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Welcoming Garden in Ra'anana

  June 2015


Preparing the soil and designing the signage for the Welcoming Garden

The City of Ra’anana, the location of Israel Elwyn’s Occupational Training Center and other programs, is known for its innovative social and environmental initiatives.  This creative spirit finds expression in the “Welcoming Garden” project, a collaborative venture of Israel Elwyn (IE), the Ra’anana Municipality, and the Ministry of Environmental Protection, along with Akim Ra’anana* and the Ra’anana Democratic Elementary School.

The project’s aim is to create a space for people with intellectual disabilities along with Ra’anana’s other citizens, while at the same time establishing a green space for the enjoyment of all.

The year-long program included introductory meetings for all the program’s participants – workers with disabilities at IE’s Ra’anana Occupational Training Center (OTC) and students from the Ra’anana Democratic Elementary School. These initial gatherings were followed by a learning trip to the Ramat Hanadiv Public Garden and Nature Park**.  The participants met weekly to create decorations and accessories for the Welcoming Garden and to learn about planting, building bird feeding stations, and other aspects of holistic care for the Garden.

OTC worker proudly presents Garden signage

The workers from IE’s OTC were enthusiastic about the project and their participation:

  • Sivan said, “It’s fun, I love to plant and to work with the children. It will be difficult to say goodbye at the end of the school year.” 
  • Dorit also said she loves to plant:  “I love to provide support for the climbing plants and to work with the children and the plants.  I hope we have a party at the end of the year.” 
  • Warren added, “We plant lots of things in the garden and I love to work with the earth.  We work with the children from the Ra’anana Democratic School and we’ve become friends.” 
  • According to Omer, “Planting flowers is the most fun.” 
  • Aderet said she thought everything was going well in the garden, but her favorite activity “is to work with the children and to paint.  Next year I’d like to do something else with the students.”  
  • Shmuel commented, “It’s going well, I enjoy working in the garden and would like to do it every morning!  It’s good to work with the children.  All that remains is to buy a sprinkler system.” 
  • Ortal summed up by saying, “It’s really been fun and the group is the best.  I enjoy working with my friends and hope we’ll continue next year.”

IE and its partners in the program are planning to continue their collaboration in the coming school year.


*    A nonprofit organization of parents of people with intellectual disabilities.

**  The Ramat Hanadiv Public Garden and Nature Park was established in memory of Baron Edmond de Rothschild and plays a leading role in the management of natural and cultural resources based on sustainable interactions among people, nature and the environment.

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We'd love to hear from you! Also, please let us know in advance of your next trip to Israel and we will give you a tour of the Israel Elwyn programs.

You can also contact one of our North American offices: United States: (267) 225-5132 or Canada: (416) 649-1655.

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David B. Marcu, Chief Executive Officer

IE's mission is to develop and provide a wide array of supports and tools for people with disabilities, while constantly striving for excellence of service and the creation of a just society. Together with people with disabilities and society at large, we shall continue working as an innovative and cutting-edge organization.

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