PLANTING OF THE PARK "ATHENS 2004" AT ZUR MOSHE, ISRAEL
On the occasion of the Olympic
Games to be held in Athens in 2004 and in order to perpetuate the Olympic
idea of peace in the world, a new park, named "Athens 2004" is created
The creation of the park "Athens 2004" is the brainchild of Greek-Israeli
architect Elias Messinas and his wife Yvette, a psychologist, who share
their life and professional activity between Greek and Israel. The realization
of the park is made possible through the kind participation and contributions
of Greek Jews who live in Greece and abroad. The effort is also supported
by organizations and institutions, among them Keren Hayesod (Athens
and Jerusalem), Bene Berit (Athens), TraditionNews (Athens), and Hellenic
Society PAIDEIA (Connecticut, USA).
The planting of the trees for the park "Athens 2004" took place on Friday
6 February 2004, on the holiday of Tu Bishvat, a national day for tree
planting in Israel. The planting of the trees was undertaken by the
residents of Zur Moshe, many of the donors and visitors participated,
especially the younger generation of youth and children of Zur Moshe.
The location of the new park "Athens 2004" has been meticulously chosen:
it is created in the heart of Israel, a few kilometers away from the
borders of Israel with the Palestinian Authority territories. The park
is created at the Moshav (agricultural town) Zur Moshe, near Netanya,
which was established in 1937 by Greek-Jews Moshe Kofinas and David
Florentin and was inhabited by 20 young Greek-Jews. This initial nucleus
was later strengthened by twenty Jewish families, who arrived in the
1950s, following the end of the Holocaust in Greece. Today 50 Greek
families live in Zur Moshe, amongst 600 families of different origins,
such as Bulgaria, Turkey, etc. The Greeks of Zur Moshe meet every Friday
for a "Greek Taverna" with Greek food, music, singing and dancing. It
is not accidental that Zur Moshe is known in Israel as "the Moshav of
The park "Athens 2004" is created in an area of 30 dunam (30,000 sq.m.)
on the northern edge of Zur Moshe, on "Givat Moshe" ("Moshe Hill") next
to the "Quarter of the Sons", established ten years ago for the sons
of the founders of the Moshav.
The park "Athens 2004" includes three sections: the eastern section
will be a "Recreation Park" named after a reknown Athenian-Jewish family,
who are donating the funds. The tress of the park include a variety
of species, and a number of Mediterranean trees, such as the olive tree.
Within the park are planned pedestrian stone-covered paths, picnic tables,
etc. Signs in three languages (Greek, Hebrew, and English) will be erected
at the entry to the new park and recreation park, announcing the names
of the parks and the names of the donors and founders.
The park "Athens 2004" will be visited daily not only by the residents
of Zur Moshe, but by visitors from the entire country mostly over the
weekends and holidays, as well.
The official public ceremony to mark the opening of the park "Athens
2004", with the participation of government officials, ambassadors,
ministers and the media of the two countries, will take place after
the Greek elections in March 2004, sometime in April-May 2004. The exact
date will be announced shortly.
We hope that this park, so symbolic and important, will bring a ray
of hope for peace in Israel and the neighboring Palestinian Authority
territories, and a bit of retreat and joy to those who will use it on
a daily basis.
We hope that this park, with its creation and existence, will also contribute
another open channel of open communication and cooperation, between
the two ancient people of Greece and Israel, and will strengthen the
ties of friendship and common path, towards a better and peaceful future
for our children.
For more information please contact Kol haKEHILA at firstname.lastname@example.org