During JNF Week in March 2016, when Carmel’s Year 6 students were in Kindy, they planted a JNF Tree in the school’s Eco Playground, to provide shade and also as a symbol of JNF WA’s partnership with the families of Merchav Am. Last Friday, the students and their Kindy Tree demonstrated how much they had grown at a special presentation at the Year 6 Valedictory.

When the JNF tree was planted at Carmel School 8 years ago, a Carmel Kindy Tree was planted on the same day in the Negev community of Merchav Am. The idea was always for the Carmel children to visit their tree in Israel when they embark on their Year 10 Shorashim trip in 2027.

Each year, during JNF Week, the students were photographed next to their JNF Kindy Tree. To round off JNF week this year, the Year 6 cohort planted a JNF Legacy Tree with this year’s Kindy children. The tree is meaningful to both groups as one year group leaves for high school and the other begins their primary school journey. JNF and Carmel School thank the City of Stirling for the donation of the Banksia Menzeisii Tree.

For JNF’s Annual Event in 2022, many from the Year 6 group attended the event to sing Yuval Dayan’s - שרק תחייך “That you should just smile”. At the time, JNF was fundraising to develop 14 protective kindergartens for the children living in the Gaza border communities.

At Carmel School’s Year 6 Valedictory, the audience viewed photos of the children and their JNF Kindy Tree over the years and a recording of the year group singing, “That you should just smile”, was played during the slideshow. The words couldn’t have been more relevant to the current crisis on Israel’s Southern border. The words of the song translate to, “That you should just smile for your whole life. This is all that I ask for…A small house, a garden for the children…” May the children of Israel know lasting peace soon.

JNF WA thanks Carmel staff, as well as the Year 6 parents and students for supporting JNF over the last 8 years. This year, instead of giving a parting gift to Carmel School, the class decided to donate money to Israel and more specifically, the community of Merchav Am, who have taken in many evacuees from the Gaza border communities. The donation will go towards a much-needed shaded bench for the community. The families of Merchav Am look forward to welcoming the group when they visit on their Shorashim trip to Israel. Am Yisrael Chai.