The garden was developed with the support of Friends of JNF Australia, led by the Jack and Robert Smorgon Families Foundation. The dedication ceremony, which took place on Friday, June 20, 2014, was attended by representatives of the donors, representatives of Hadassah and of KKL-JNF, members of the medical staff, the Mayor of Jerusalem and the Director General of the Israel Ministry of Health.
“I am pleased that sick children will be enjoying this garden for many years, and it will certainly contribute to their recovery,” said donor Jack Smorgon. “Jerusalem and all of Israel have a warm place in my heart, and I am proud to be a partner in this project in Jerusalem, which contributes to the environment and to the health of children."
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat
, who spoke at the ceremony, stressed the garden’s contribution to children of all religions. “Jerusalem respects people of all faiths,” said Mayor Barkat, “and the hospital has an important role in bringing the different populations together. I remember how this location used to look, and I am pleasantly surprised to see how beautiful this new garden looks now. Together we are building Jerusalem.”
The Healing and Environmental Garden represents an innovative approach in treating children and youth with chronic illnesses, which is based on the design principles of the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) in Melbourne, Australia. The beautifully landscaped garden in Jerusalem includes green lawns, flowerbeds, a vegetable garden, medicinal herbs, a wooden promenade, an observation deck, a healing shed, and a small amphitheater where the dedication ceremony took place last week.