Hadassah’s Healing and Environmental Garden on the slopes of Mt Scopus is an example of how lives can change for the better. The joint venture between Hadassah Australia and JNF Victoria is spread over 1.5 acres of prime natural bushland, adjacent to the main campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. It represents a quantum leap in the way that we approach the treatment of young people with chronic illness.

Ours is the first of its kind in Israel with Australian donors leading the way. Principal support came from the families of Jack and Robert Smorgon, among the most generous Australian benefactors to Israel and local Jewish causes. The garden is beautifully landscaped with features including a boardwalk, maze, vegetable patch, flower arcade and play spaces. It was specifically designed to include elements that enhance feelings of peace and tranquillity and encourage activity, whilst promoting positive thoughts and stimulating the healing process.

Healing gardens are now being built by children’s hospitals around the globe, including Melbourne’s new Royal Children’s Hospital. Ours is the first of its kind in Israel with Australian donors leading the way. Principal support came from the families of Jack and Robert Smorgon, among the most generous benefactors to Israel and local Jewish causes. Dr. Shmuel Harris, a doctor at Hadassah Hospital and a member of the Smorgon family, said that the idea behind the garden combines many of the issues to which his family is committed, such as caring for children, promoting health services, protecting the environment and supporting the State of Israel.