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About Us

Our Story

The Greening Israel Project is a not-for-profit forestry initiative started in 2019 by HaYovel.

HaYovel was founded as a U.S. 501c3 non-profit in 2007 by Tommy and Sherri Waller with the mission of serving and helping Jewish farmers throughout the region of Israel known as Judea and Samaria (also called the West Bank).

Since 2007, we have hosted thousands of volunteers who have come from over 30 different countries around the world to volunteer in Israel, support local family farms, and help bring life back to eroded and desolate areas of Israel.

In 2019, we expanded our operations by launching the Greening Israel Project. With extensive research and help from forestry experts, we started planting test plots with several dozen different tree species. We experimented with different locations, different tree species, and different irrigation methods over the next two years.

In 2022, we released the Greening Israel Documentary and this website, where people around the world can join the reforestation efforts by easily purchasing a tree online and receiving a certificate once it has been planted in Israel.

 

The History of the Greening Israel Project

2004

Tommy Waller's First Trip to Israel

Tommy Waller, originally a farmer from Tennessee, makes his first trip to Israel and discovers an opportunity and need for volunteers to come from abroad and help strengthen and establish local Jewish farms.

2007

HaYovel is Founded

Tommy and his family found HaYovel as a United States 501c3 non-profit organization and begin making regular trips to Israel to bless and serve the Jewish people by harvesting grapes, pruning vineyards, and helping on farms.

2014

Volunteers Come From Around the World

By 2014, HaYovel is hosting more than 400 volunteers every year. Volunteers are flying in from dozens of countries around the world – from Hong Kong to South Africa and from Colombia to Latvia.

2019

HaYovel Starts Planting Trees

The first trees are planted in Har Bracha, Samaria by HaYovel staff members and volunteers. Testing and research is now underway to find out which tree species are indigenous to the Levant and how each one responds in the current soil conditions.

2020

The First Large-Scale Forestry Site is Planted

With help from forestry experts in Israel and the United States, HaYovel begins planting their first large-scale forestry site with thousands of trees. Several setbacks occur including an arson attack and problems with wild boars, but overall the project is successful.

2021

More Forestry Sites Are Launched

Despite international travel restrictions and limited volunteer help, HaYovel breaks ground on new forestry sites throughout Judea and Samaria and plants several thousand more trees. Generous donors sponsor an excavator, skid-steer, auger, and other heavy equipment that enable faster and more efficient planting.

2022

The Greening Israel Project Goes Public

No trees are planted from September 2021 to August 2022 because of Israel’s observance of the shemitah (sabbatical) year. In preparation for planting to resume in the fall of 2022, HaYovel releases the Greening Israel documentary and this website where people can donate to sponsor a tree.

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