Education Minister Naftali Bennett visits the Society

SPCA Club celebrates three years: Israel's Education Minister Naftali Bennett arrived at the Society for a visit, received an overview of club activities and joined a training day for the SPCA lead-team from Gedera

Education Minister Naftali Bennett visited the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel to mark three years since the founding of SPCA Club – a unique educational project with 250 members from primary schools, middle schools, high schools and preschools, from the Jewish, Arab, religious and special education sectors, all working in various ways for the benefit of animals.

During his visit, the minister attended a training day for the SPCA lead-team from Darca Begin School in Gedera, who joined SPCA Club as part of the Society’s collaboration with the MOFET Association. The minister heard explanations from Society staff members about the club’s activities and was very impressed by the wonderful achievements of the various lead-team members, who, after training at the Society, go back to their schools and initiate activities for the benefit of animals in distress, and recruit their peers to this noble cause. During the guided tour held for the lead-team, the minister joined them in walking the dogs being sheltered at the Society and chatted with them about the project.

SPCA Club continues to grow and develop, and the number of schools and preschools interested in joining the project is on the rise. According to Yaniv Ovadia from the Society’s Humane Education Department, “The reason for the club’s success, beyond the fact that it is offered to schools at no cost, is that children by nature really love to contribute and lend a hand, especially when it involves something they truly care about, like animals. Furthermore, children love being empowered and given responsibility, and SPCA Club is the right platform for this.”

Schools and preschools interested in joining SPCA Club are welcome to contact the Society’s Humane Education Department at *4553.

Law and Order

A special collaboration: Israeli police cadets undergo advanced training at the Society in order to become familiarized with the Animal Welfare Law and its implications, to improve enforcement of the law and reduce cases of abuse

For improved enforcement of the Animal Welfare Law and significant reduction in occurrences of animal abuse, a special collaboration between the SPCA and the Israeli police was launched recently.

As part of a unique Israeli project, police cadets from Beit-Shemesh are undergoing special training at the SPCA. The objective is to reinforce the future police officers’ affinity towards animal rights issues.

The cadets learn about the Animal Welfare Law initiated by the SPCA in 1994. According to this law, it is deemed a criminal act to harm, abuse or abandon animals, and the law defines the enforcement mechanisms on the subject. In addition, the cadets learn about the Society, which is celebrating 90 years of activity, tour their grounds, get to know the animals and walk the abandoned dogs, some of which suffered abuse and neglect before arriving at the shelter.

Yaniv Ovadia from the Society’s Humane Education Department says, “We hope that the combination of instilling in the cadets the principles of the law and creating an emotional bond between them and the animals residing at the Society will reinforce the police cadets’ affinity towards the painful subject of animal welfare in Israel, and bring about improved enforcement of the law and a significant reduction in the number of animal abuse cases”.

The Path of Peace

Palestinian and Israeli school girls were hosted by the SPCA at an event held in cooperation with the Peres Center for Peace

The SPCA Department of Humanistic Education was delighted, during the first week of Spring, to host a group of Palestinian and Israeli girls who took part in a humanistic educational activity with animals presently sheltered in the SPCA. This unique event, which we named “New Spring – New Hope”, was held in cooperation with the Peres Center for Peace, in the presence of the Egyptian Ambassador in Israel as well as diplomats from the US and Switzerland, and was covered by the Israeli and foreign media.

The girls, who came from Jericho and Beit Shemesh, were taken on a tour of the facility, given in Arabic and Hebrew, which focused on values such as aiding the weak, tolerance, giving, and respecting the other. The young visitors had direct contact with the animals being sheltered in the SPCA –abandoned cats, horses undergoing rehabilitation after having suffered abuse and neglect. As the highlight of the tour, the girls took the dogs waiting for adoption for a walk, giving them a lot of attention and love.

According to Yaniv Ovadia, Director of the Department of Humanistic Education: “Palestinian and Israeli children working together for the benefit of animals in distress, proves that change is possible and that education is the core. Research shows that there is a direct connection between the manner in which we relate to animals and our behavior towards one another. Animals don’t care about religion, nationality, race or color. All they ask is to be treated with respect and we, humans, have a lot to learn from them”.

The Chairperson of the SPCA, Hilma Shmoshkovitz and the Egyptian Ambassador in Israel, Dr. Mohammad Orfy
The Chairperson of the SPCA, Hilma Shmoshkovitz and the Egyptian Ambassador in Israel, Dr. Mohammad Orfy

We wish to express our heartfelt appreciation to all the organizations and people who contributed to the success of the event. A special thanks to Domino’s Pizza, for the donation of trays of vegetarian pizzas, and to Moshe Ahuvi of the famous Jaffa confectioners, Piece of Cake who voluntarily prepared vegetarian pastries and an impressive cake with the caption “Peace of Cake”.

Vegetarian refreshments from 'Domino's Pizza' and 'Piece of Cake' Confectioners
Vegetarian refreshments from ‘Domino’s Pizza’ and ‘Piece of Cake’ Confectioners

The Dream Team

The SPCA Team Initiated a Cake Sale Event and Donated a Sizeable Sum in Aid of Animals

Pupils from the Tel Hai School in South Tel Aviv have long been active in the SPCA Club, for the benefit of animals, an activity organized by the Society’s Department of Humanistic Education. On a regular basis the children raise money through collecting bottles designated for recycling, with the refunds they collect being used to purchase dog and cat food for the abandoned animals in the Society.

Last week, members of the SPCA team from 5th Grade 1, who serve as SPCA ambassadors in the Tel Hai School, initiated an admirable activity where they succeeded in raising the most impressive sum of NIS1,360.

They achieved this by holding a Bake Sale where they sold homemade cakes they baked with the help of their parents.

This fund-raising event was held on Tu B’Shvat, dedicated by the school to environmental protection. During recess, the team members set out tables in the school yard, decorated them with placards calling for the pupils to buy a slice of cake at NIS2, with the money raised to be donated to animals. The 26 cakes baked by the children and their parents were gone within a few minutes! Even when they ran out of cakes, the team members encouraged the pupils to go on donating and were met with a generous response. In addition to the significant sum of money raised by the cake sale, the adorable kids also collected hundreds of empty bottles designated for recycling.

We at the Society thank and salute the children, their parents and the school staff for their most welcome initiative and willingness to support the SPCA time after time.

The cakes and cookies prepared by the team members and their parents
The cakes and cookies prepared by the team members and their parents

The SPCA Team is made up of school kids who are members of the SPCA Club. Through the Club, educational institutions collect empty bottles for recycling, with the refund money used to purchase food for the animals sheltered in the SPCA. The schools taking part in the project send a selected group of pupils to the SPCA where they undergo special training. Following the training, the team members serve as SPCA ambassadors in their schools. They give lectures in their classes and organize activities for the benefit of animals with the support of the SPCA Department of Humanistic Education and the school educational staff.

Schools interested in taking part in the project and joining the SPCA Club, are invited to contact the Department of Humanistic Education at telephone *4553.

SPCA Club

Introducing the SPCA Club – a special project from the Humane Education Department and the first of its kind in the world, where members of schools and preschools assist animals

The Humane Education Department of SPCA Israel is launching a special educational project which is the first of its kind in the world: the SPCA Club – from the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel. Members of the club are schoolchildren and preschoolers who collect empty bottles for recycling and use the deposit refunds to buy food for the animals at the shelter.

The schools that participate in SPCA Club also take part in “Team SPCA”– a group of children who are selected from each school to undergo special training on the SPCA grounds. These children become ambassadors for SPCA in their schools, giving lectures in the classrooms and organizing activities in aid of the animals alongside professional team members from the Humane Education Department. Similar training is given to the kindergarten teachers and preschool staff members.

Schools and preschools that are interested in joining this special project are welcome to contact the SPCA Israel Humane Education Department at *4553.

Practical Matriculation Examinations

Pupils taking their practical Matriculation Examinations in Dog Rearing complete their first year of studies at the SPCA

The first year of studies in a two-year study program for the practical matriculation examination in dog rearing is presently coming to a close. The participants in the course study in the Eleventh Grade in the Gymnasia Herzliah High School in Tel Aviv. The practical matriculation study unit, according to the program set out by the Ministry of Education, is carried out in cooperation with the Department for Humanistic Education in the SPCA under the professional leadership of dog trainer, Dr. Michal Kirschner. During the course, the pupils study a variety of subjects (Caring for Dogs, Training, Maintaining a Dog Shelter, etc.) in a special classroom in the SPCA, obtaining practical experience in the dog shelter. At the end of next year the pupils will take their examinations under an examiner from the Ministry of Education. In addition, for the first time, the honors students will also get a Trainers’ Certificate, thus acquiring a profession.

According to Yaniv Ovadia, the Director of the SPCA Department of Humanistic Education: “The pupils participating in the study program learn in a special education class. This work with pupils with special needs demands a great deal of sensitivity from the educational staff. It is amazing to observe the progress made on both sides: On one hand, the pupils who become potential dog trainers, and on the other hand, the dogs in the Society who undergo education and training, allowing them a better chance of finding adoptive homes”.

At the approach of the end of the academic year, the matriculation class paid a visit to the military dog unit “Oketz”. During the fascinating visit, the pupils were given explanations about this unique unit and its activities, watched live presentations of dog training and visited the unit’s dog cemetery.

At the close of their first year of studies, we wish the pupils a pleasant vacation.

New: Children’s Website

SPCA Israel has launched a website for children, rich in content from the animal world

The Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel proudly announces the launching of a Children’s Internet Site, which includes information about the SPCA, its activities and the animals in its care. There is material on the animals up for adoption, along with news, enriching articles and video clips both from the animal world and on environmental issues, as well as an online magazine, comics series and games.

In the belief that educating the future generation is the key to producing a more ethical society, exhibiting tolerance and a humane approach to animals, the SPCA has been running a Department of Humanistic Education for many years, operating hundreds of educational activities annually for children and youth. The SPCA Children’s Website, which will operate alongside the SPCA website, is a direct extension of our strong connection with the young generation and constitutes a further platform for raising awareness and conveying important messages regarding animal welfare.

The new website, designed for children from the age of seven, includes content on the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel, its various departments, and the animals cared for under its auspices. These include dogs and cats awaiting adoption, horses and donkeys undergoing rehabilitation, and animals in the Petting Corner. There are articles and video clips covering animal rescue operations, varied news clips, moving stories, as well as enriching articles from the animal world. There are an online newspaper, articles regarding responsible adoption and tips for school assignments, as well as a special section dedicated to environmental issues with articles on global warming, pollution of our beaches and tips about water and electricity conservation and recycling. In addition to all the above, the website includes book recommendations, two comic strips (“Izzy” by Dovi Keich and “The Three Brothers” by Itamar Daube), amusing short films from the internet starring animals, and links to games.

According to Hilma Shmoshkovitz, Chairperson (Volunteer) of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel, “We are very proud of our new website for children, the first of its kind in Israel. The website provides rich, user-friendly information in a straight forward manner, which is particularly important in this age, when children and youth are exposed to limitless information which is not always suitable to their age group”.

In honor of the launching of the new website, a contest with prizes will be held on the SPCA Facebook page. We invite you to surf to the new Children’s Website to take part in the activity.

Feelings that Should be Respected

Watch the video clip produced by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel, encouraging a humane approach to animals

The SPCA Department of Humanistic Education produced a special video clip aiming to raise awareness amongst children, youth, and adults of the need to respect animals and their feelings and to prevent cases of abuse. In the clip, Jewish and Arab children from the “Hinuch LePisgot” Organization in Jaffa are filmed during emotionally moving moments which they experienced with the SPCA animals.

The song “Feelings that Should be Respected”, written in Hebrew and Arabic by the Arab rapper Jamal Nefar, emphasizes values such as love, respect, compassion and kindness, which animals need, particularly those who were domesticated by man and are dependent on his benevolence. Amongst others appearing in the song is the true story of the bitch Alex, a German Shepherd who was severely abused, rehabilitated by the SPCA, then finally found a warm and loving home and the tale of the cruel reality to which kittens are born and the abuse to which they are exposed from an early age.

We wish to offer our heartfelt thanks to the wonderful people who volunteered to produce the clip:
Songwriter: Jamal Nefar
Director and Editor: Leora Hai
Chief Photographer: Or Shaier
Production: Yaniv Ovadia, the Department for Humanistic Education, Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel

 

Transcending all Boundaries

A month full of special activities run by the SPCA Department of Humanistic Education

Love of animals is common to so many of us, transcending all communities and sectors, as reflected in the various activities run by the SPCA Department of Humanistic Education last month.

A group of youth, from the ‘Derchei Noam’ High School Yeshiva in Petach Tikvah, who had never before come into contact with dogs and cats, discovered the magic that the connection with animals brings and were particularly excited by the special activities. At the end of the visit, Sagi, one of the youth, said: “I got tremendous satisfaction from helping these amazing animals, who only ask for human contact, some warmth and love”.

Educational activity in the Almajad Middle School – Taibe
Educational activity in the Almajad Middle School – Taibe

The Department of Humanistic Education’s activities in Taibe have become a tradition, with the Department giving special lessons to the children in the town every year. In the activities held in the Middle School ‘Almajad’, the children were told about the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel, the process of housetraining, the importance of responsible adoption and of spaying and sterilizing. When the activities came to an end, the young people found it hard to part from Nella, the dog who had joined them during their visit.

Immigrant children, whose parents came to Israel from many different parts of the world, are also regular visitors to the Society. This month, 60 children from the ‘Eitan Tribe’ Clubhouse, associated with the ‘Tzimaon’ Organization and 40 children from the ‘Kedima Woolfson’ youth center, associated with the ‘LeSova’ Organization, visited the SPCA. According to Yogev Golan, a group leader from the youth center: “This is the second time that we have come here with the kids, and each time it is great fun! The kids didn’t stop talking about the anticipated visit for weeks and we wish to thank the dedicated and caring staff”.

Immigrant children playing with the dogs
Immigrant children playing with the dogs

Our educational activities are also suitable for families. Last month two special groups visited the SPCA: A group of kids who study in the home learning framework came with their parents, and a group of families from the ‘Kesher– The Home of Special Families’ Organization, whose aim is to reinforce the position of parents and families of children with special needs.

This month we were also happy to host two youth groups. The first group was made up of 9th Grade students from the ‘Katzir’ High School in Holon, who are enrolled in the Excellence Stream, and who represent the State of Israel in international competitions in the Sciences in the framework of the ‘Robotica’ Project. The students chose to volunteer in the SPCA during the Hanukah vacation and they made the dogs that they took out for long, pampering walks, very happy.

During ‘Animal Welfare Month’, held in the Municipal Tet High School in Rishon le Zion, representatives of the Humanistic Education Department gave a lecture at the school, and at the second stage, a group of 9-10th Grade students came to visit the SPCA. The project organizer, Lior Yogev (in the main photo), a 12th Grade student, is a member of the social organization LEAD – an organization numbering 120 students all of whom promote a project in their school. According to Lior, “The students were exposed to the reality regarding animals in the country, and that is actually the main part of the project. The visit to the Society had a very positive effect on all the students and even those who were afraid of dogs got confidence and took the dogs out for walks”.

The Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel has been running a Department of Humanistic Education for many years. The Department organizes educational activities for groups of all ages and from all sectors. Its aims are to convey messages relating to the importance of treating animals humanely and raising awareness of animal welfare in Israel. The activities, held in the SPCA facility in Tel Aviv or in other institutions where Department representatives are invited to visit, are adjusted to suit the age of the participants and are accompanied by short videos and fun activities.

If you are also interested in an enjoyable guided tour of the SPCA, inviting a representative to give a lecture, visiting the facility during a company ‘Contributing to the Community’ day, or celebrating a Birthday with Added Value, please contact us at *4553.

Good Samaritans

A group of blind and visually impaired members of the Multi Service Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Tel Aviv, visited the Society

As part of the Department of Humanistic Education’s activities, an exciting event for a group of blind and visually impaired people took place in the SPCA. The participants were The Multi Service Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Tel Aviv, a unique organization specializing in providing rehabilitative social and professional services aiming to promote independence and integration into society and the community.

The SPCA team prepared a special room for the visit, to which the visitors were invited to hold and pet various types of animals, including snakes, rabbits and ferrets. Members of the group heard a talk about the SPCA, visited the cats’ enclosure, where they petted the animals awaiting adoption and towards the end of the visit, took the dogs out for walks in the yard.

We wish to thank the group members and their guide, Ron Suan, who also made a donation, and summed up the visit: “On behalf of the group from The Multi Service Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality, and myself, I wish to express a big thank you. We found a pleasant place, well cared-for and brimming with love of man and animals. It was a pleasure to hear the explanations and to know that there are people dedicated to saving and caring for our four-legged friends. The members of the group were most impressed, enjoying the experience and the direct contact with the various animals. We would be happy to tighten the connection and come here with more groups from our Center, including children and youth. You are truly ‘Good Samaritans'”!

For further details about guided tours of the SPCA, please contact us at: *4553.