Resilience in Jerusalem: Canada House

Resilience In Jerusalem Canada House
This summer, the residents of Jerusalem tried their best to continue with “normal”  life, in spite of the difficult security situation.  With brief respites of uneven cease fires, and ongoing threats of sirens, staff and friends at Canada House came together in a communal display of solidarity never seen before in the neighborhood. Strangers became friends and went the extra distance to support their neighbours.

Shlomo Levi, the Director of Canada House, was called up for army reserve duty in Gaza but his dedicated team kept activities going and doors to the Centre open even after hours.  Shlomo kept in touch when he could during the ground offensive but is now safely back home and back at work.

2014 marked the first full summer of programing at Canada house since its dedication in May 2013 by the Jerusalem Foundation of Canada.

In the month of July, 70 children attended summer camp with each day bringing new activities such as arts and crafts, music, performances and sports. August brought the community together for daily activities and performances for the whole family, including workshops with Koom Koom, a highly-regarded puppet theatre which resides at Canada House.

Helping both children and adults cope with anxiety and find a source of resilience can become a daunting task but at Canada House the community understood that they had a home away from home – a safe place, with security rooms on site, and someone always ready to lend support.

The Koschitzky Young Adults Centre kept programming upbeat and positive with informative lectures about international travel, health and wellbeing, marketing and vocational opportunities. There were also a number of fun courses, covering subjects such as photography, gardening in an urban city and beer making! Several events were held for young adults including the Tu B’Av “Love in the Heart of Jerusalem” party, a stand-up comedy show by Korbi Arieli, dance performances by the Machol Shalem Dance House and free musical performances.

There is no question that Canada House has made a difference in the lives of the residents of Jerusalem and finding a way to be strong in the face of crisis.

“Canada House – which is one of the most successful expressions of collaboration between the city of Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Foundation and our Canadian supporters… serves as a vibrant cultural center and is responsible for helping empower several strategic hubs and communities in our city.” Mayor Nir Barkat