Newsletter Sep19

Illustration:Avital Geva

Welcome to the “Greenhouse Effect”, the newsletter of the Ecological Greenhouse at Ein Shemer!

With the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year, here is a small taste of what is to be expected, and also some memories of a few significant events from the recent past.

We open this issue with greetings for the children, and will end it with regards to the teachers.

Shanna Tova, and pleasant reading!

At the start of the 2019-2020 school year,
We would like to wish for all the pupils and teachers in Israel,
That we shall sow new ideas,
And grow cooperative ventures,
That we shall raise tolerance and curiosity,
And reap love and friendship!
From us,
The staff of The Ecological Greenhouse at Ein Shemer


Photograph: Sigal Lutzky
Prizes and Greetings

We are thrilled to announce that pupils from the Greenhouse have won prestigious prizes in the competitions for final projects:

In the Ben Gurion University competition for excellent final projects on the subjects of the environment and sustainability for 2019, pupils from the Greenhouse won first, second and third place, and in total, six out of the first 10 places!

At the “Galilium” Institute conference, a pupil from the Greenhouse won first place in the session where he presented.

At the Davidson Institute competition, a pupil from the Greenhouse was awarded a special commendation.
All the projects, the name and the prizes – are available here.
Congratulations to the wonderful pupils and counsellors!
Pupils from the Greenhouse who won prizes in the Ben Gurion University competition for excellent final projects on the subjects of the environment and sustainability for 2019:

Like Dreamers

In October 4, the Greenhouse will host a panel discussion with Yossi Klein Halevi, author of  the award-winning book, “Like Dreamers,” which tells the story of seven paratroopers who fought in Jerusalem in 1967 -- including Greenhouse founder, Avital Geva (The story of the Greenhouse features prominently in the book).

The topic is “Self-Reckoning: The Generation of 1967 Considers the Future of Israel.” Yossi will engage with three central characters from his book, including Arik Achmon, Rabbi Yoel bin-Nun and Avital.

The Ecological Greenhouse in Ein Shemer. Photograph: Tal Badrak

Taking off for the 2019-2020 School Year

What are we expecting this year?
Wow … We don’t have enough room on the webpage to tell it all!
This year, more than 800 pupils are expected to take part in studies at the Greenhouse, who come from some 20 schools in the Menashe area, Baqa al-Gharbiyye, Pardes Hanna, Hadera and Wadi Ara. 30 of the pupils will do final projects at a level of five study units in Agriculture and Environment.
150 students from the informal frameworks will join them, and from them, 30 leading pupils – the “HaHamamnikim” (“Greenhousers”).
In addition, more than 2,000 people will take part in workshops for teachers and guests, and some 3,000 families will take part in cultural events.
  So, here is a small taste of what we are expecting:


A Farmbot, design and built by the greenhouse students

Pupils at the Greenhouse in Action 

The Study Programs

The study programs and the fields of study are expanding, and will this year include a wide variety of challenges, projects and research:

The future food challenge: research on the subject of growing Spirulina Algae, other algae, Ulva Sea Lettuce, Common Duckweed and even maggots – super-foods with the potential for supplying food on a world-wide scale in the future, in response to the population explosion and the decline in resources.

The water challenge: research on environmentally-friendly methods for purifying water, including the use of different types of vegetation, bacteria and various filters. The challenge is trying to find new means of supplying clean water, in the face of the water shortage in Israel and in the world.

The salt challenge: The search for organisms with economic worth, that can live in water with relatively high salinity. The challenge is connected with the phenomenon of salinization of water in Israel and around the world.

The food preservation challenge: The search for environmentally friendly ways to extend the shelf life of food products, as part of the challenge to reduce wasted food around the world.

The aquiculture challenge: Raising fish, zooplankton and algae in artificial water systems, as a means of dealing with the extinction of fish due to over-fishing.

In addition to these challenges, we will study, research and invent, using “biomimicry: solutions inspired by nature”, 3-dimensional design and printing, makers’ workshops, a laboratory for medicinal herbs, natural pharmacology, a laboratory for molecular biology, artistic spaces and construction of a gardener-robot by pupils at the Greenhouse.

The Growing Together joint educational program for Jewish and Arab students, at the Ecological Greenhouse, Kibbutz Ein-Shemer, Menashe, Israel. This short movie focus on teaching methods, that help us deal with the language gaps.

Growing Together Program

In the “Growing Together” program, young Jews and Arabs learn and research together about common challenges in the fields of the environment and agriculture, with an emphasis on scientific study and research. The program is taught by staff member from the Greenhouse, Jewish and Arab teachers.
This year we expect 100 pupils to take part in the program, from pairs of schools – Jewish and Arab, in grades 5 and 8.

In addition, this year we are beginning to distribute the program to schools and educational entrepreneurs that are interested in setting up cooperative programs of “growing together”.

You are invited to watch the video we have produced, which explains about the program from a pedagogical point of view.

The Growing Together program is supported by
Jacqueline and Richard Ross, Urbana, Illinois
Sary & Ed Baker, New York, New York
Ms. Joyce Leader
Gayda & Nabil Hanna, San Diego, California

The Green Leadership Project

In cooperation with the Menashe Regional Council, and with the support of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Menashe Economic Corporation, we are opening a new program for Green Leadership, where the schools from the region will take part. The program will place an emphasis on experiential learning on the subject of water, and on carrying out research by the pupils.

The Greenhouse summer school

After-school activities, courses, events and an open space to the community

The community activities of the Greenhouse are expanding and this year will include activity from the Menashe Excellence Center for pupils in grades 5 and 6, with the support of the Department for Gifted and Exceptional pupils at the Ministry of Education, and with the cooperation of the Rotem Community Center, a Makers’ Club for pupils in grades 7 to 9 in cooperation with the Menashe Youth Department and the support of the Ministry of Science, a course in medicinal herbs and natural pharmacology led by Dikla Basher in cooperation with the Milo Menashe Senior Citizens Center and also an open community space where families and individuals can come every afternoon.


We are very excited to inform you that the Greenhouse has been accepted of the Ministry of Education’s R & D program.

The program is meant to assist educational entrepreneurs to develop, package and distribute ground-breaking educational ideas.

We, the staff of the Greenhouse, have submitted an initiative called “Me and My Algae will change the World”, in the framework of which we are creating environmental and agricultural study programs in cooperation with industry, entrepreneurs and researchers. Junior and Senior High School pupils are expected to take part in the program, and it will be run in cooperation with the Granot Organization, Gan Shmuel Foods, the Bio-Bee company, researchers and start-up creators.
MIT Project

As is traditional, in January two students will come to the Greenhouse from MIT – the academic institution that is considered to be the best in the world in the hi-tech and technology fields.

Over the month, the students will supervise the Greenhouse’s pupil in their research during the day and into the night. In addition, during January – together with the students from MIT – we will hold a “hackathon”  (known as “junkathon”), during which we will create fashions from recycled materials.
Additional details here.
Teacher Training Courses – the Menashe Science Teachers’ Community

Continuing on from the last school year, this year we will again host the Menashe Science Teachers’ Community. The Menashe Science Teachers’ Community is the harbinger of the Regional Council’s teachers communities, an initiative that is being promoted by the Director of the Council’s Education Department, Sarah Twil. In the Menashe Science Teachers’ Community, we are learning together – one from another, developing a mutual vision, creating acquaintances and connections between the Council’s schools through the world of science.
The program is recognized as an official Teacher Training Program, together with the Hadera “Pisg’a” Teachers’ Center, under the leadership of Tamar Biyar Ben-Brit.

From the process of planning the ecological-educational greenhouse at the “Atzmon” school in Nof HaGalil..
 Illustration: Avital Geva
Establishing Additional Greenhouses in Israel

The Greenhouse supervises educational entrepreneurs and schools in establishing educational-ecological greenhouses.

At the “Atzmon” School in Nof HaGail, an impressive educational greenhouse was opened with great excitement. We, the ecological staff at Ein Shemer, were privileged to accompany the educational entrepreneurs from the urban kibbutz “Mishol” in dreaming and in planning the educational greenhouse.
This is the second project that we are supervising. Three years ago, an additional impressive greenhouse was inaugurated at the “Reshit” school in Kiryat Menachem, Jerusalem. For us, this is a double blessing, and a great joy, to see greenhouses sprouting all around the country!

Establishing a new learning environment

The pupil’s at the Greenhouse have just now finished establishing the new learning environment, which will be devoted to bio-mimicry studies: solutions inspired by nature, natural pharmacology studies and cooperative study programs for Jewish and Arab pupils. The learning environment is dedicated to the memory of Irit Dromi, who supervised hundreds of pupils in achieving personal and group excellence, and in contributing to the community.
Establishing the new learning environment by the pupils at the Greenhouse, in memory of Irit Dromi. 

Final Projects in Agriculture – in English
Led by Judie Segal, the Inspector of English at the Rural Education Department (REED), the Greenhouse will lead a new national initiative by REED for encouraging final projects in Agriculture – in English.

Training Center at the Greenhouse
With the support of the Rural Education Department and the Menashe Regional Council, we are conducting a training center at the Greenhouse, which will serve teachers and pupils from all around the area. Through the training center, the Greenhouse will be able to distribute information, and we will all be able to share knowledge and learn from each other – teachers, pupils and experts.

We would like to thank our donors and supporters:

Jaap &Ella
Loes &  Evert  Van Den Bergh
Jacqueline and Richard Ross, Urbana, Illinois

The estate of Mrs. Marilyn Ratner And in memory of a dear man who loved Israel with all his heart - Mr. Arthur S. Mintz
Anton Herscu and Rosalia Kirschner, Toronto, Canada 
Sary & Ed Baker, New York, New York
Ms. Joyce Leader
Gayda & Nabil Hanna, San Diego, California

Granot factories
Gan Shmuel Factory
Mezer company

Krausz Industries

FLC company
  And in conclusion – Congratulations to the teachers

With the opening of the 2019-2020 school year, we wish for all of us – that we will enjoy,
get excited and be curious,
that we will know how to work together, that we shall see problems as challenges and challenges as opportunities,
that we should be tolerant of the other, one to another, and … also to ourselves, and that we shall pass all this on to our pupils!

May we have a year of renewable energy!

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