“Here is a place whose atmosphere is peace,
where political and religious jealousies can be forgotten,
and international unity fostered and developed.”
Lord Edmund Allenby, April 18, 1933
In addition to these unique attributes, JIY is also part of a network of American YMCAs. Like our sister institutions, we focus on promoting a healthy mind, body, and spirit for all. To that end, we operate on four areas of focus: youth development, social responsibility, healthy living, and culture. Sound interesting? Come see for yourself!
The YMCA was created to set an example of what Jerusalem can, and should be. I take my life as an example of a successful coexistence story. I’m an Israeli Arab, and not any type of Arab, I am a Palestinian with pride. I grew up in Israel in a Palestinian village and I feel that myself, and a million and a half Israeli Arabs could easily serve as a bridge between Israel and the rest of the Arab world. Because we can’t deny it when you tell me “Keef Halak” in Arabic I say “Beseider al hamdulillah.
Today our vision is to be an international center for reconciliation and leadership development. We aspire to bring a new generation of Palestinians and Israelis to understand the values of shared society, and shared citizenship. Our goal is teach people to accept each other for what they are and to rally them around a mutual goal of bettering their lives together. Those people can then replace the old leaderships that have been fighting each other for decades, and bring about a different narrative, a different psyche. Those built around hope, and justice.
Designed by Arthur Loomis Harmon, the architect of the Empire State Building in New York, the JIY building has been called a “sermon in stone,” because of this very symbolism. The front facade of the building bears quotes in three languages – Hebrew, Arabic and Aramaic – each representing the creed of one of the Abrahamic religions.
The entrance plaza is graced with 12 Cyprus trees to recall the 12 tribes of Israel, the 12 disciples of Jesus, and the 12 friends and supporters of Mohammad. There are 40 pillars and pillars in the recall the 40 years Israelites spent in the desert, and the forty days of temptation. And the blinded angel, the woman with a cask of water carefully balancing her head, and the lamb carved into the tower of the YMCA point to a future messianic age of peace.
Visitors can learn more about the details throughout the building by arranging a tour in advance, guided by one of our knowledgeable staff members.
For a tour, please call Devorah at 054-685-4241.
Learn how you can help us live our mission, and do our important work in Jerusalem.
To learn more about how you can be part of our legacy, please provide us with contact information and we will get back to you with more information.
Thank you for your generous support!
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The Jerusalem International YMCA Athletic Department has something for everyone
Swim classes, zumba workouts, weight lifting, team-sports, the best trainers in town and much, much more.
Kids, teens, moms and dads, whatever your age, gender, religious affiliation or custom, we have a welcoming workout environment for you. A healthy body is crucial for a healthy mind & spirit – come try us out!
JIY taught Jerusalem how to swim! Indeed, our fitness center’s pool was the first and only indoor pool in Jerusalem until 1967, and at least once a day someone enters the Athletic Department with a look of nostalgia and stories of decades past. Our membership includes more than a few members who began working out at the YMCA as teenagers and who are now themselves the grandparents of teens.
Our fitness programs cater to everyone from athletic professionals to those looking for a gentle workout.
Fitness Room – State-of-the-art strength training equipment and cardio machines with personal LCD screens. JIY’s certified, experienced, and professional trainers are here to develop and monitor a personalized workout routine just for you.
Group Exercise – Jerusalem YMCA’s group exercise classes are some of the most popular in Jerusalem, and include coed and unisex options. Never tried our famous Zumba or spinning? You should!
Beginners & Advanced Swimmers, The YMCA pool is here for you. Whether you are a beginner, advanced swimmer, or exerciser, we offer classes, competitions, and open pool times.
An Established Institution. Peering through the doors of the JIY indoor swimming pool with its beautiful mosaics and ceiling stencils you might see toddlers splashing, seniors relieved of arthritis, young children thrilled at their first unassisted swim strokes, handicapped persons liberated from walkers, competitions, and free swim.
We are deeply invested in providing an opportunity for children and adults of all ages to learn, master and enjoy the ability to swim.
Join our diverse and supportive workout family, and enjoy the benefits:
Live in Jerusalem? Come in for a Free tour and trial
No commitment, and no strings attached!
Just fill in the form and we’ll contact you to schedulea tour of our facilities and free class at your convenience.
The Jerusalem International YMCA takes every opportunity to celebrate the holidays of the three major religions, particularly when they happen to coincide.
We commemorated Nakba Day along with Israeli Memorial Day. We broke fast together at the end of Tisha B’av and Ramadan.
Our Christmas party for orphans brings together Jews, Muslims and Christians to adorn a festive tree and sing holiday songs.
In these intense moments, in solemnity and in joy, we may see and we may feel how much more we have in common rather than what separates us, recognizing shared humanity.
Mary Nathaniel Golden Hall seating up to 600 people.
Lecture Hall with seating for up to 100 people.
Board Room small group meetings or workshops, 45 people.
Library for one large group or several round table discussions.
Front lawn for outdoor events in good weather.
Historic lobby for informal gatherings.
Sports Center including gym, pool, group exercise classes and fitness room.
World class restaurant warm ambiance inside, pleasant atmosphere outside.
Hotel facilities for out of town guests.
We’ll send you only updates regarding planned events and festivities
at the Jerusalem YMCA, and nothing else.
The Jerusalem International YMCA offers its community members between the ages of 1-30 a rich and diverse offering of activities and experiences. The activities are led by the JIY’s professional staff who are experienced in a range of subjects and disciplines.
The youngest members of our community, pre-schoolers and kindergarteners, can find their home at the Lier Peace Pre-School (see side tab), a multicultural gan that employs anthroposophic pedagogy to empower children. In the summer and during holidays, the YMCA continues to provide camps to Jerusalem’s children (ages?) 60 years after the first summer camp was held.
The JIY’s Youth Department contains a range of activities and groups for young adults: multicultural choir, leadership and entrepreneurship training, ACT-TV, and Art for Social Change. All of these activities take place within an environment of multiculturalism and enable meetings between Jerusalem’s diverse groups.
All children and young adults are invited to our take part in our programming irrespective of religion, race, gender, or nationality. Our activities are administered in all languages, under the guidance of professional translators.
The Pre-School is attended by 100 Muslim, Jewish and Christian children, ranging in age from 10 months to 5 years.
Mixed classes , each with two teachers, one Jewish and one Arab (Muslim or Christian), each speaking their own mother tongue. Stories are told alternatively in Arabic and Hebrew, songs are sung in each language, each culture is given equal place and weight in the classroom.
Each class includes children of many different nationalities who speak English and a variety of other languages.
Religious festivals and holidays of the three monotheistic faiths, Islam, Christianity and Judaism, are celebrated together. Emphasis is placed on strengthening each child’s religious identity while at the same time developing an understanding of the significance of the holidays and cultures of others.
Children enjoy music classes, swimming lessons and a variety of other extra activities.
Each summer the JIY offers 3 sessions of camp over the course of 8 weeks with specialties in performing arts, sports or swimming. We are perhaps the only camp where announcements and directions are given in English, Arabic and Hebrew. Children of all religions and races play together and develop friendships that cross cultural borders.
Consider giving your child this unique experience this summer.We are planning something extraordinary for 2014. A Magical World Voyage that emphasizes adventure and the diversity of the world we share. Click the button below for all the details, and early-bird discounts!
Our Youth Department offers so much, we really think you should check out all of the different programs. Visit our blog for regular updates about our programs.
Jerusalem Youth Chorus – Come sing your heart out. Artist collaborations, and concert tours!
ACTV Video Program – Learn how to tell your story through film and production
Youth Street Theater – Join talented, imaginative and creative teens that want influence and perform.
Visit the Youth Chorus Website
Today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders
We are dedicated to contributing to the formation of ethical leaders for tomorrow by investing in our youth today. Our initiatives nurture a culture of peace in children and teens with a goal of changing mindsets and altering negative stereotypes.
These programs strengthen young people to inspire and guide.We seek out and invest in youngsters who show potential to lead their generation to change. We empower them to dedicate themselves to public service and commitment to effecting social change. We provide young Israelis and Palestinians with the tools to realize these dreams by training, experience and mentoring.
Peaceful Existence Through Dialogue
Our dialogue groups enable Palestinians and Israelis to hear one another and to see the conflict through the other’s eyes. Empathy replaces hatred, biases laid to rest, knowledge erases prejudice, and dialogue carves the path to coexistence. These young people will make a difference, and that difference will start here at the Jerusalem International YMCA.
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