"Ten measures of beauty descended to the world, nine were taken by Jerusalem."

And of the nine measures of beauty that went to Jerusalem one descended on its German Colony. The distinct, preserved Templers' architecture, the high cypress trees, the child-friendly parks and human scale of the neighborhood contribute to the rich aesthetic mosaic of Jerusalem's moshava. Coffee shops, mini markets, and designer's shops are located among Shoshani's traditional butcher shop, the barber, hair salons, the Smadar movie theatre and the gym and swimming pool.

The Smadar movie theatre and the Jerusalem swimming pool keep resurging on the news, regarding their ever imminent closure, that we the neighborhood's locals keep trying to undo.

Hand in hand with the business diversity of our neighborhood, the moshava also boasts diversity among its people. Ultra-Orthodox Jews live side by side secular Jews and the spectrum of our neighborhood's religiosity may be easily discerned by a walk on its streets and a peek in its numerous synagogues.

We all seem to thrive in the diversity of our neighborhood, with mutual respect for each other's ways. To those of us who do not abide by the Orthodox canon, Smadar and the Jerusalem Pool are central institutions to our well-being and sense of belonging. They are lighthouses of Jerusalem's pluralism, symbols of the neighborhood's inclusive character and stand for religious tolerance, a value upheld in our neighborhood.

The neighborhood's communal garden by the Nature Museum on HaMagid street right behind the lively Emek Refaim, is a beloved institution of inclusion, communal life and aesthetic beauty. Frequented  by parents and students of the Adam school located across the street, parents and students of the Hasadna Conservatory and Bet Yehudit, the International Cultural Center for Youth, the communal garden hosts nature and gardening lovers, as well as people who care about a sustainable mode of life and use its compost lot. This measure of beauty was manmade, and instigated by locals who love gardening, love community and love creating beauty in their surroundings. Led by neighborhood residents, all volunteers with an entrepreneurial spirit, the garden has over the last ten years, turned into a small paradise. Its fish pond, frog pond, communal tent, and stretches of organically grown herbs, vegetables and fruit trees constitute a source of pride for all those who have contributed their time and energy towards them.

Today, this wo/man made heaven of city nature is under threat. The developer of the next door plot, who intends to demolish the existing building, in order to build in its place a larger one has proposed two ways of driving the waste out of his lot that negatively affect the communal garden and the adjacent parking lot. The first solution involves having trucks drive through the communal garden filled with construction waste from the lot, whereas the second involves the positioning of a huge crane in the premises of the parking lot, and the unloading of the waste over the communal garden and into trucks parked in the parking lot. Both of these options damage the shared communal space. The parking lot that the developer wants to use to position the crane and trucks currently serves parents who bring their kids to school, the communal garden, the conservatory and the international cultural center.

We the people of the moshava, ask the Jerusalem municipality to put human life first when dealing with this developer and every developer. We don't oppose the developer's profit, but we demand that the authorities primarily consider the safety of the citizens –young and old alike—when using these premises in their everyday life. Moreover, we demand that authorities consider the quality of life of thousands of residents, who use the premises of the parking lot, and the communal garden, who pay their communal taxes in the neighborhood and demand that the municipal authorities respect our safety, well-being and quality of life we have accomplished together in the community.

We trust in the ingenuity, creativity and common sense of the municipality's building authority and call upon all professional players to come up with a solution that is respectful of the lives of the communal garden goers, the school and conservatory students and the hundreds of parents who bring their kids and themselves to the International cultural center for extracurricular activities.

One thing is crystal clear: that the nine measures of beauty that descended upon Jerusalem depend upon Jerusalemites' measure of cooperation towards the common good. It is only through our cooperation that our neighborhood's beauty can be sustained.

Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official position or viewpoint of The Jerusalem Post. Blog authors are NOT employees, freelance or salaried, of The Jerusalem Post.

Think others should know about this? Please share