400 Kids on ONE SLIDE!

I spend most afternoons at Nachlaot’s playground with the red slide.

This playground is definitely one of my favorite places in the whole world. I love meeting my neighborhood friends there, and feeding my kids rice cakes and apple slices kids there, and enjoying the Jerusalem late afternoon air there.

But there are 2 problems with my beloved playground with the red slide. The first problem is that we call it the playground with the red slide since a red slide and a bouncy lion are all it contains. The second problem is that this is the only playground for over 400 children in my section of Nachlaot.

Yep, that’s right. Over FOUR HUNDRED.*

The closest big park is a good 20 minutes away (make that 40 minutes if you are trying to get there with small kids, like many Nachlaot moms) which means that a typical afternoon at Shirizli Park looks like this:

So for years we frustrated Nachlaot parents have been sending Emails, and making phone calls, and meeting with anyone who might possibly be able to help us out. But all of our efforts over the past few years have resulted in NOTHING.

So last Wednesday, a group of over 40 Nachlaot parents and kids walked from Jerusalem’s most pitiful and overcrowded playground to the Jerusalem’s City Council to make sure that they know how strongly we feel that something must be done—and soon…

Scroll down to see some photos from our visit to the City Council.

When we came back home, my 4-year-old Yoel rushed right away to see the “New Shirizli Park!” I had promised him this meeting would help bring about. He was a bit disappointed to see the same old overcrowded playground with the red slide. But all of us in Nachlaot are hoping that he won’t have to wait too much longer until something is done to give over 400 Nachlaot kids a place to play.

Some of us Nachlaot parents and kids who went to the Municipality

Nachlaot child Ben-Tsion Page with Jerusalem's Vice Mayor, Naomi Tsur. The sign reads "I also want a swing!"

Nachlaot parents and kids at Jerusalem's City Council

Photos courtesy of Meira Josephy. Thank you, Meira!!!
*We counted children between King George St., Nissim Bechar, Agrippas, and Betsalel.


  1. Jenny, can you post phone/email/fax contacts so we can keep up the pressure? I think Ricka has the details…

  2. Good for you!!! I would have added that since it might take a while to build something, the city hall plaza looks like the perfect size for 400 kids every afternoon… Wink wink…it will be the worlds fastest built playground 🙂
    What an inspiration you guys are. Looking forward to good news!

  3. Kol hakavod! And you’re in good company–in the Homa HaShlishit there is a pathetic, ugly,roadside playground to service a neighborhood that surely has almost 1,000 children. One day I was standing there and this non-Jewish tourist couple came and stood there so I asked if they were lost and needed directions. It turned out they simply enjoyed seeing all the happy children running around! Then I recalled having visited a huge, beautiful playground in a fancy north Tel Aviv neighborhood that even had an artificial waterfall. I was there on Shabbat afternoon so it should have been full. Instead there was 1 kid and everyone else was walking their dog. I thought, “here they have a sprawling, luxurious playground for dogs, while in Yerushalayim 1,000 kids have to share 1 see-saw!”

  4. fantastic, love the grassroots pressure!

  5. On the flipside- we made aliyah to a city all the way up North. We live in a newly built neighborhood with 2 medium-sized and one very large playground within 2 minutes of my house. Sadly, when I take my kids there- even on Shabbat- we are usually the only ones there. When I saw all the children playing in Nachlaot (where I lived briefly when I was single) I wished for my children to have that many afternoon playmates. I guess it’s just an example of the “grass is always greener…”

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