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Monday, April 15, 2013


On the eve of its 65th Independence Day celebrations, Israel has a population of over eight million. KKL-JNF is preparing for an influx of well over 1 million holiday visitors.

KKL-JNF staff are preparing forests and recreation areas throughout the country for an influx of over a million visitors who are expected to flock to KKL-JNF sites on Independence Day.
On the eve of its 65th Independence Day celebrations, Israel has a population of over eight million. 
Israel’s Independence Day is the holiday on which every year the number of people visiting KKL-JNF forests, recreation areas and parks throughout the country sets new records, and this year, as always, KKL-JNF staff are getting ready ahead of time: the organization’s foresters will tour the woodlands explaining fire-safety regulations and distributing garbage bags to the visitors in an attempt to keep the countryside safe and clean. 
KKL-JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzlersaid: “Last year, over one million people visited KKL-JNF forests, parks and recreation areas, and this year, in view of the increased popularity of these sites over the recent holiday period, we’re expecting around 1,300,000 visitors.” 
KKL-JNF invites members of the general public to come and enjoy themselves in the many recreation areas it has established all over Israel with the help of donations of its Friends worldwide. There is a selection of recreation areas in the north, south and center of the country for you to choose from. 
In preparation for the Bible Quiz that will take place in Jerusalem on Independence Day, KKL-JNF’s Education Division has helped to prepare an on-line Biblical quiz in Hebrew, and Education Division Director Dr Benzi Bar-Lavie invites the general public to log on and participate. The quiz can be found at http://חידוןהתנך
On the eve of its 65th Independence Day celebrations, Israel has a population of over eight million
Children cheer during the 2012 KKL-JNF Quiz. Photo: KKL-JNF Photo Archive 

In honor of Israel's 65th Independence Day, the National Bureau of Statistics has published its annual report.  Here are some of this year's figures:
  • On the eve of Independence Day 2013, the population of Israel numbered 8.018 million residents. When the State of Israel was established its population numbered 806,000.
  • The Jewish population is around 6.042 million, i.e., 75.3% of the total population. 
  • The Arab population is around 1.658 million (20.7%)
  • Other population sectors, i.e., non-Arab Christians, members of other religions and those classified by the Ministry of Interior as having no religious affiliation: Approx 318 thousand residents (4.0%). 
  • Since last year’s Independence Day, Israel’s population has grown by around 137 thousand residents. During this period some 163 thousand babies were born and some 41 thousand people died. 
  • The number of new immigrants who have arrived in Israel: 19.5 thousand. 
  • All in all, since Israel’s 64th Independence Day the country’s population has increased by 138 thousand residents – an increase of 1.8%.
  • At the end of 2011, over 70% of the Jewish population were Israeli-born Sabras; almost half of them are at least second-generation Israelis, as opposed to 35% in 1948.
  • In 1948 only one city in Israel, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, had over 100,000 residents. Today fourteen cities have a population of over 100,000, and six of these have over 200,000 residents:Jerusalem, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Haifa, Rishon LeZion, Ashdod and Petah Tikva.

A Year of National Heritage

Etry ruins in Adulam-France Park. Photo: Gidi Bashan, KKL-JNF Photo Archive
"A Year of National Heritage", the management and preservation of national cultural heritage sites for future generations, is the theme of Israel's 65th anniversary, marking celebrations throughout the country. The people chosen to light the torch at the official 65th Independence Day ceremony on Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem are each involved in some aspect of preserving and perpetuating national and cultural heritage. 

As every year, KKL-JNF opens its forests with a wide range of activities for everyone, including musical performances, Israeli song fests and family hikes, highlighting heritage sites throughout the country. 

In the context of "A Year of National Heritage", KKL-JNF, with the help of its friends from around the world, develops and preserves numerous cultural and historical sites.


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