HaYovel, an organization known in Israel for more than 15 years for bringing hundreds of volunteers to work on farms in Judea and Samaria, launched a new project: Greening Israel: Planting Trees in Israel’s Biblical Heartland.

The project plans to begin planting trees full-scale after the shemitah (sabbatical year) ends in September 2022. The goal is to plant 5,000 trees in 2022 and beginning in 2023, to plant 20,000 trees every year.

Although many organizations are planting trees in Israel, there are three things that set the Greening Israel project apart:

1. Indigenous trees – after extensive research and testing, HaYovel has come up with more than 20 tree varieties that are indigenous to Israel. They plan to exclusively plant these varieties.

2. A unique watering system – through careful testing, HaYovel is using a unique water-box system that ensures irrigation for new trees, even in remote locations. This gives the trees a much higher rate of survival. So far, higher than 80 percent.

3. Planting in Judea and Samaria – because of politics and international pressure, many organizations do not plant trees across the “green line.” One of HaYovel’s main beliefs is that Judea and Samaria are part of Israel’s biblical heartland, which is why they are focusing their tree planting efforts specifically in these areas.

HaYovel began planting trees in 2019, and has so far planted more than 5,000 trees. Along the way, they experienced Arab arson, terrorism, trees being uprooted, and property stolen. This journey was documented in the newly-released Greening Israel film, a documentary that tells the dramatic and emotional story of their journey planting trees in Israel’s biblical heartland.