The Jewish National Fund of South Africa began in 1901 shortly after the creation of the Keren Kayemet LeIsrael (KKL-JNF). We remain an integral part of the international KKL-JNF. The JNF of South Africa was the main fundraising arm of South African Zionism for many years.
During the past 116 years the JNF of South Africa has fundraised for various projects in Israel including The South Africa Forest, the South African Memorial Forest (established to honour those ex-South Africans who fell in defense of the State), Drop-of -Life Water Campaign, Send a Child to Summer Camp Project(SACTOC), Besor Dam, Hula Valley, South Africa Memorial Forest, Gesher Water Reservoir and the Kadoorie Agriculture School, the Carmel Fires Emergency Campaign and the Holitz Security Plantings. In addition the JNF of South Africa established the Zikkim Project – a bomb shelter for children at this kibbutz who have only 5 seconds to reach protection against rocket attacks.
In South Africa from the early 1990’s the JNF of South Africa began forestry and eco-consciousness environmental education projects in Limpopo, Mamelodi and Cape Town offering access to the vast experience that the Keren Kayemet disseminates internationally. The JNF of South Africa has contributed to important United Nations conferences in South Africa including COP17 in Durban and the World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.
The Israeli KKL-JNF has evolved into a global environmental leader, offering its technology to Africa and under-developed countries. Besides its international eco-outreach projects, it has managed to plant over 260 million trees, built over 240 water reservoirs and dams, developed over 250,000 acres of arid desert land, created more than 2,000 parks, has provided the infrastructure for over 1,000 communities, and continues to connect thousands of children and young adults to Israel and the Jewish heritage.
It is worth noting that Israel is 59 times smaller than the size of South Africa- the same size as the Kruger National Park in South Africa.