MOSHE RIVLIN'S DREAM
WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE
Meeting Moshe Rivlin, World Chairman of the Jewish National Fund, is like coming face to face with a part of Israel's history. He is part of a vanishing breed -- those who were there prior to Israel becoming a state and laboring at any task they were called to perform in shaping the country into what it has become today.
It is, therefore, no surprise that he is using his enormous energy and talents to shape one of Israel's most important organizations as Jerusalem's 3000th anniversary approaches.
Moshe Rivlin's focus during these historic times seems to revolve around water. Water and water projects are a major focus for the JNF this year. It is water, more so than oil, that means life to Israel. Approximately 15 reservoirs near Jordan, and the underground equifers, can provide cheap and clean water for Israel's agricultural needs, fish productivity, and the land development projects for the Negev.
JNF and the Ministry of Agriculture have visions of pushing the desert back and making the Negev bloom. Imagine citrus groves, hot houses, fishponds and olive trees in the not too distant future.
In the Galilee, bordering Syria and Lebanon, the last stages of the Hula Valley Project started in the 1950's are being completed. The land is fertile and the water canals allow water to flow from the Jordan River to Lake Kinneret. Plans to recreate the lake complete with modern family tourist attractions are expected to double the number of visitors to the area.
Near the Lebanon border, a tourist park is being developed as well.
Moshe Rivlin's programs are also geared to bring Israel's rivers back to life. The ancient rivers are expected to impact positively on the future ecology and environment throughout the country.
The JNF works closely with Ben Gurion University, the U.S. Forest Service and a number of U.S. universities studying arid land and desert areas enchancing their ability to be cultivated. Israel is the perfect laboratory for such research and countries from around the world send their experts there to learn.
Moshe Rivlin is knowledgeable and is a hands- on director who knows his agency's strengths and is using them to benefit the next generations of Israelis. He recounts an interesting story of how as a youth he would see Menachem Reisling, then the director of the JNF, walking to work each day down Karen Kayemet Street where he lived. Little did he know then that one day he would lead Keren Kayemeth le Israel (the J.N.F.) into the next millennium.
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