Although I could no longer feel the tips of my toes, I felt like I was in paradise. As I trudged through the snow, the day after the largest snowfall Jerusalem had seen in years, I marveled at some of the gorgeous snow-covered plants that we have at the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens. I passed the aloe ferox, or bitter aloe, the 10-foot tall relative of the well-known Aloe vera. I passed dozens of tall eucalyptus trees, replete with small koala stuffies that keep visiting children occupied. I passed the giant tropical greenhouse where I once clipped off a ripe banana to eat with my lunch. And when I felt like I could walk no longer for fear of actually getting frostbite, I arrived at the library, my workstation. I was brought on to the team at the botanical gardens to work with the curatorial team, which is in charge of keeping track of the locations and statuses of all the plants that enter and leave the garden. Most of my day is spent designing the signs that are placed by the plants, logging our seed arrivals in the large bookkeeping database, or working outside in the garden, playing the role of gardener. Of the seven geographic sections: Mediterranean, Southern Africa, Southwest and Central Asia, North America, Europe, and Australia, my favorite is probably Southern Africa. It is certainly the flashiest section, being home to our collection of over 20 aloe species. Who knew there were so many types of aloe? I certainly didn’t. Walking back through the garden at the end of the day, I passed the two quails that spend their day galavanting around the garden, and who I have come to call my friends. I thought to myself, “How lucky am I that I get to spend my days working outside in nature? Shouldn’t we all spend our lives galavanting like quails?” And then I thought, “Wow, how profound. Write that quail line down and be sure to add it to your newsletter paragraph.” I look forward to spending the next few months working with the curatorial team at the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens. If you’re ever in the area, be sure to take a walk around the gardens, and please say hi to the quails for me.
– Caleb Stutman-Shaw
I recently started my internship at Gan Hashikumi, which is a preschool for children with special needs. Each classroom is split up based on the children’s disabilities. The gan is run in a way that makes every child feel cared for and special in their own way. I am there to assist the kids in any way possible, whether that be walking, eating, learning Hebrew together, or just playing with them. I am looking forward to leaning more, especially about occupational, behavioral, physical, psychological, and speech therapies that the gan provides. It has so far been a very special and eye-opening experience. I am excited to form relationships that I know I will remember for the rest of my life.
This week in (th)INK!,we were happy to meet in person as a larger group! We continued our exploration of Purim–which begins Thursday night!
We explored the idea of costumes and dressing up, asking if they conceal or reveal. We then spoke about clothing in general and the difference from when we were in middle/high school and beginning to develop our own sense of style. We discussed how our clothing sometimes expresses a great deal about ourselves and how sometimes we feel limited and confined. It is particularly interesting as this week’s Torah portion, which always comes next to Purim, is a description of the sacred clothing that the priests would wear in the Temple. It was a great session with a few new faces joining us to explore these Jewish ideas and where they meet us in our own lives.
Shabbat Shalom and Happy Purim!
Our counselor on call this weekend is Nitzan. She can be reached in case of emergency on the Jerusalem Emergency Phone: +972-54-895-9281