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Israel: Bringing Community Gardening to Haredi Religious Community

Haredi religious children gather around an SPNI Community Gardens staff member to learn planting tips in Jerusalem.

Israel’s Society for the Protection of Nature (SPNI) has long maintained a Community Garden Initiative that has grown 70 community gardens in Jerusalem, and literally hundreds of beautiful community gardens around the Jewish State.

By Hana Levi Julian
Jewish Press
December 19, 2017

Excerpt:

Currently, the ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem neighborhoods of Choma HaShlishit and Maalot Dafna both have thriving communal gardens.

The project provides unique learning opportunities for all ages, especially for cheder-age (elementary) students who spend most of the day inside studying and rarely have the opportunity to connect with nature.

“Instead of destroying trees, which is often the case for children in these neighborhoods , they’re planting trees and making positive contributions,” Lind said. “It gives them a sense of purpose and responsibility, and they love knowing they have the ability to change a space and make it beautiful.”

The children engage in activities such as designing the layout of the garden and planting the trees, herbs and vegetables. This provides them with opportunities to interact with nature. At a young age, they begin to understand the importance of environmental sustainability and appreciate its value in their communities.

Read the complete article here.