The South African branch of the JNF was established shortly after the creation of KKL-JNF in 1901 and was the main source of fundraising for the Zionism movement in South Africa. JNFSA is an affiliate organzation of the South African Zionist Federation and has been involved in many social justice projects and fundraising initiatives. These include the establishment of the South African Memorial Forest in Israel. In addition, the South African branch has developed environmental education projects in Cape Town and has launched the JNF Walter Sisulu Environmental Center in Mamelodi, and the Mandela Park Peace Garden, as well as the Victor Daitz Eco Learning Centre in Hammarsdale.
The Keren Kayemet LeIsrael, or Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF), was founded in 1901 in a bid to purchase land for Jewish settlers in Israel. The fund was the first step towards creating a Jewish State. It spread ideas about Zionism, a homeland, and Jewish heritage. The first chairman, Johann Kremenetzky, initiated three main avenues of income for the fund; most notably the Blue Box project. Just three years after the organization was founded, enough funds were raised to purchase land in the lower Galilee and Judea. Since its inception, the KKL-JNF also mandated to develop Israel in a sustainable manner, support environmental education, respond to the country’s environmental needs, preserve the natural and cultural heritage of the land, and build connections with people who love Israel all over the world.
The KKL-JNF also focuses on the preservation of forests and woodlands, water management, community development, educational programs, research, and eco-tourism.
To date, the organization has planted over 200 million trees, maintained more than 400 000 acres of forest,and built 230 water reservoirs.