American Jews, Israelis and African Americans joined Thursday in Washington to dedicate a Galilee forest in memory of Coretta Scott King. The Biriya Forest was destroyed by Hezbollah rockets during last summer’s war. The dedication ceremony focused on themes of reforestation and cultivating the environment, derived from the Jewish teaching of tikkun olam, or “repairing the world.” Sallai Meridor, Israel’s ambassador to Washington, and U.S. Reps. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) and Artur Davis (D-Ala.), members of the Congressional Black Caucus, attended a ceremonial cherry-tree planting near the entrance of Faith Tabernacle United Holy Church. Organizations present included the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and the Jewish National Fund, which is collecting donations for the forest on its Web site at http://www.jnf.org/king/. Speakers lauded King, the late widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., as a social activist, proponent of peace and friend of Israel. Israel already has a forest named for Martin Luther King in southern Galilee, sponsored by JNF.
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