Despite being a mere few days before Jewish New Year celebrations, Clean Up Day in Israel was a hive of activity, with 189,000 participants from 153 districts all around the country enthusiastically pitching in to keep Israel clean.
Opening Clean Up Day Ceremony in Switzlerland Forest
The official Clean Up Day T-shirt. Yoav Devir
While the rest of the world will be holding Clean Up the World Weekend activities from 14-16 September, KKL-JNF led Israel's Clean Up Day activities on Thursday, September 13, in consideration of the Jewish and Muslim days of rest, making Israel the first country in the world to usher in Clean Up the World Day 2012. Clean Up Day activities were sponsored by JNF USA and JNF Australia, making Clean Up Day in Israel a true international effort.
Clean Up Day in Israel 2012 was launched with a bang at the main opening ceremony in Switzerland Forest near Tiberias, in the Galilee. The ceremony was attended by KKL-JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzler, Tiberias Mayor Zohar Ovad, Deputy head of the Australian Embassy Luke Davies, and popular TV personality Tal Musari. They all rolled up their sleeves and joined hundreds of school children and IDF soldiers in cleaning the forest.
Clean Up Day Ceremony in Rahat
An additional clean up day ceremony was held at the community forest of Rahat, a Bedouin city in the Negev. The ceremony was attended by Rahat Mayor Faiz Abu Sahiban, Vice Mayor Naif Abu Ebad, Director of KKL-JNF's Southern Region Ami Uliel, and KKL-JNF board members. Together, a buzzing crowd of 430 Jewish and Bedouin school children and soldiers worked to make Rahat Forest beautiful.
Cleaning Up in Eilat
Hundreds of elementary, middle school and high school students took a break from their studies and went out to clean the parks, streets, and public spaces of Eilat. Another 200 primary school children cleaned up KKL-JNF's Holland Park in Wadi Simhon, after which they enjoyed a series of educational activities at Timna Park, with KKL-JNF's Youth and Education department.