This collaborative partnership celebrates Israel’s environmental stewardship and the universal human need for water. It’s just one of dozens of dynamic collaborative partnerships JFSM has made with organizations throughout Sarasota-Manatee, in Israel, and around the world.
(Sarasota, FL) The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee (JFSM) has entered into a new, collaborative partnership with Marie Selby Botanical Gardens to create an “Ein Gedi Pool” in recognition of Israel’s environmental accomplishments and the universal human need for water. The approximately 1,000-square-foot pool is a prominent feature in the new Ann Goldstein Children’s Rainforest Garden at Selby.
Marty Haberer, the Jewish Federation’s associate executive director, says that the organization’s main goal with this project is to bring Israel to Sarasota-Manatee. “We want people to be aware of the amazing accomplishments coming out of Israel,” says Haberer. “Water plays such a vital role in the Middle East. Clean water is an increasingly scarce and valuable resource. No rainforest would be complete without an abundance of cool, precious, life-sustaining water. No nation could survive without it, either. This was certainly true for the Israel of times past. Water played a central role in many biblical stories; it’s still vital to the lives of those who inhabit and visit the nation of Israel today. Wherever you look, across the world and throughout time, the need for water is universal; it’s a bond that’s shared across the human family.”
Haberer says the Ein Gedi Pool, which was funded by JFSM donor-directed gifts, will provide visitors of all ages with educational insights about the intricate relationships between water, plants, and ecosystems in the rainforest. To illustrate the cyclic nature of the water cycle, a stream flowing from a lushly-planted, 12-foot high waterfall will continuously refresh this pool. He adds that, “The soundscape will include the calls of animals native to the rainforest floor and underbrush. Sculptures will also depict the animals a visitor might encounter.”
What is the purpose of this painstaking attention to detail? In Haberer’s words, “We want to recreate the feeling of being in the rainforest—on a tactile, tangible level of immediacy.”
How did JFSM get into the business of building eco-pools at area cultural organizations?
According to Haberer, it’s all about partnerships. He explains that, a decade ago, the JFSM team made a bold decision to change the way it spent donor dollars. The organization moved away from providing large unrestricted allocations to the same few organizations from year to year.
“This decision wasn’t made lightly, as this had been the standard operating procedure for Jewish federations for decades,” Haberer says. “We’ve replaced the allocations model with a granting and partnership model. The result has been dozens of collaborative partnerships with organizations throughout Sarasota-Manatee, in Israel, and around the world. The friendships made, the projects tackled and the impact felt has been simply mind blowing.”
Haberer also points out that, in addition to the pool, the JFSM has entered into a five-year partnership with Selby Gardens, where such Jewish-themed programming as PJ Library, Lights in Bloom and the celebration of Sukkot (the Feast of the Tabernacles) will be highlighted.
For more information about the Federation’s granting process, contact Marty Haberer at 941-552-6303 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to save Jewish lives and enhance Jewish life in the Sarasota-Manatee region, in Israel, and throughout the world. In addition, the Federation is responsive when worldwide catastrophes occur. For more information about The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, call 941-371-4546 or visit www.TheJewishFederation.org.