Environmental Community Programming

Environmental Community Programming at the Secular Yeshiva TLV

In 2014, the city of Tel Aviv generously provided buildings in the Ganei Teva (Nature Gardens) to be used as BINA’s campus in the heart of south Tel Aviv. The site was originally the location of Tel Aviv University and houses a botanical garden which had been closed to the public for about 20 years. With the site, we inherited the gardens and land to be used at our disposal; our campus is one of the few green spaces in south Tel Aviv, a fact we do not take lightly.

Our aim was to reopen the botanical garden (which grows almost exclusively native Israeli plants) and to make it accessible to the community.  We also planned to turn the wasteland surrounding the buildings into an urban farm. It was clear to us that our new campus could allow us the opportunity to engage more deeply with the communities surrounding the Secular Yeshiva. Our volunteers traditionally go out of the Secular Yeshiva to serve south Tel Aviv and now we had a space that could enable the residents of south Tel Aviv come to us. We decided to create a green community center – the botanical gardens of south Tel Aviv and an urban farm – that would allow community residents the opportunity to experience enriching environmental interactions, experiences that can be few and far between for city dwellers.

‘Greening Judaism’

Bal Tashchlit – do not destroy or waste

Our participants play a vital role in developing and maintaining the garden; in fact, it is the hands of BINA’s staff, participants, and volunteers that made our dream a reality.

Our garden is continually growing and incorporating exciting environmental and sustainable practices. We have created an irrigation system using an old toilet, and re-purposed a refrigerator to act as a green house in the urban farm section of the campus.

The urban farm has fruit trees and we grow vegetables, herbs and flowers. We are now harvesting produce (broccoli, kale, carrots, etc.), enjoying the spring blooms, and planting the seedlings for all of the summer vegetables including: watermelon, cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, squash, zucchini, sunflowers, and eggplant to name a few. We are showcasing ways to grow food in the middle of the city. 

The more established our garden becomes, the more important it is to welcome our local community. We hold environmental community programs and events and activities in the garden. We currently host twice-monthly family Shabbat activities in the botanical gardens. Connecting Judaism to the environment and the local community, activities invite the diverse residents of south Tel Aviv to spend time together in the park with other families from around the neighborhood and the city. Every other weekend, local families can enjoy wandering around the plants and flowers in the gardens, watch special children’s performances, and get involved in ecologically creative and environmentally friendly art activities in our eco-farm, organized by BINA’s participants. Join in the fun – activities take place every other weekend.

Free entry, activities are in Hebrew and are organized partnership with Ganei Yehoshua and the Tel Aviv Municipality. 

Click here to learn more and to view the full schedule [in Hebrew]!

 

Upcoming Events and Programs

  • Bi-Weekly Family Botanical Garden Shabbat
  • Children’s theater performances: 8.4, 22.4
  • Young-Adult Kabalat Shabbat events in the Botanical Garden
  • Independence Day and Shavuot in the Garden

Future plans include: local afterschool farming and gardening classes.