Since the establishment of the State (1948), KKL-JNF has helped Israel grow and develop in leaps and bounds. It has established hilltop villages in the Galilee; built secure access roads for Israel's border communities; prepared land for agriculture and housing in the Arava, the Negev, and the Golan Heights; developed parks and open spaces in cities; installed pre-fab bomb-shelters in the fields and public areas of Gaza Envelope communities; and created the infrastructure for new towns to absorb the evacuees of Gush Katif.
As part of its mission for the sustainable development of Israel, KKL-JNF engages in wide-ranging activity to conserve Israel's environmental resources while encouraging responsible community development. For example, out of awareness that the natural water sources couldn't alone sustain the needs of a growing population, KKL-JNF developed cheap, sustainable alternatives in the form of 230 reservoirs for recycled water, which together supply some 40% of the water used in agriculture each year, thus freeing up 300 million cubic meters of fresh water for drinking. Crucially, KKL-JNF forests capture 1.2 million tons of CO2 each year, helping to mitigate the effects of climate change. In addition, the organization's afforestation in desert regions (on some 40,000 acres of arid and semi-arid land) have helped keep desertification in the northern Negev at bay.
KKL-JNF also invests heavily in research. Examples include operating long-term research stations in select forests and bird habitats across Israel that examine the influence of water and soil management in forests, carbon sequestration rates, biological diversity, and much more. In addition, it supports 8 R&D centers dedicated to agricultural research and innovation that directly benefit the local farmers.
Since its founding in 1901, KKL-JNF has heavily invested in informal education, in the beginning to inspire and rally the Diaspora around a common goal – the establishment of a Jewish homeland, and after the State's establishment, to impart a love of Israel and its nature, and to build bridges between Jewish communities in Israel and around the world. To this end, KKL-JNF's Education and Community Division runs a series of fun, experiential programs in schools, camps, youth groups and other educational frameworks around Israel. Activities include hikes, mobile learning units, navigation games, apps, activity kits, posters, maps, and much more. KKL-JNF also operates five accessible Field and Forest Centers around the country, which host visiting groups for a values-based Eco-Zionist experience that's immersive, challenging, and fun.
KKL-JNF is also responsible for some 300,000 acres of forests and open spaces around Israel, in which it has built thousands of kilometers of hiking and walking tracks, countless scenic lookouts and recreation areas, and prime birdwatching sites, all of which are frequented by millions of visitors each year.
As Israel has grown, so has the KKL-JNF's role, mission, and dedication to the future of our beloved land.