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Education as a Bridge Between Communities

by The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens, the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem
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Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities
Education as a Bridge Between Communities

At the beginning of the covid-19 virus lockdown in Israel in mid-March, the Zoo was closed to the public for an extended period for the first time ever in its history,

After nearly two months of closure and after lobbying by the Zoo Association that we lead, the Government allowed limited visits for families with special needs kids, who had an especially difficult time under lockdown. The joy of these children being able to visit the Zoo after weeks inside their homes was something we won't forget for a long time!

Now the Zoo is open to the general public but with limitations on visitor numbers.

Special precautions have been put in place to protect both visitors and staff alike: face masks are mandatory at all times; special disinfection of handrails, public restrooms and other areas; closure of water fountains, indoor exhibits (such as the Small Animal House and exhibits with crawling tunnels (such as the prairie dogs). Additionally, the Zoo has added a number of special stations for hand washing and water-bottle filling with non-touch, infra-red technology.

As a result of the closure, the educational programs at the Zoo, obviously, were brought to a halt.

Group visits have also not been allowed until this past week and it is lovely to hear the noisy sounds of children by the lake again. A number of groups came this past week and now the school year has come to a close and the summer holidays have began.

Stay Safe and Keep Well, 

Rachael and the Education Team

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Friday is a popular day at the Zoo for all the different segements of society who visit.

It is not a full work day for either the Arab or the Haredi populations and hence is a day where lots of families come and visit the Zoo for a few hours.

The Zoo runs special activities on Fridays which sometimes include musical performances, special feedings and other activities.

Throughout winter, every month there was an emphasis on a different animal for Fridays, with feedings, enrichment activities and information.

The latest holiday at the Zoo was for the Jewish festival of Tu B'Shvat which was celebrated with a range of activities that were suitable for all communities.

This year it was decided to plant mature trees in areas adjacent to the lake and in the grassy picnic area opposite the flamingos. This is instead of smaller saplings that were planted in previous years. Trees planted were: Redbud (Klil HaHoresh in Hebrew), Mulberry (fruitless) and Planeleaf Mulberry (fruitless).

Participants also did craft activities, making animals using natural materials such as pine cones, leaves and clay and decorated the pots of the small plants that the Zoo handed out to visitors who attended the activities.

In the spirit of the holiday, a variety of dried fruits were offered as refreshment at the event.

Stay healthy,

Rachael and the Education Team.

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The unseasonally sunny weather through October and November has allowed the Arabic-language education program at the Zoo to get off to a roaring start this new school year.

With nearly two thousand children participating in guided tours of the Zoo in October, and nearly three thousand in November, the numbers are a looking good for another full year of activity.

Most of the groups so far have been from the Greater Jerusalem area as well as five groups from Bedouin communities in the south and a small group (without a guided activity) visiting from nearby Bethlehem.

The weather has now turned wintery and rainy in Jerusalem which means less groups and more weather-related cancellations but we are encouraged by such a strong start to the year.

Keep warm!

Rachael and the Education Team

Photo credit: Zinyab Alian
Photo credit: Zinyab Alian
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The Arab Language Education Program continues to be one of the most significant educational programs at the Zoo, and the main program out of all the Zoo's departments that is targeted to the local Arabic-speaking population.

Overall 18,525 children in groups from the Arab-speaking population visited the Zoo in the past academic year.

Of this number, 14,649 enjoyed guided educational visits in a total of 556 groups (one guide per group).

Participants come from a range of population groups including Muslim, Bedouin, Christian and Druze institutions. Geographically, a majority come from the greater Jerusalem area including Abu Ghosh, Bethlehem, Ramallah, Hebron but there are also groups who travel all the way to the Zoo from the north (usually Druze) and the south (Bedouin) of the country.

This year the team consisted of 13 guides, all of whom attended the annual zoo guides refresher course, as well as a number of other training courses throughout the year. Many guides work or volunteer in other sections of the Zoo or as field guides working at the educations stations on busy days.

We are now gearing up for the next "busy week" ahead of us with the Jewish Succot holidays.

With warm wishes, 

Rachael and the Education Team

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Visiting the new Orangutan Exhibit
Visiting the new Orangutan Exhibit

Greetings from Jerusalem.

Another busy summer is in full swing.

In May, we had many visitors for the holiday of Eid Al Fitr and the festival of Shavout, which came one directly after the other this year.

Last week, the Zoo's popular summer day camp program commenced with the highest number of enrolments ever and many other summer camp groups from all sectors of the community are enjoying days at the Zoo as part of their programming.

One of the most popular attractions at the Zoo in the summer months is our night tours. This year we are running a number of different tours such as "Good Night Giraffes," "Sunset with the Elephants," "Young Vets Tour" and the very special "Sleepover at the Zoo" where participants camp in tents by the Ellen Barnett Lake and get up early to join the morning activities that go on behind the scenes before the Zoo opens its gates to the public.

As usual, the Zoo has organized a range of special activities for the summer holidays including special information booths (in two languages: Hebrew and Arabic) at various locations which provide interesting facts and hands-on activities for visitors; music concerts for all the family as well as additional feeding sessions at the animal exhibits.

One of the highlights of this year's music series will be a Tribute to Queen concert.

Have a safe Summer,

Rachael and the Zoo Team

Summer Activities
Summer Activities
Visiting Druze schoolchildren
Visiting Druze schoolchildren
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Organization Information

The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens, the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem

Location: Jerusalem, Israel - Israel
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @BiblicalZoo
Project Leader:
Nicole Wexler
Jerusalem, Israel
$2,670 raised of $10,000 goal
 
42 donations
$7,330 to go
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