One olive tree planted in Israel as a birthday gift

Naomi Weissler, our kind donor and tree-planting friend from the UK, tells us about an olive tree that was planted for her birthday.

She tells us that she grew up in a leafy London suburb. Her mother is British and her father grew up in an Israeli kibbutz, the son of German Holocaust survivors.

When her grandparents, Ilse and Fritz, arrived at the Kibbutz, the land was quite barren, and they worked hard to plant and grow many species of trees and flowers with the other Kibbutzniks.

Naomi’s grandmother, Ilse, with her father Chaggai, as a little boy in Kibbutz Givat Brenner. Her grandmother is showing her father how to plant.


Naomi says that as a child, she often visited the lush, green kibbutz, and specifically remembers the vast orange groves opposite her grandmother’s little flat. Its Jaffa oranges were sold around the world!

“The fresh citrus smell was so fragrant. I loved walking barefoot on the land there as a child, connecting with the earth.” Naomi reminisces.

An orange tree in the area Naomi explored as a child


“My maternal grandparents, Rosa and Harold, used to sponsor trees for our birthdays and Grandpa was a keen gardener. Looking back, it was a very meaningful and forward-thinking thing to do.

Naomi’s late grandparents, Rosa and Harold Gilbert.

My friend, Asi, grew up in the Kibbutz where my father is from. I told him how much I loved the trees in the kibbutz. In February this year, Asi traveled from New York to Israel where he visited the Kibbutz and planted an olive tree for my birthday, on a hill called Givat Zacs. The trees there had sadly been burnt down in a wildfire a few years back, and the locals have been planting new ones since then.”


Naomi explains that after nearly two decades, she went back to Israel in April this year, and met her friend Asi there. She also met Asi’s friend, Dagan and another friend named Ofir. They have been taking care of her olive tree with Dagan’s daughter and watering it, as Asi usually lives in New York.

Watering Naomi’s olive tree

She said that she also had the pleasure to be shown the local trees and flowers by another friend, Ofer, who is a world-renowned expert in this field and also grew up and still lives in Kibbutz Givat Brenner.

Thank you for your heartfelt story and dedication, Naomi! We are so happy to read about your tree, your kind friends, and to learn more about your family. Thank you for the wonderful story and beautiful photos. We appreciate you!


“I am grateful for this kind gesture, and hope we can plant many more trees in the future to benefit current and future generations.” Naomi says.

And, she dedicates her tree to her late grandparents, Rosa and Harold Gilbert and Ilse and Fritz Weissler, Asi, Dagan, Dagan’s daughter, Ofir, to the Global Tree Initiative and all its endeavors, and all beings!


Images below, top row:
1. A recent photo at Kibbutz Givat Brenner. 2. Naomi’s friend, Asi. 3. Naomi and her olive tree.

Bottom row:
Different fruit grown at Kibbutz Givat Brenner.


Who:Asi Mor
Why:For the birthday of Naomi Weissler
Where:Givat Brenner, Israel
When:February 15, 2023
What kind of Trees:Olive
How many:

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