The Board of the Bernard van Leer Foundation met in Tel Aviv on September 8, 2019, with program partners The Tel Aviv Foundation and the Municipality of Tel Aviv-Yafo to discuss progress on future plans for Urban95 in Tel Aviv. Urban95 is the family-friendly urban design program which encourages planners and service providers to imagine their city from 95cm, the average height of a three year old to create public spaces and services that promote positive early childhood development.
Celebrating 100 years of the Bauhaus design movement in Tel Aviv, the newly-renovated Liebling Haus-White City Center opened on September 19, 2019. A joint project of The Tel Aviv Foundation, the Municipality of Tel Aviv-Yafo and the German Government, the event was held in the presence of the current and former State Secretaries of the German Ministry for the Interior, Building and Community – Mr Marco Wanderwitz and Mr Gunther Adler – as well as the German Ambassador to Israel, Susanne Wasum-Rainer.
150 children started the new school year on September 1 in a brand new kindergarten, thanks to the generosity of the Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Charitable Foundation. ‘Vivienne’s Kindergarten’, built by The Tel Aviv Foundation, will provide a state-of-the-art learning environment for children ages 3-6 in the Neve Ofer neighborhood in south Tel Aviv.
In 2007, Jaffa’s coastline was the site of a mountain of 1.3 tons of garbage. Today, the Jaffa Seaside “Midron” Park is a green oasis of coexistence. On September 20, 2019, The Tel Aviv Foundation, together with project partners, Brian and Nancy Malk from San Diego, and in the presence of Mayor Ron Huldai, Deputy Mayor Asaf Harel and Ms Swikar Blak, Principal of the nearby Hassan Arafa School, dedicated the park.
In July 2019, we held a dedication ceremony at the Onn special education kindergarten, which the Foundation renovated with the support of a generous donation from Israeli donors, the Azoory family in on honor of their parents and grandparents, Ada and Noori Azoory. Mayor Ron Huldai spoke at the moving ceremony, a celebration of family and community, and a wonderful example of Tel Avivians giving back to their city. For so long, Israelis were only on the receiving end of philanthropy, but it is fantastic to see how local Tel Aviv philanthropy is becoming a growing phenomenon and helping to power the work of the Foundation.
The Tel Aviv Foundation continued its city coin partnership with the Municipality of Tel Aviv-Yafo and Colu Tel Aviv throughout Pride Month 2019. For every Colu transaction in Tel Aviv, Colu and The Tel Aviv Foundation made a donation to the Tel Aviv LGBTQ Center’s Transgender Employment Center. The Center helps members of the transgender community to combat prejudice to find and integrate into employment.
The late Anita Hirsh was a longtime friend of Tel Aviv and Mayor Ron Huldai who, with her husband Stanley, was a generous donor to the city.
The Tel Aviv Foundation is featured in the latest publication by UN-Habitat, A BETTER WORLD, which is a collection of articles on active efforts to advance Strategic Development Goal (SDG) 11 – make cities more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Each article draws upon experiences around the world, including Buenos Aires, Malaysia, India, Dubai, Seoul, Australia, and the Netherlands.
The Tel Aviv Foundation in partnership with the Municipality of Tel Aviv-Yafo and Colu Tel Aviv have embarked on a pilot to use local digital currency to achieve community goals – strengthening the local economy, reducing the cost of living and promoting the welfare of residents. Throughout May 2019, users can earn Tel Aviv Coins through transactions with local businesses through the Colu app. In addition, for every transaction, Colu and the Tel Aviv Foundation will donate 12 agorot to the ‘Children of Music’ program at the Lev Jaffa Youth Center, which empowers youth at risk through music.
Following the tremendous success of the ‘Neighborhood as a City’ program – initiated by the Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Charitable Foundation (UK) – the transformative program has been extended to three more neighborhoods in south Tel Aviv over the next three years.