Joel Bellas Green Leadership Classroom Inaugurated in Jerusalem School.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
“This is no ordinary school. The students come from various sectors
of the population and the school makes a special effort to meet their needs, above and beyond. Therefore, the contribution is so highly important. There is nothing more fitting than an outdoor classroom
, which will enable the students to enjoy outdoor activities, outside the regular classroom. The classroom is made of wood, and this is very characteristic of British Columbia,” said Zeev Kedem, KKL-JNF Director of Development and the host of the ceremony.
The ceremony was attended by Ilene-Joe Bellas, wife of Joel Marvin Bellas Z"L, the former president of JNF Canada’s Pacific Region;
David Goldman, the current president of JNF Canada’s Pacific Region; Ruth Frieman, former regional president; Mickie Goldwin, Pacific Region CEO; Mrs. Bonnie Belzberg, Former Vice President of JNF Canada; Ilan Pilo, JNF Canada Director and Jerusalem Emissary in Vancouver, Zeev Kedem, and Osnat Dvorkin, Canada Desk Director and many guests from Canada.
“A few years ago, this part of the school was sealed off. There was nothing here, and it was mostly full of garbage. Children couldn’t come here to play. I approached KKL-JNF and asked them to examine whether there was an option for collaboration. Moreover, as you see, the difference that has taken place here since we approached KKL-JNF is apparent. Children spend time in the garden, play and learn in the outdoor green classroom. Most of all, the children learn that dreams can come true,” said Principal Roni Ohana.
Following the principal’s message and greetings to the JNF Canada delegation, in a moving gesture, Ilene-Jo Bellas presented the school with a gift to the school - bookmarks for all of the students.
Joel Marvin Bellas died on October 14, 2015, after a long battle with cancer. He was 67 at the time of his death, and he left behind him a tradition of incredible giving back to the community. He completed a bachelor’s degree in art from the University of British Columbia in 1970; and in 1972, he received his teaching certificate. Teaching became his beloved profession for the next 30 years. Over the years, Joel was well known for his love of the Vancouver Jewish community. He was an active member of the Shaarei Tzedek Congregation; and for five years, he served as committee chairman at the community’s religious school. In 2010, Joel was appointed as JNF Canada President of the Pacific Region. The contribution of the green classroom at the Jerusalem school was part of JNF Canada’s educational project in memory of Joel Bellas.
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