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

With the re-opening the Zoo after the Covid-19 closures, and after the month of Ramadan was over, the school groups started coming back to the Zoo.

Unfortunately, a short time later, Operation Guardian of the Walls broke out,  alongside conflict and tension in many cities in Israel.

During this time, all the Arab-speaking groups who were booked to visit the Zoo cancelled. Obviously this was very sad for the Zoo staff. The Zoo remained open and continued to host visitors from all over the country.

In the recent week, we have returned to normal programming and have been hosting many Arabic-speaking and other school and kindergarten groups.

The school year is now its end and we will commence summer programming which includes visits from summer day camp groups, night tours and other special programming.

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Visitors returning to the Zoo, dressed for Purim
Visitors returning to the Zoo, dressed for Purim

Unfortunately the Zoo has been closed to visitors during the three lockdowns in Israel in March-May and September-October 2020 and again at the end of 2020 with a third lockdown that started on December 28, 2020.

Overall, there were a total of 119 days of complete closure in the 2020 calendar year.

During the whole of 2020, the Education Department at the Zoo was very limited in its ability to continue with its usual programming.

Happily, the Zoo re-opened on February 21, 2021 with limited entries.

We are now looking forward to a range of holy days and holidays in the coming month in different sectors of Israeli society: such as Rosh Hodesh Nissan, the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed, Passover and towards the middle of April, the holiday of Ramadan,

Keep Safe, 

Rachael and the Education Team

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Group visiting the Zoo
Group visiting the Zoo

As in many places around the world, the Jerusalem Zoo and the Israel Aquarium have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

For the first time in the Zoo's history, we were required to close our gates to visitors for some 50 days during the first lockdown in Israel in mid-March.

As a result, the 2019-2010 school year was a very challenging and extraordinary year.

We started the year as usual with a similar number of groups as in the previous year but all our activities were postponed immediately with the closing of the education system in Israel.

Overall 7,868 children in groups from the Arab-speaking population visited the Zoo in this past year.

This is unfortunately 60% less than last year's numbers.

On a positive note, this year we managed to hold some important continuing education and team-building activities for the Arabic-speaking guiding team. These included a visit to the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History in Tel Aviv and special training sessions learning about each animal group.

Keep healthy, 

Rachael and the Education Team

One of our guides
One of our guides
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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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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
$2,970 raised of $10,000 goal
 
45 donations
$7,030 to go
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