Hikes and Outings in Nature
LOTEM organizes outings for populations with special needs to various nature reserves throughout Israel. The trips are tailored for each group according to the physical, cognitive and emotional makeup of its members. Emphasis is placed on learning basic concepts, advancing motor skills and developing communication skills. In order for participants to receive maximum benefit from the program, each group consists of 5-12 participants together with a certified guide.
LOTEM organizes creative workshops on its ecological farm in Emek HaShalom, where participants enjoy activities in nature while learning about ancient agricultural practices in the Land of Israel. Workshops include the production of olive oil in LOTEM’s special olive press, wine-making in its accessible wine-press, drawing water from an ancient well, baking pita bread in a special bakery and more.
Accessible Tours of Jerusalem
In December 2010, LOTEM opened a center in Jerusalem. This center has afforded LOTEM the opportunity to take groups of special-needs participants on accessible tours of Israel’s capital. Groups of people of all ages and abilities, who had been denied the opportunity to visit Jerusalem due to lack of accessibility or explanations suitable to their needs, can now tour their capital in much the same way as their family and friends.
LOTEM’s nature clubs serve as an ongoing social and educational framework for people with special needs. Participants are able to learn about their natural environment while engaging in activities which develop both their motor skills and their social capabilities. Continuity, individual attention, and warm and loving relationships, which are particularly important to special-needs populations, are an essential part of all our activities.
As an organization which has dedicated itself to bringing nature closer to special-needs populations, LOTEM places great importance on making nature trails and historical sites accessible to people of all needs and abilities. Together with the JNF and Hadassah Women, LOTEM built the first accessible nature trail in Israel in Nachal HaShofet near Yokneam. The trail, which has been improved upon over the years by the Weinberg Family Foundation and the Mayerson Family Foundation, is used by more than 1,000,000 nature lovers every year. LOTEM continues to promote accessibility at nature sites throughout the country in the belief that everyone has the right to enjoy the glories of nature in the beautiful land of Israel.