JERUSALEM (Apr. 8)
Dedication ceremonies were held in the Ayallon Valley last week for the Canada Park, a project of the Jewish National Fund in Canada, which initially covers over 1000 dunams of land near the main Tel Aviv-Jerusalem road. The ceremonies were attended by President Ephraim Katzir and JNF officials from Canada and Israel.
The first phase of the project, already completed with assistance from the Canadian Jewish community, includes three large parking lots, recreation sites and children’s playgrounds. According to JNF plans, the Canada Park, when completed, will be the largest of its kind in the country.
James Kay, chairman of the JNF in Canada, delivered his community’s greetings at the ceremony. Yaacov Tsur, chairman of the JNF Board in Israel, recounted how the idea for the park originated and expressed his gratitude to Canadian Lowry for their support and enthusiasm. Bernhard Bloomfield, who heads a special committee for the Canada Park, said the dedication was an emotional experience. It is not very often he said, that one sees at least the beginning of a dream come true.
The Ayallon Valley–the locale of the park–has great historical significance for Israelis and the park itself will embrace many historical and archaeological sites. The valley was important at the time of the Second Temple and was later the home of two large communities, one Jewish and one Samaritan, which existed until the Arab conquests. Of more recent historical interest is the old British police building where heroic battles took place during Israel’s war for independence.