What's Going On At The Jerusalem Ymca

Young Leaders – Sharing ideas

Sharing Ideas

Young Leaders Jerusalem Youth Group

Day 2 | 27/10/15




What seemed to be 20 strangers just one week ago has already begun to take shape as a cohesive community of passionate high school students, coming together and sharing ideas. With its second session, the Jerusalem YMCA youth leadership group also welcomed many newcomers, which diversified group dynamics and gave participants a chance to meet people from different backgrounds and neighborhoods of East and West Jerusalem.


Dana: I identified with the dove, because the dove seeks peace.

After greeting each other, playing some foosball, and chopping some veggies together, the group gathered in a circle with the facilitators, Asaf and Khaled, to get the ball rolling. Everyone was given a moment to update the group on their past week, share a funny story, and get to know one another on a more personal level.

Continuing on this theme of learning more about each other, we did an activity called “Walk the Room”, in which each member decides whether or not they agree or disagree with particular statements. These issues were fairly neutral (“Calculators should not be allowed in classrooms;” “There is life on other planets”), but it gave everyone the opportunity to consider their points of view on questions they may not have considered before, while allowing the group to get a sense of where differences in opinion might lie, but in a totally chilled and safe environment.

Sharing Ideas – The Young Leaders Youth Group

at the Jerusalem International YMCA

Later, members were invited to explore the columns outside the YMCA’s entrance. Each column bears a unique image of an animal or plant, symbolizing a universal quality or ideal. Everyone looked to see which animal or plant most resonated with them personally, then coming back to the circle to say a little about the thoughts and feelings behind their choice, discussing which qualities and ideals they share.


Here’s what some of our participants had to say about today!

Dana: I especially liked touring the YMCA building and seeing the different carvings on the columns. I identified with the dove, because the dove seeks peace. This is a nice place, and I enjoyed my first time here.

Netta: During the first exercise, we were asked to agree or disagree with a statement. Although they weren’t on anything too serious, we were able to give our opinions without hesitating. No one felt unsafe, because these were issues we felt comfortable with.

Aharon: This is a cool group, because we are able to agree on things that you wouldn’t think we’d all agree on. The first exercise was funny and interesting, and there was even a time where we all agreed on the same exact thing! I liked the tortoise, because it represents wisdom and perseverance.


Aharon: I liked the tortoise, because it represents wisdom and perseverance.

These young leaders made important progress today by considering their perspectives on certain issues as well as the perspectives of their peers. The opportunity for joint self-reflection also helped to reinforce the safety and openness of the space, paving the way toward approaching morechallenging topics with the grace, acceptance, and mutual respect such discussions require.


Check out last week’s blog!

Check out next week’s blog!

Sharing Ideas – The Young Leaders Youth Group

at the Jerusalem International YMCA

The Young Leaders Jerusalem Youth Group has now entered it’s 4th year, bringing together teens from all over East and West Jerusalem to practice methodologies in group leadership, personal commitment, cooperative group projects and discuss issues relating to their everyday lives in Jerusalem.

The group is facilitated by Khaled Rishek and Asaf Shahar of the YMCA Youth Department

Want to find out more about the Youth Department’s Young Leaders Youth Group and other Jerusalem Youth Groups and activities?


Yasmine Guerin, Youth Department Coordintor

+972 02-5692677 | yasmine@ymca.org.il

Naxeeh Ansari, Youth Department Director

+972 02-5692676 | nazeeh@ymca.org.il

You can also check out our ACTV VIDEO Jerusalem Youth Group