Good News

JIY Feels Like an Oasis
October 13, 2015

I’d like to share a brief update after today’s very distressing news from the streets of Jerusalem and Israel.

In a striking contrast to the events and atmosphere in the streets of Jerusalem, the JIY feels almost like an oasis. Our work goes on (almost) as usual, and everyone is very calm and respectful.

However, the streets around the Y today were filled with police and security forces, and sirens have been heard thorough the day. To some it gives a sense of safety; to others it may give the opposite feeling, for some are aware that they may be stopped and questioned on the way to or from home.

And while all of our activities are continuing with no interruption, some participants in some of these activities chose not to come to the Y today; or, in the case of some of the youngsters who work with our Youth Department, their parents might have decided that for them. The same goes for some staff and parents from the Pre-School. But so far those who choose not to come are really the minority. All in all the Y continues to function normally.

Alexandra Klein-Franke, the Pre-School Director, today sent the following email to all parents who have kids at the Y:
Dear Parents, The kids are fine and we're going on about our daily routine. Baking cookies and playing, having breakfast and napping.

Please use the hours your children are at the preschool to relax and get yourselves together as much as possible. Your kids will need you as calm and collected as possible. It's our responsibility to filter the horrific reality outside and protect them.

The hours that they're here they're calm and happy. We have a guard outside the door and are constantly around the kids, enveloping them with love and care.

You take care too, and – see you later at the preschool.

Peace, Shalom, Salaam,

As Alexandra’s letter states, we have increased the security (see under: more expenses) and are trying to assure all of our guests and staff that the JIY is, indeed, a very safe, comfortable, space.

The 150 participants from Israel and abroad, who stayed the week for a conference of the Weitzman Institute, certainly felt that. For five days, they ate with us, went into the Auditorium for presentations, and in general really enjoyed themselves and the striking contrast between what we offer them, and the world outside of us.

So, in spite of what one may think, our hotel is full, our restaurant is full almost all hours of the day, and the porch is a small heaven.

There’s no telling what the next days will yield in terms of security burdens and additional financial burden. We will be ready to deal with whatever development arises.

Amos Gil
Chief Executive Officer
The Jerusalem International YMCA