Tuesday, July 7, 2009

YMCA, YMCA . . .

Y is our current letter on ABC Wednesday.
Jerusalem has a Y name that works both in English and in Hebrew.
Our grand old YMCA is affectionately known in Hebrew as Yimca.

The building was dedicated in 1933.
 Its three wings allude to the Young Men's Christian Association's credo of the unity of body, mind, and spirit.
The central part (with the tower) contains the administrative offices, a library, the Three Arches Hotel, kindergartens, and rooms for social and cultural activities.

As their website says,

"JIY’s unique programs . . . foster harmony and the building of spirit, mind and body.
With its elegant arches, domes and 152-foot observation tower overlooking Jerusalem’s Old City, JIY [Jerusalem International YMCA] is a designated city landmark.
JIY is acknowledged as a center of cultural, athletic, social and intellectual life in Jerusalem and is visited by more than 500,000 people annually.
 In addition to offering amenities such as fitness, dining and hotel facilities, JIY’s auditorium often hosts the most socially and culturally significant events in the region. JIY’s presence serves as a foundation of optimism and offers a message of hope and reconciliation for all in the Holy Land."

The north wing has the hall for concerts and public gatherings.

The southern wing is dedicated to physical development, with a pool, gym, squash courts, and outdoor playing fields.
A page about the building's fascinating history is here.
About the architecture and its symbolism, here.
Read about the integrated preschool where over 130 little Jewish, Christian, and Muslim kids learn and play together, in both Hebrew and Arabic.
"Maximizing dialogue among adherents of the three monotheistic religions is a goal of the local YMCA; the concept of a trinity of spirit, mind and body is the international organization’s motto.
This trinity is repeated in three rooms in the tower – an underground oratory, a second-floor Upper Room depicting the Last Supper and a space under the tower’s dome devoted to silent worship. These chambers represent three stages in man’s quest for God."
(from the website)
Someday I will just have to climb that tower.
Hope you enjoyed Jerusalem's own special Y.


RuneE said...

A Y out of the ordinary. I hope they succeed in uniting the little ones. You and they could all need it.

I enjoyed the pictures taken after dark.

mommanator said...

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Reader Wil said...

What a great achievement to educate the children of three religions together. May God bless this work!

photowannabe said...

A very original and interesting post for the letter Y. Thank you for all the information.
It sounds like the "Y" is for the good of all.

JM said...

Great architecture!

Granny Smith said...

The Ys in my vicinity seem to be shrinking in both size and activities. The local YMCA is where my children learned to swim. I admire the goals as well as the magnificent building that you have describe and photographed so well.

Grace and Bradley said...

This is certainly one of the most impressive YMCA building that I have sen. Thanks for sharing.

Cloudia said...

Yes! Show us the inside of the dome, Dina!


Comfort Spiral

Pietro said...

Very interesting post, Dina.
A trinity of spirit, mind and body: this is great!
The night pictures are fascinating.

Karyn said...

A beautiful building for an organization with lofty goals. The integrated kindergarden sounds like a great program - I hope it is successful

Roger Owen Green said...

I thought I was the only one to call the Y yimca!! Lovely story.

Marie Reed said...

This integrated kindergarten sounds just delightful! 130 open minded adults to be!

Miss_Yves said...

A very interesting post-as usual.
Your beautiful photographs make us travel!
And a great message of peace.
Did you see my posts about Reza's exhibition ?

Abe Lincoln said...

I can think of a lot of things that start with Y but none as nice as your post.

Sailor Girl said...

«Spirit, Mind, Body»!!!!! Fabulous!!!!!!

Babooshka said...

It had never occured to me the would be such a thing in Jerusalem. Really interesting and a very different Y.

Q said...

This YMCA is extra fantastic. Do hope the youth can find a way to unite all of us.
The YMCA down the street from me is all about exercise and swimming!

Tumblewords: said...

Nice post! We don't have many Ym/wca's near here anymore which is rather sad...EnjoYed Your post!

Kay said...

What a wonderful place, Dina.

Vagabonde said...

I like the name Yimca, and the building is beautiful. I slept in two Yimca, one in Chicago when I came over to the USA and one in Bangkok, Thailand. The rooms were tiny but clean and comfortable.