What's Going On At The Jerusalem Ymca

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette

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The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Rich Lord and Larry Roberts are in Israel this week, supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, exploring the lives of ordinary people in this polarized place.

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Amos Gil,  chief executive officer of the Jerusalem International YMCA, talks about the importance of the organization as a place that can, and has, brought together Jews, Christians and Muslims through its programs. In the background is Alan Freeman, vice president of The Jerusalem Foundation.

(Larry Roberts/Post-Gazette)

“The integrated Jerusalem Youth Chorus and a filmmaking group also associated with the Jerusalem International YMCA have seen the Palestinian kids or the Jewish kids suddenly fail to show as anger and fear ebb and flow. [The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh has been a key funder of the filmmaking group.] “”Though the goals of both programs are to get Jewish and Palestinian kids to both do things and talk together, sometimes physical and psychological barriers temporarily thwart the friendships that have developed, said Efrat Ayal Hatchwell, the YMCA’s youth department director.””

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