Individuals and groups can now adopt an olive tree in Israel, and then enjoy the boutique olive oil it produces.
Kobi Asaf, founder of My Tree in Israel, envisions it as a way that people around the world can connect with Israel, and as a means to promote and support Israeli farmers.
Adoptions through the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island ensure that the tree is located in Afula-Gilboa, our partnership area in Israel. In addition, a portion of the adoption fees supports the Alliance’s annual campaign and are tax deductible.
Yishai Gelb, vice-president of marketing for My Tree in Israel, said that while donations of all sorts are still important, “Israel today is a prosperous nation, a successful nation” and “we want people to enjoy what Israel has to offer.”
Trees can be adopted as a memorial, for personal use, or as a gift, and have already been adopted by people throughout North America, Europe and Africa.
The olive grove is near the Jezreel Valley, just a few kilometers west of Afula. When someone adopts a tree, a farmer takes care of it and cultivates it year-round. The olives are harvested in November, and high-quality Kosher extra-virgin boutique olive oil is produced from that grove. Six bottles are produced per tree, and the labels can be personalized in whatever manner the adoptive owner chooses. The bottles are then shipped to the adoptive owner.
And you may even visit your tree in Israel!
Gelb said a highlight for him is seeing the reactions from those involved in the program, and how much having roots in Israel – and the special olive oil they receive – means to them.
Adopting an olive tree, and receiving six 750 ml bottles of its olive oil with your own private label, costs $250. A trio of such bottles, also with your own private label, costs $160. Bottles will be delivered to the Dwares Jewish Community Center in Providence for pick up, unless you wish to pay a small shipping fee to receive them directly at any address.
More information about adopting a tree is available at jewishallianceri.org/My-Tree or by contacting Larry Katz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LARRY KATZ is the director of Jewish Life and Learning at the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island.
Sweet potato slices with herbs and quality Israeli olive oil
It is a perfect recipe with quality Israeli olive oil that can be served as an addition to the main course or as a dish on its own with sour yogurt. Brought to you by the olive oil council in Israel.
4 medium sweet potatoes in their skins
1 sprig of rosemary cut into slices
2 thyme branches cut into slices
1 / 4-1 / 3 cup high-quality Israeli olive oil
1/4 cup dry wine
Tablespoon and a half balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
A little coarse salt
Wash the sweet potatoes well. Cut each sweet potato in half lengthwise and each half into 4-2 slices, to taste. Arrange the sweet potato slices in a pan lined with baking paper. Add a little coarse salt and pepper. Sprinkle with rosemary and thyme leaves.
In a bowl, mix the olive oil, wine, and balsamic vinegar and pour with a spoon over the sweet potatoes.
Bake until the sweet potatoes soften in a preheated oven at 200-220 degrees.
Remove the foil and continue to roast for another 15 minutes. From time to time drizzle the liquid on the sweet potatoes.