New York, NY: February 20, 2018—Jewish National Fund (JNF-USA) is pleased to announce Gordon C. Mellish of Clemmens, North Carolina as the winner of the “JNF Tu BiShvat Sweepstakes” in celebration of the Jewish New Year for Trees.


The 91-year old great-grandfather, a retiree of the Martin Marietta Co. who also worked as a sewage treatment supervisor in Toledo, Ohio, recently purchased $2,000 worth of trees during the Sweepstakes and remarked that he supports Israel through Jewish National Fund regularly because he looks at Israel as a “flowering oasis.”

 JNF partnered with EL AL Airlines and the Carlton Hotel Tel Aviv for an exciting online raffle to win a trip of a lifetime. Participants were given the opportunity to enter the sweepstakes by planting a tree for Israel through jnf.org between January 15, 2018 and Feb. 15, 2018, with the grand prize being a free round-trip ticket to Israel for two, courtesy of EL AL Airlines, and a free two-night stay with breakfasts at the Carlton Tel Aviv.


"I am thankful and amazed by what the Jewish people have turned Israel into. We could learn a lot from them as we face water challenges here and around the world,” said Mellish, referring to the work Israel has accomplished in reusing 85% of its water. “There is no sense letting water going to waste, and I like to support people who are doing smart things to safeguard it.”

Mellish made his first trip to Israel in 2010 and the WWII veteran is now asking his three children, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren to see who will accompany him this time. A self-described devout Christian who was born in East Brady, Pennsylvania, Mellish’s affection towards Israel goes back to his school days when he attended Grove City College: “I have always admired the Jewish people and the land of Israel for what they have been able to do and the many obstacles they have had to overcome. I’m looking forward to seeing more of the innovations they have created.”  

While in Israel, Mellish and his guest will have the opportunity to plant a tree with their own hands at the JNF-Harvey Hertz Ceremonial Tree Planting Center at Neot Kedumim, the world’s only biblical landscape reserve. Ten runners-up received a free JNF E-Z Tree account of 10 trees each.

To plant a tree in Israel, visit jnf.org or call 800.542.TREE.


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