Coexistence

25 Nov

The root of JBG's vision is that the rich natural diversity within the Gardens be mirrored by a human diversity of visitors and staff. Programs are being developed to attract groups from the widest possible range of ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds, of all ages, and all abilities.



 PLANTS AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION

Israelis and Palestinians – the two most conflicted communities in Jerusalem – share  a love of the land. Each has a  treasury of knowledge about local plants. Furthermore, Israel is so small and its natural environment so threatened by development that Jews and Palestinians must overcome political differences to jointly protect the environment that sustains them all.



Jewish-Arab coexistence program: This program uses plants as the common ground on which to bring Jewish and Arab nine to 11-year-olds together. The project provides for mixed groups of children to meet nine times at the Gardens, to enjoy hands-on activities on subjects ranging from spice preparation to the creation of plant-related home cures. The tenth meeting sees the children visiting each other's schools for planting – an event of great pride for hosting children, parents and teachers alike.



Subsidized visits for disadvantaged Arab children Arab children living in Jerusalem and its environs are largely disadvantaged, and subsidies are needed to enable them to visit JBG.



Cost: Subsidies to enable ten classes to come for one visit, including a train tour, creative workshop and an environment-related film or performance NIS 20,000.



Young Environmental Leadership Program in the Arab community (see Education above)



Plants and Faith: Having completed research on plants and the Old Testament for a new Bible Path, JBG wishes to commission research on plants of the New Testament and the Qur'an. Funds are also needed to translate the audio guide into Arabic and other languages such as Russian and Amharic.



Cost per additional language for audio guide: NIS 11,000



Training of Arabic-speaking guides for Arab children's activities

 In-service training for Arab teachers Each teacher has the potential to enrich 30 or more children with his or her new-found knowledge and understanding. Funds are sought to expand teacher training for special populations, such as Arabs and ultra-orthodox Jews.



Arab cultural festivals

Like their Jewish counterparts, the city's Arab residents live increasingly in apartment blocks, where green space comes at a premium. JBG wishes to expand its cultural outreach to the Arab community by organizing events such as celebrations for religious festivals.



PLANTS AND THE JEWISH LIFECYCLE

From biblical times to this day, Israel's fruits, grains and agricultural cycles shape and imbue the Jewish religious calendar. The country's landscapes and plants color Jewish liturgy and literature. Meanwhile, Jewish religious

writings are providing a base for an increasing number of Jews, in Israel and overseas, who are seeking Jewish answers to environmental challenges.



Plant-related celebrations of the festivals largely shape JBG's annual calendar of events. These run from Tu B'Shvat in the early spring, to Chanukah in the winter.



Bible Path: JBG has completely overhauled its Bible Path. Our new-look revolving plaques in Hebrew, Arabic and English provide fascinating botanical and biblical information about more than 20 live plants. Those seeking

additional information can pick up an audio guide at the entrance. The Bible path currently focuses on plants related to the Jewish scriptures. Funds are sought to carry out research and write up information on Plants in Christianity and Plants in Islam. Gifts are also sought to translate the audio guide into additional languages.



Cost per additional language for audio guide: NIS 11,000



The Bible Path will be complemented by a new, international, online Flora of the Holy Land course aimed at bringing plants of the Bible, the Holy Land (and the Botanical Gardens!) to audiences of different faiths and interests all over the world.

 

Bringing nature to ultra-orthodox Jewish children: Many ultra-orthodox (haredi) children in Israel have only minimal contact with nature, and a low level of environmental awareness. JBG is developing programs to bring these children out of their classrooms, into nature and the fresh air.

  • School gardens in ultra-orthodox Jewish neighborhoods : Gardens have already been completed in two ultra-orthodox schools in the neighborhood of Har Nof. Planning and construction involved pupils,teachers, and JBG staff.
  • Subsidized visits for ultra-orthodox Jewish children: A new program has begun to bring groups of orthodox children to the Gardens,together with their teachers. JBG activities are tailored to each community's needs and sensitivities. Many of these communities are financially disadvantaged, and subsidies are needed to enable them to visit the Gardens.Cost: Subsidies to enable ten classes to come for one visit, including a train tour, creative workshop and an environment-related film or performance NIS 20,000
  • In-service training for ultra-orthodox teachers Each teacher has the potential to enrich 30 or more children with his or her new-found knowledge and understanding. Funds are sought to expand teacher training for special populations, such as Arabs and ultra-orthodox Jews.Training of ultra-orthodox guides for religious Jewish visitors and children's activities
  • Symposia and lectures on the Bible and the Environment



PLANTS AND THE SPECIALLY-ABLED

Specially-abled people occupy a special place at JBG, within the framework of the Gardens' commitment to human diversity and mutual respect.

 

JBG's store is run in conjunction with the non-profit Re'ut organisation whose members produce many of the items on sale, and assist with sales. JBG's staff includes several specially abled individuals, each of whom makes a special contribution to the Gardens' operation.



Groups of specially-abled adults and children, Jewish and Arab, visit the gardens for activities and/or planting at an appropriate level. One of the most veteran groups comprises former Israel Defense Forces soldiers who still suffer from the traumas of their wartime experiences. JBG plans to expand its horticultural therapy provision.



Please contact us for details of projects.

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