olive oil you receive from your tree symbolizes the traditions, values, and history, from its use in temples and religious ceremonies to the olive branch that symbolizes peace. The peace which we strive to achieve for ourselves and for a better world. And the wine from your grapevine in Israel represents Israel’s success and ability to create quality and luxurious produce from the land.

Both the olive oil and wine tell the story of Israel. A land of tradition and values, success and aspirations.

People adopt trees for themselves and their families because they enjoy Israeli olive oil; they love Israeli wine. Some adopt a tree or grapevine as beautiful gifts for dear friends since they see it as an affordable and unique way to give something wonderful to a special person who has a connection to Israel and supports Israel. Some also adopt in memory of a loved one.

“A couple of years ago, we had someone adopt a tree in memory of his wife, who passed away from cancer and never visited Israel. For him, it was a way of commemorating her name in the land of Israel and keeping a part of her in the Holy Land,” says V.P Yishai Gelb.

Many communities and organizations such as temples, synagogues, congregations, JCCs, and Jewish Federation are partnered with My Tree under the partnership program. They see in the program a unique and meaningful way to connect their members to Israel while enjoying a fundraiser opportunity since my Tree donated a portion of the proceeds back to the community.

Some communities, with the help of sponsors, use My Tree’s platform and create their private brand of olive oil or wine which they give to their community members or donors as a token of gratitude, or simply to give a beautiful product from Israel.

“Kobi and I are deeply touched time and time again when people come and visit us in Israel. When we greet them with a VIP tour of our farmers, their trees, and their investment in Israel, they tell us how proud they are of their roots in Israel. How excited they are to receive their olive oil from their tree, how thankful they are for their support and connection to the Israeli farmers who created such a thriving industry in Israel. Kobi and I couldn’t have imagined how deeply people see the importance of what we do and how connected this program makes them feel to the land.”

“But quite frankly, it’s not even about the olive oil or the wine” says Gelb. “people see the adoption of their tree and grapevine in Israel as a direct connection to Israel and Israeli farmers. My Tree as a policy pays its farmers above market value to prompt their business. One of the farmers is a third-generation farmer continuing the family business and tradition of working the land. Today he has one of the most modern presshouse in the country. Another farmer is an American citizen who moved to Israel as a teenager, an entrepreneur who took his skills to the wine business and now produces an amazing wine. My Tree also partnered with a winery that employs 45 people with special needs, a wonderful and emotional story in itself!”

“The idea that people can support Israel, not in the form of a donation, but rather by investing in an Israeli farmer who produces a beautiful product in return, all while preserving the meaningful feeling of support for Israel is the game changer.” Assaf.

To learn more about My Tree and how you can support Israeli farmers visit mytree.org.il.

L'Chaim

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