We are Israel’s only community and culture center for asylum seeker, migrant worker, refugee, and Israeli communities. Our work follows the belief that culture and education are basic human rights, that bridge differences between communities and individuals, and can bring about lasting social change
Since 2009 The Garden Library operates as Israel’s only community and culture center for asylum seeker, migrant, refugee, and Israeli communities. Located in Neveh Shaanan neighborhood in South Tel-Aviv, the area most affected by irregular migration, we are surrounded by socioeconomic destitution, institutional neglect, complete absence of art and cultural centers. In this hostile climate we invest in and give tools to individuals and groups in asylum seeker and migrant communities, to organize collectively and advocate for themselves. We operate a range of art and educational programs for children and adults alike. We strengthen family and community bonds, improve opportunities in the workforce, enrich migrants’ understanding of Israeli society and activism capacities.
Our Children’s Center serves over 150 children. Most are children of migrants and asylum seekers, many are survivors of torture camps in Sinai. They are some of the most disadvantaged children in Israel, and within their own communities. We offer a safe, supervised educational environment, where kids develop, create, learn and flourish.
Our Community Education Center provides educational and professional development for migrants and asylum seekers. It offers evening-classes in response to the lack of educational opportunities, to improve opportunities in the workforce, personal development, and cultivate local leadership.
Our Cultural Centre provides space for music ensembles, outdoor community events, art and Music classes, and an adult multi-lingual library with over 3,500 books in 16 languages.
We take a leading role in public campaigns for human rights. In early 2018 we worked in a coalition that formed ‘South Tel Aviv against the Deportation’ initiative, bringing 20,000 people to the streets to protest mass deportation of Sudanese and Eritrean asylum seekers. We work for the rights and safety of everyone in our area, presenting an alternative of coexistence in a harsh reality.
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