Program Overview: The Israeli Ministry of the Environment warned, “Preservation of the country’s scant water sources may be the greatest challenge facing Israel today.” The environmental educator will provide a historical background to Jerusalem’s 3,000 years of water challenges, including water management and how the water supply in the Jerusalem hills is quite limited. We will discuss how today, the Golan plateau functions as “a vast water tower for greater Jerusalem,” channeled through Israel’s National Water Carrier. We will also discuss how and why Israel’s main water sources are rapidly depleting. Following the guided hike, if desired, we will explore Biblical sources on water conservation in relation to this contemporary challenge and discuss possible solutions for Israel in the 21st century.
Possible Location: Ein Sataf, 20 minutes outside of Jerusalem, is one ideal location for this program. The site contains an orchard of fruit trees indigenous to Israel, an ancient wine press, and organic garden plots cultivated using traditional techniques. Participants can also enter the hewn-out spring, crawl through the passage way and exit at the other side. Depending on where the participants are staying, we can find other locations near fresh-water sources if need be.
Time: Three hours thirty minutes, excluding travel time to and from site.
Basic Program Timetable:
0:00-0:20 Introduction to the site and to Israel’s water issues
1:00-1:15 Participants can climb into the tunnel that feeds the spring
1:15-2:00 Interactive presentation by educator guide about Israel’s water challenges and examples of innovative green-technology solutions
– Group discussion of the issues
– Optional: Brief learning in pairs related to Bible sources on water, followed by participatory discussion
2:00-2:30 Experiential group activities
2:30-3:00 Guided hike back to bus
Summary and conclusions
Alternative timetables are available upon request for shorter or longer programs. A full-day program is available for this site
Photos © Joshua Schaffer
Bottom Photo credit: Samuel Vengrinovich