Imagine trudging through endless, hot, thick sand. A beach with no waters, no soothing sounds of waves, just the wind’s ruthless whisper of emptiness and weight of the sun’s heat. You can’t keep your head up because it’s too bright, so you shield your eyes with your arm to look ahead. As sweat pools around your neck, the skin on your arm feels baked, your muscles tired for lack of water.
How could this be the Promised Land? This is the Negev Desert as we know it now, and as the world has known it since biblical times. In time, we will come to know the region differently.
Now imagine wandering the halls of a botanic labyrinth, where the walls are branches reaching as far as they can into the sky. The soil beneath you is soft and rich. It’s pleasantly warm walking in the shade of the olive trees, and the rustling of their leaves is as soothing as the rolling of ocean waves. It was no coincidence that brought these trees here, but the goodness of the human spirit that planted each tree with care. There is a sacred ambiance about the place, a peace unlike anywhere else in the world.
This transformation won’t happen overnight, but it’s happening now. It’s not easy, but it is simple. It might be happening halfway around the world from where you are physically, but you may find yourself feeling close to the cause from where you are spiritually. We’re not just planting olive trees in the Negev Desert, we’re building a legacy. And you can be a part of it.
The legacy we hope to build starts in Israel. Historically, the land has been the setting for many biblical passages and prophecies. Today, Israel is a nation-state that is more than just a country, but also a pioneer for freedom, democracy, and the development of the Middle East. A young nation, yet already a worldwide exemplar for demonstrating courage in the face of persecution.
We are approaching a special opportunity to not only develop an exemplary nation in the Middle East, but also to spread opportunity, influence and tranquility throughout the world. Our function in furthering this great legacy is elegantly simple: contributors from around the world are helping us bring to life ancient prophecies by restoring the desert one olive tree at a time. Your contribution goes toward not only planting the tree, but sustaining it. Making arid land fertile for local farmers. Providing new job opportunities for Israeli newcomers. Carving your name into this chapter of building, growing and developing.
My Olive Tree has gained terrific momentum: with over thirty thousand trees planted, we are well on our way to our goal of one million. The majority of our olive trees take root in the arid Negev Desert. Olive trees are not prone to thrive in harsh desert climates, and require plenty of water to flourish. We have been working closely with farmers, as well as the Israeli Defense Forces to provide water, which has created many lush groves, and in turn creates harvestable olives—opportunities for Israeli immigrants in need of work, and quality olive oil for consumers around the world.
The branch of an olive tree has been recognized as a symbol of peace and good fortune since biblical times. Perhaps most notably, when the dove returns to Noah with an olive branch in its beak, he recognizes that as a sign that the floods are receding and the world will soon be restored to its habitable, fertile state. Whereas Noah was dealing with an overabundance of water, Israel today is coping with not enough. The biggest challenge is bringing water to the trees, but with your contribution we are able to develop solutions alongside of local farmers in the area to provide adequate water for all of our groves, ultimately transforming the region.
While Israel deepens its roots against the storms of enemies, these olive trees have created a different way for Israel to fortify its defenses. Our olive trees not only provide shade and shelter for soldiers who train and patrol in the hot sun, but they also provide strategic cover from enemy combatants and weaponry. Of course, this is no tactic that will intimidate enemies. In fact, it is the opposite. By planting millions of olive trees, we will be extending millions of olive branches to our neighbors in hopes of developing peace, as well as prosperity. Israel will show its neighbors an alternative to violence, and that is the path to restoring the Holy Land.
You can join us in this amazing mission in many ways.
You can become one of many contributors from around the world. When you make a contribution to have a tree planted, you will receive a Certificate of Authenticity, and will also have access to our online Wall of Honor. There you can find your name, or the name of your tributee, along with the location of your special tree planted in the Holy Land. Contributions can be made in your name, on behalf of an organization, or in memory of a family member or loved one.
We also have a special project in the King’s Valley, where we are planting olive trees in honor of Holocaust victims. We have a list of 226 names and have already sponsored 212 to date. We hope that you can help us finish the project by giving each one of the remaining 14 Holocaust victims a legacy—an olive tree planted in their name and memory. It serves as a reminder not just of the tragedy and suffering they endured, but also the courage they used to face it. It serves as a symbol to never forget, and to also always remember our commitment to peace.
By creating value and opportunity in such a desolate region, we are creating new possibilities not only for Israel, but for the world. Those in need of work may find it in expanding and harvesting our abundant olive tree groves. Connoisseurs of olive oil will expand their horizons when they try the finest from the Valley of the Kings. The expansion and abundance of economic opportunity will fortify Israel’s preeminence in the region and dissolve conflict. Contributors from around the world are planting trees in their name, or in the honor or memory of relatives and loved ones name—ultimately in the name of peace. Shalom!