Poster About Preserving Nature, 1970
Nature Preservation Week
9-18 Shvat 5730, 16-25 January, 1970
Go Into Nature - But don't pick [the flowers]
This poster shows two boys of different ages bending down to a flower. The younger boy is trying to pick the flower, while the older one is putting his hand on the younger boy’s arm to stop him. Both boys are wearing blue and white clothing, possibly symbolising the colours of the Israeli flag. The older boy is wearing a kovah tembel, the classic tembel hat of the Israeli Sabra. The red flower is likely to be the kalaniya (poppy anemone), a wild flower that typically grows during the winter months. This flower is a national protected flower, and it is forbidden by law to pick it. At the top of the poster is written: “Nature Preservation Week, 9-18 Shvat 5730, 16- 25 January 1970.” At the bottom of the poster is the slogan “Go into nature but don’t pick,” referring to the importance of enjoying nature while protecting it and not disturbing the plants and wildlife.
This poster was printed by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority as part of a public awareness campaign about nature preservation. In 1964, conservation organisations pressured the government into enacting a law against the picking of wild flowers. The law stated that anyone caught picking wildflowers would receive a fine. This law and the campaign caused a great change in Israel whose effects can be felt to this day. This poster is an example of this campaign that was promoted by kindergarten and school teachers who educated pupils about the implications of picking wildflowers and their potential extinction. The campaign was considered extremely successful in raising public awareness about the need to protect nature.
The date chosen for Nature Preservation Week purposefully coincided with Tu B’Shvat. Tu B’Shvat is known as the “Festival of Trees” and the “New Year” for nature. In 1908, the teachers union in Jerusalem decided to change Tu B’shvat to the “Festival of Planting,” and it became customary to plant trees. Nowadays, Tu B’Shvat is still celebrated by planting trees, eating fruits, and looking after nature and the environment.
Jewish Studies teachers can use this poster when teaching about Tu B’Shvat and the Jewish and Israeli perspective on nature and conservation. Teachers can also show it when talking about the landscape and nature of Israel in general and specifically when discussing the flora of Israel and the Israeli kalaniya (anemone).
This poster can also trigger a discussion in Science and Geography classes about conservation and the environmental challenges in Israel and elsewhere in the world.
Art teachers can use this poster to discuss the use of symbols in public awareness campaigns such as the stereotype of the Israeli wearing a tembel hat.
In Media and Communication classes students can analyse this poster as part of a discussion about why the Israeli campaign to protect wild flowers was considered such a successful campaign at the time.
Describe the poster.
Who are the figures in the picture?
What are they doing?
What are they wearing?
What are the texts on the poster?
(If you don’t understand the Hebrew use a dictionary or Google Translate.)
What dates appear on the poster?
What is this poster about?
Reading Between the Lines
What event is the poster promoting?
Take a look at the dates on the poster.
What is significant about that week?
Why do you think the organisers chose this specific time to hold this event?
How is nature preserved in Israel?
What different steps have been taken to conserve the flora and fauna of Israel?
The poster shows an older boy preventing a younger boy from picking a flower.
What message is the poster trying to convey?
The flower on the poster is probably an
What is its name in Hebrew, and why is it called this?
What is so special about this flower?
Why do you think the illustrator decided to dress the boys like this?
Have you seen any campaigns in your country for nature conservation?
Describe this campaign.
Do you think the campaign is or was successful?
How would you feel if you knew that a specific plant was going to become extinct, because people weren’t looking after the environment?
What would be your plan of action?
Israel is famous for its diverse landscape and wildlife.
Have you been to Israel? Have you seen different types of landscape around the country? Have you seen examples in photographs or videos? Give examples of this diversity.
How is Israel’s geographical location connected to this diversity?
Take a look at the clothing of the children.
Do people in Israel dress the same way today?
Create a short movie demonstrating the diversity of the nature in Israel.
Do you have an extinct plant in your city or country?
What campaign would you organise to save it?
Create an outline for the campaign.
What other things, besides nature, do you think it is important to preserve?