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Israel’s Water Challenges

Overview of the Program:

100_1321The educator will provide a historical background to 3,000 years of Jerusalem’s water challenges. Ein Sataf exposes how the water supply in the Jerusalem hills is quite lim ited. We will discuss how today, the Golan plateau functions as “a vast water tower for greater Jerusalem,” channeled through Israel’s National Water Carrier. Yet in Israel in recent years, the main aquifers and Lake Kinneret dipped below their red lines, endangering water quality. The Israeli Ministry of the Environment warned that “Preservation of the country’s scant water sources may be the greatest challenge facing Israel today.” We will explore Jewish sources on water conservation in relation to this contemporary challenge, regarding possible solutions for Israel in the 21st century.

Participants will:
• Engage in an acti100_2108ve, exciting experience on the ground in Israel linking its modern water challenges to contemporary environmental issues and Jewish sources
• Explore solutions to water scarcity, one of the most pressing problems in contemporary Israel

Possible Location: Ein Sataf, 20 minutes outside of Jerusalem, is one ideal location for this module. 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, arrive at a pool of water, and exit at the other side. Other locations near fresh-water sources in Israel would work well for this module as well.

Time: Three hours thirty minutes, excluding travel time to and from site.

Basic Module Timetable Desert Flooding in Zin(A full-day program is also available for this program):

0:00-0:20 Introduction to the site and to Israel’s water issues
0:20-1:00 Guided hike in Sataf
1:00-3:00 Brief learning in pairs related to Jewish sources on water in relation to Jewish experience, followed by participatory discussion
Participants enter hewn-out spring (optional). Interactive presentation by educator guide about Israel’s water challenges and examples of innovative green-technology solutions, Group discussion of the issue, Refreshments sitting in the Eretz Yisrael Tree Garden
3:00-3:30 Guided hike back to bus
Summary and conclusions