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    February 4, 2009

    WNEW4-2-BlueBoxReturn-eng

    Saving the World with the Blue Box

The small tin box is

    making a grand

    comeback. KKL-

    JNF's Blue Box,

    which in the past

    collected donations to

    redeem the Land of

    Israel, is returning to

    schools and

    kindergartens. This

    time, the aim is not to

    raise funds but a

    hands-on educational

    activity to enhance

    ecology, nature and

    love of the Land of

    Israel.

    "The Blue Box

    small but

    Great," a

    program produced

    by KKL-JNF's

    Education and

    Youth Division

    and approved by

    the Ministry of

    Education, was

    officially

    launched this

    week in Haviv

    school, Rishon

    LeZion.

    The program

    focuses on

    ecological issues and goals, stressing partnership, environmental responsibility and the participation of

    school students in their immediate surroundings and countrywide. The educational kit

    includes a colored poster, KKL-JNF coins, stickers and multiple activities tickets, a

    Blue Box, a CD with a song about the Blue Box and an instructional booklet for

    teachers in schools and kindergartens.

    "It was no

    coincidence that

    we decided to start

    the program

    especially in this

    school," said

    KKL-JNF World

    Chairman Efi

    Stenzler, at a

    festive ceremony

    at the school. "This

    was the first

    Hebrew school in

    Israel and in the

    world, where all

    subjects were

    taught in Hebrew.

    Benjamin Zee'ev (Theodor) Herzl visited here. Israel's visionary founder always had a Blue Box on his

    table and today we are all continuing in his footsteps."

Also present were

    the Minister of

    Education,

    Professor Yuli

    Tamir and senior

    ministry officials,

    the Mayor of

    Rishon LeZion Dov

    Tzur and excited

    first grade pupils.

"The world is

    developing and lots

    of trees are

    disappearing. We

    must preserve the

    trees and save the

    world. Children are

    the generation of the future and we shall lead this process, said Yarden of Grade 6. Her class mate Ettie said that "the time has come to restore the Blue Box, as it was

    once."

Stenzler added that "the Blue Box actually built up the State of Israel. Everybody gave

    a cent and with this money the land of Israel was bought, dunam after dunam. For 108

    years the Blue Box has symbolized the bond between the Jewish People and the land

    of Israel. Together we are reviving the values of environmental quality and solidarity

    with the land of Israel and mankind. The box symbolizes the yearnings for the days

    when the Jewish People were united in common purpose."

    Rishon LeZion Mayor Dov Tzur, himself a

    graduate of Haviv school, said at the ceremony that

    "many years ago when I was a pupil here, we also

    had a Blue Box to redeem the land of Israel. Our

    task now is to preserve our country and make it

    more beautiful and greener."

Education Minister Professor Yuli

    Tamir said "Nostalgia is important, but

    renewal is more important. KKL-JNF has

    learnt how to combine the two. We have

    moved from donations to deeds, aimed at

    getting to know and love the place in

    which we live. Today we don’t collect

    money but our children's good deeds. We

    shall set out from this school to cover all

    the schools in Israel, making it an

    integral part of our educational program."

Turning directly to the young pupils, the minister said, "When you open the Blue Box

    you will find games inside which you can play on the computer or in the classroom.

    As you play these games, you will know Israel and learn about environmental quality."

    Yossi Wasserman, Secretary-General of the

    Teachers' Union, said: "KKL-JNF values are the

    values of the Jewish People in Israel. It is our

    duty not only to impart knowledge, but to teach

    and transmit to our younger generation the

    values of love for mankind and love for our

    homeland. We were all raised on the Blue Box,

    and this is our opportunity to transmit these

    values to the next generation."

    In the artistic part of the ceremony, the pupils

    demonstrated their aptitudes in song and dance."

    "Preserving the environment is not just a slogan,

    and everyone can influence," the children recited

    from the stage. After they began singing Israeli

    songs, even the esteemed guests in the first row

    could not resist and joined in with them, singing

and clapping: "Rise up and wander through the land of Israel with your backpack and

    your cane, and you will surely meet Eretz Yisrael on the way," they sang all together.

     For Articles, comments or use please contact

    Ahuva Bar-Lev KKL-JNF Information and Publications Email: ahuvab@kkl.org.il

    Phone: 972-2-6583354 Fax:972-2-6583493

    www.kkl.org.il/eng

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