botanicalgardens-Visitors enjoying the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens last April. Photo by Judith Marcus


Why did organizers of the recent American Public Gardens Association conference include two Israelis in a panel discussion on public gardens as agents of social empowerment?

Because the Social and Environmental Hub at the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens is unlike anything the world has ever seen.

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Cofounders Lior Gottesman and Adi Bar-Yoseph travel widely to talk about the Jerusalem model for making botanical gardens relevant to the lives of city dwellers.

botanicalhubLior Gottesman,   cofounder of the Social and Environmental Hub of the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens,   in the tropical conservatory. Photo by Abigail Klein Leichman

“I’m really passionate about connecting the environment and people in a sustainable way, ” Gottesman tells ISRAEL21c on a tour of the 32-acre facility surrounded by seven neighborhoods, the Hebrew University’s Givat Ram campus and the Gazelle Valley urban nature park.