The Little Prince is making headlines, bringing garbage to the front lines of public discourse.
A few weeks ago, activists’ work – Haredi, Palestinian and religious and secular Jews – was featured on the front page of the weekly local Hebrew newspaper, Yediot Yerushalayim.
“Our activities as residents fighting for a clean city caused the Municipality to understand that it needs to invest in that area,” said our own Tal Kligman in the article, speaking after an agreement was signed that increased the municipal budget for sanitation by NIS 10 million. “Our role isn’t to clean instead of the municipal sanitation workers,” Tal explained in the article. “It’s to cause the Municipality to make sure that it’s clean here. For that purposed we [the JICC] brought together residents from all over Jerusalem. Now we have ambassadors in every neighborhood in the city [including Haredi and Palestinian neighborhoods] who report problems, and together we try to work those problems out. Sometimes we meet to plan face-to-face, sometimes we use social media.”
The article tells about initiatives in Haredi neighborhoods such as Meah Shearim, Bucharim and Bayit Vagan (where residents held a meet-up breakfast for local sanitation workers and their managers, trying to solve problems together and improve sanitation). It tells about initiatives in ‘general’ Jewish neighborhoods such as Gonenim, Gilo, Pisgat Ze’ev and Ramot. It tells about the horrible situation in East Jerusalem, and of MiniActive’s efforts over the past 6 years to effect change.
As we’ve noted here, here and here, the Little Prince – Cleaning Up Jerusalem Together is using trash to bring people together. Orthodox, secular and Haredi Jews, Christians and Muslim Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians – all wish to see a clean Jerusalem and all are struggling with the current reality. The Little Prince seeks to empower residents from all sectors to work together and within their own communities to make Jerusalem a clean city. The goal is to build broad networks on the grassroots as well as professional and political levels that can solve problems on both a one-time and system-wide basis.
Bravo to everyone who worked to advance the article.