Photo Credit: Maglanist
The neighborhood of Ramot in 2006.

The residents of Jerusalem’s Ramot neighborhood enjoy the quality of life of a green space and a variety of cultural and leisure activities in the nearby KKL-JNF communal forest.

Ramot, a.k.a. Ramot Alon, is a neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem, established in 1974 as part of the capital’s “ring settlements.” In 2020, Ramot had a population of 50,400, of whom 75% were Haredi Jews.

Ramot kids enjoy their community forest. / KKL-JNF

Today there are 22 KKL-JNF community forests throughout Israel the country, and this number is going to grow significantly in the coming years. The beauty of the project is the collaboration between the community, KKL-JNF, and nature. KKL-JNF oversees planting the forest and equipping it with amenities like picnic tables, benches, shades, bicycle and walking trails, while community residents, dubbed by the agency “forest deputies,” are in charge of keeping the forest clean, safe, and available for all to enjoy.

Forest deputies are involved and active residents of the community, both in the construction process and in planning and accompanying the activities that take place in the community forest.

The Ramot community forest. / KKL-JNF

Anat Gold, Director of the Central Region in KKL-JNF, said: “This project exposes the community to a deeper connection with their neighborhood forest and nature while being adjusted to the special characteristics and unique needs of the community. The project is giving the members of the community a chance to be a part of a positive and ‘green’ influence on the residents of the neighborhood, their education, leisure activity, and surroundings whilst preserving the residents’ local traditions. We hope to continue spreading this project in more neighborhoods across the country and positively influence communities to go out in nature and preserve the forests in Israel.”

Unexpected visitors at the Ramot community forest. / KKL-JNF

Michael Karpuch, manager of the youth division at the Maale Ramot community and KKL-JNF community forest representative, said: “We see, for example, how children who suffer from ADHD suddenly cooperate in the forest, listen, enjoy and learn important values related, among other things, to protecting the environment like drawing classes, ODT activities and field cooking classes during which a special bonding interaction is created between the children.”

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