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318 Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, 222 21st Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55455

An Inventory of Its Records

Historical Sketch | Contents Summary/Organization | Administrative/Access Info | Contents Details | Related Materials | Indexed Terms/Access Points


Creator: YMCA of the USA. International Division.
Title: Records of YMCA international work in Palestine and Israel,
Date: 1885, 1905-2003 (bulk 1920-1999)
Collection Number: Y.USA.9-2-2
Abstract: Correspondence, minutes, reports, financial records, architectural data and drawings, audio recordings, printed material, and other records of the work of the American YMCA movement in Palestine and Israel. The bulk of the files concern Jerusalem, with particularly rich documentation on the the construction of the YMCA's landmark West Jerusalem (Jerusalem International YMCA) building. Also included in the records are files concerning YMCA work in other areas of the region, especially East Jerusalem, as well as Peniel-by-Galilee, Nazareth, and other locales.
Quantity: 21.4 cubic feet (28 boxes).
Location: See Detailed Description section for box listing.


The first contact of the American YMCA movement with Palestine was through Luther Wishard during his landmark 1888-1891 tour of YMCA missions worldwide. He found in Jerusalem a small Association with British connections. That Association, organized in 1890 by W. Hind Smith, visiting secretary of the National Council of the English YMCA, had been preceded by short-lived attempts, also British, which appear to date back as far as 1876 or 1878. In 1892, the Arab members withdrew and formed a separate organization with a charter from the London Association. In 1909, the English National Council sent Stuart Donnithorne as the first general secretary.

In 1906, before the arrival of Donnithorne, a request for a secretary came to the American YMCA's International Committee from the committee of the Jerusalem Association. Accounts had already been received by the American Y describing the great need for expansion of YMCA work in the region. In 1907, YMCA General Secretary John Mott and the International Committee planned to send Archibald Clinton Harte to Jerusalem. However, needs in Sri Lanka and India ended up taking precedence, and Mott and Harte agreed to the appointment of Donnithorne by the English YMCA. During his tenure, a site near the Damascus Gate was secured.

With the outbreak of World War I, the Association had to close its doors due to suspicion on the part of the Turkish Government. Following the occupation of Jerusalem by General Edmund Allenby in 1917, however, YMCA work quickly resumed. Branches were set up along the military railroad route. In Jerusalem, YMCA members provided services for men on leave, including tours of the historic sites, educational lectures, and overnight accommodations in tents and huts.

In November 1919, the American and English YMCAs agreed to jointly sponsor Harte to lead YMCA work in Jerusalem. Under Harte's leadership, activities expanded rapidly. From the beginning Harte envisioned the construction of a grand building to provide a range of services and amenities. By 1924, the results of Harte's work were impressive enough to convince his friend, James Newbegin Jarvie, of Montclair, New Jersey, to donate one million dollars towards the construction of a suitable building. A plot of land in the "West Nikephoria" section of Jerusalem was purchased from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate with funds donated by the International Committee of the North American YMCA, the British National Council, and a group of Jewish friends of the YMCA in Manchester, England. Excavation began in 1926 and the cornerstone was laid in 1928. Designed by American architect Arthur Loomis Harmon, the building design incorporated symbolism of the three major western monotheistic faiths, and was intended to embody the YMCA's message of devotion to spirit, mind, body, and harmony between peoples. A commanding feature was the "Jesus Tower" with its carillon, and the building also featured a large library with a collection centering on Jesus. In addition to this building, there was a camp site with a house and athletic field at Peniel on the shores of Lake Galilee, and a camp on the Field of the Shepherds near Bethlehem on which Christmas Eve celebrations were held.

The completed Jerusalem building was dedicated in April 1933 by Field Marshal Edmund Lord Allenby. His address, broadcasted internationally, described the structure as "an international monument of peace and brotherhood." As expressed on the plaque beside the main staircase, the building and the Association it housed were envisaged as "a place whose atmosphere is peace, where political and religious jealousies can be forgotten, and international unity be fostered and developed." The opening of the complex was a major event described in detail in the world press, and the building quickly became a landmark, as well as a cultural, social, athletic, and intellectual center in the city. Its stadium was the only soccer stadium in Jerusalem until 1991. Until the 1960s, it housed the city's only only swimming pool.

By the time the building was completed in 1933, Harte was no longer on the staff. In December 1929 disagreements arose over whether the terms of Jarvie's bequest required that the building project be managed by Harte in Jerusalem or staff from the National Council. Ultimately Harte decided to part ways with the Jerusalem Association, and retired to the house on the property at Peniel-by-Galilee, where he lived until he passed away in 1946. W. B. Smith took over as the next general secretary in Jerusalem until Waldo Heinrichs was appointed in 1931. Racial and religious tensions grew troublesome during his tenure, and were only accentuated by the completion of the building. Its architectural prominence reinforced perceptions among some from the Catholic, Muslim, and Jewish communities that the YMCA was a proselytizing organization. Following a major disagreement between Jewish and Germans members centered around German-language newspapers in the library that promulgated Nazi anti-Semitism, Heinrichs was ultimately forced to resign. Wilbert B. Smith served temporarily as senior secretary for both Palestine and Egypt, until Alvah L. Miller was selected for the post in 1935. Lee Terrill joined the staff soon afterwards as his assistant.

In spite of the tensions and changes in staff leadership, the Jerusalem Association thrived. In 1936 it had nearly 1,500 members and about 800 individuals were participating in the physical education program. Other programs included religious pageants and dramas in the auditorium, Bible study, and weekly lectures on health, travel, and personal problems. The building was a meeting ground of Jews and Arabs and was popular with the soldiers stationed in the region. In 1944, membership rose to 1,927. Activities continued throughout 1946 in spite of the bombing of the King David Hotel just across the street from the building. the Association conducted an open tennis tournament in which British clubs and Jews competed, and was said to be the only organization in the country under which that could have been done. Both Jewish and Arab boys continued to use the swimming pool. In the total membership, 32 nations were represented; two-thirds were Christians (including Protestants, Catholics, Orthodox, and Armenians), a little over a sixth were Jews, and slightly less than a sixth were Muslims.

When hostilities broke out in Jerusalem on the eve of the British departure from Palestine, the YMCA played a significant role. In 1946 it became the headquarters of the Anglo-American Commission of Enquiry, followed by the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine in 1947. In order to escape seizure by one or the other of the combatants during the war that broke out following the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, the Association turned over the building to the International Red Cross. Provided with funds from the YMCA International Board, the American Friends Service Committee, and the Brethren Service Committee, it became a relief station for both Arab and Jewish refugees. When the Red Cross found it necessary to move, the United States Consulate General took over the building. In June 1948, the YMCA was asked to house the United Nations Mediation Committee headed by Count Folke Bernadotte . In September of that year, Bernadotte and his aide, Colonel Andre Serot, were assassinated, and their bodies were taken to the YMCA where they lay in state before being flown home for burial. The building was returned to the YMCA in 1949, and regular activities resumed.

With the outbreak of the 1948 War, the city was divided into Jordanian-Arab Jerusalem in the east and Israeli-Jewish Jerusalem in the west. The YMCA continued its activities in the western part, serving mainly the Jewish population and a minority of Christians and Muslims, and a new YMCA was established in the eastern part, catering to the Muslim and Christian population on that side of the city. With the great needs in the area, especially for services to the many Palestinian and Jordanian refugees displaced by war, this Association quickly grew and became fully independent in 1954. Headed by Labib Nasir from its inception until Nasir's death in 1979, the East Jerusalem Association's work focused on school education, public health, supplementary feeding for children until these tasks were handed over to the UNRWA for Palestine refugees when that organization was created in 1950. Realizing that something needed to be done for young refugees to help make them self-supporting individuals, raise the self-esteem and stop their dependence on international relief, Nasir led the establishment of a Vocational Training Centre in Jericho for training refugees to be skilled in wood, metal, and leather work. Painting and varnishing courses were later added, along with classes on building maintenance and mechanics and electrical work.

The main building in Jerusalem continued with a membership which was 90 percent Jewish. To relieve Miller, J. Leslie Putnam was sent out as the next General Secretary in 1950, assisted by Herbert L. Minard, who took over in 1959. Minard saw the Association through a major modernization project for the building in the mid-1960s and the 1967 Six Day War. During that conflict, the UN established temporary headquarters for its Jerusalem offices at the YMCA, remaining there over two months. Despite the frequent outbreaks of violence in the region, the Y continued to thrive, running a successful hotel operation, a kindergarten and day camp for Jewish, Christian and Muslim children, an Arab-Jewish youth leaders' club, and numerous sports programs. The membership continued to grow and change as well. By April 2003, the 2,600 members were just under 63% Jewish, almost 20% Muslim, and 18% Christian. In recognition of its efforts in promoting peace, kinship, and the dignity of humankind, the Jerusalem International YMCA (or JIY), as it came to be called, was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, and was awarded the first Jerusalem Marta Prize for Tolerance and Democratic Values in 1996.

The East Jerusalem Association also continued to thrive. Construction of a modern headquarters building with hotel facilities was completed in 1965. The facility also included a full physical recreation department, auditorium, and meeting rooms. It ran the Field of Shepherds site in Beit-Sahour, near Bethlehem and started YMCAs in Nazareth, Gaza, and Ramallah. Services to refugees continued to be a focal point with programs including a leadership development program, summer day cam, sport activities, educational and cultural activities, and the Jericho Vocational Training Centre.

The JIY was unique among the many YMCA programs the American Y movement helped to found in that whereas most of these Ys were turned over to autonomous, local leadership within a few decades of their founding, the Jerusalem Association remained under the auspices of the YMCA of the USA. Financial and political challenges continued to keep the West Jerusalem Association from becoming fully independent for the better part of a century. Lifelong JIY staff member Rizek Abusharr became the first indigenous Director General in 1998. After Abusharr's retirment in 2002, however, the role was again filled by an American, Len Wilson. Norris Lineweaver accepted the assignment to follow Wilson in 2005 on condition that Y-USA would support a transition to local board control and selection of his successor. In October 2008, the Y-USA Board of Directors, at the request of the JIY Board of Directors, approved a resolution to move JIY to full independence and local control over the following two years. In May 2009, Forsan Hussein became the JIY's first CEO not appointed by Y-USA.

Foreign Work and World Service Secretaries serving in Palestine/Israel (and their dates of service) include the following:

Adamson, Arthur Quintin (1929-1933) MacDonald, Jan (1932-1939)
Armstrong, J. Bruce (1980-1981) Miclot, Robert W. (1972-1974)
Barwick, John Workman (1923-1926) Miller, Alvah Leslie (Senior Secretary, 1935-1950)
Buswell, Karl Porter (1925-1927) Minard, Herbert Leslie (1950-1973, West Jerusalem Senior Secretary 1959-1973)
Bussey, Michael (1975-1977, JIY Director 1990-1998, 2009) Moffat, Ronald Colin (1969-1971)
Crackel, Mathew David (1932-1936) Ogle, Homer Benton (1944-1945)
Dean, David F. (JIY Director 1987-1990) Pollock, Richard and Kathleen (1978-1980)
Glunkler, Hermann (1925-1933) Putnam, James Leslie (West Jerusalem Senior Secretary 1950-1959)
Harte, Archibald C. (General Secretary 1920-1930) Rhoads, James L. (JIY Director 1976-1981)
Hartman, Paul C. (1946-1930) Rymer, H. Russell (1963-?)
Heinrichs, Waldo Huntley (General Secretary 1932-1934) Schmidt, Clarence Frederic (1960-1976, West Jerusalem Senior Secretary 1973-1976)
Hyde, Richard Wallis (1965-1968) Smith, Robert H. (1968-1969)
Koronakos, John Peter (1953-1955) Smith, Wilbert B. (1934)
Lattof, Nicholas Michael (1928-1936) Terrill, Lee Miller (1936-1949)
Lineweaver, Norris (JIY Director 2005-2009) Thompson, Fred D. (1951-1952)
Lockley, Arthur (1927-1928) Wilson, Len (2002-2005)

Sources of ths historical background sketch include and were largely directly quoted from the following: "In the Heart of the Holy City" (1931); "Perfect Harmony: The Symbolic Design of the Jerusalem International YMCA" (2003); and Kenneth Scott LaTourette, World Service: A History of the Foreign Work and World Service of the Young Men's Christian Associations of the United States and Canada, (New York: Association Press, 1957). Additional information was gleaned from various material in the collection.


Correspondence, minutes, reports, financial records, architectural data and drawings, audio recordings, printed material, and other records of the work of the American YMCA movement in Palestine and Israel. The bulk of the files concern Jerusalem, with particularly rich documentation on the the construction of the YMCA's landmark West Jerusalem (Jerusalem International YMCA) building, including detailed correspondence files, building and site plans, and specifications for furniture and equipment. There are extensive materials from the 1933 dedication, including correspondence on its planning, transcripts of speeches, and audio recordings of the radio broadcast of the ceremonies. Jerusalem files also include many descriptions of and reflections on political upheavals of the region, including the 1948 war which established the State of Israel, the 1967 Six Day War, and the 1973 Yom Kippur War, as well as the ongoing struggle with racial and religious conflicts. Also included in the records are files concerning YMCA work in other areas of the region, especially East Jerusalem, which was cut off from West Jerusalem in 1948, as well as Peniel-by-Galilee, Nazareth, and other locales.


These documents are organized into the following sections:
Background Information
General Files
Topical Files
Financial, Fundraising, and Property-Related Files
Jerusalem Building Records
Peniel-by-Galilee / Harte House
East Jerusalem YMCA
Printed Material


Use of Materials:
This collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright, ownership, and to obtain all the necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials.
Preferred Citation:
[Indicate the cited item and/or series here]. Records of YMCA International Work in Palestine and Israel. Kautz Family YMCA Archives. University of Minnesota.
See the Chicago Manual of Style for additional examples.
Processing Information:
Processed by: Lara Friedman-Shedlov , 2010.
Catalog Record ID number: 5676662


The following section contains a detailed list of the materials in the collection. To request materials, please note the corresponding box number.

Background Information

See also the series of printed material for additional material that provides a historical overview.
Box 27 General information, 1958-1975. 2 folders.
Memoranda prepared for staff, reports, and news clippings.
Middle East, 1963, 1967, 1974.
Reports on YMCA work in the Middle East.
Organization policy, historical, 1954-1960.

General Files

Arranged roughly in chronological order, these files consist primarily of correspondence and senior secretary's files, including memoranda, reports and minutes, primarily relating to the West Jerusalem YMCA. Spanning nearly a century, this material dates from the American Y's earliest work in the region in the first decade of the 1900s through the late 1990s, though there is very little material for the mid-1970s. Topics covered include the founding of the Jerusalem Y and its subsequent relationship to the YMCA of the USA, the campaign to construct building, the construction and outfitting of the building and its facilities, relationship with the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, German newspaper controversy (1934), financial issues, and the evolving politics and conflict between Arab and Jewish/Zionist factions, including the major outbreaks of hostilities in 1948, 1967, and 1973. The files relate primarily to the facility in West Jerusalem but also include some documentation on the programs in East Jerusalem and other areas. Major correspondents and contributors include Archibald Harte, John R. Mott, Waldo Heinrichs, Fred W. Ramsey, Frank V. Slack, Alvah L. Miller, Dalton F. McClelland, Labib Nasir, Lee Terrill, Eugene Barnett, J. Leslie Putnam, Millard Collins, Herbert Minard, H. Russell Rymer, Clarence Schmidt, Michael Bussey, Frank Kiehne, and John O'Melia, among others.
Box 18 Agreements and legal documents, undated and 1923-1929.
Constitutions, correspondence regarding Board of Directors1931-1948.
Correspondence: Negotiations with Jerusalem Board of Directors, 1929-1930.
Concerns conflicts with Archibald Harte and the building project.
Board of Directors, 1929-1940. 3 folders.
Includes minutes and reports, including financial reports.
Annual and periodic reports, 1924-1945, 1947-1948. 2 folders.
Includes administrative reports, reports of the general secretary, and others.
Report letters, 1930-1931.
Box 1 Correspondence, 1889, 1905-1909, 1918-1927. 15 folders.
Box 2 Correspondence, 1928-1929. 11 folders.
Box 3 Correspondence, 1930-1931. 13 folders.
Box 4 Correspondence 1932-1933.10 folders.
Correspondence regarding YMCA hut in the Armenian Patriarchate, 1932-1933.
Box 5 Correspondence regarding the German newspaper controversy, January - November, 1934.
Correspondence, 1934-1939. 8 folders.
Box 6 Correspondence, 1940-1948. 8 folders.
Box 7 Correspondence, 1949-1954. 6 folders.
Box 8 Senior secretary's files, 1948-1961.15 folders.
Box 9 Senior secretary's files, 1962-1967. 24 folders.
Correspondence and related material, 1968-1969. 9 folders.
Box 13 Miscellaneous correspondence, 1957-1970. 2 folders.
Administrative reports, 1957-1971. 3 folders.
Reports from H. Russell Rymer, J. Leslie Putnam, Clarence Schmidt, and Herbert Minard.
Advisory council files, 1951-1974. 2 folders.
Box 10 Correspondence and related material, 1970-1976. 27 folders.
Box 14 Correspondence and related material, 1977-1980. 8 folders.
Box 11 Correspondence and related material, 1981-1982.
Board of Directors minutes and related materials, 1981-1988. 4 folders.
U.S. study group, 1983. 2 folders.
The purpose of the study group was to study the nature of the future relationships between the Jerusalem International YMCA and the YMCA of the USA and make recommendations to the International Division of the YMCA of the USA, with a view to moving the Jerusalem YMCA towards self-sufficiency.
Correspondence and related material, 1983-1987. 14 folders.
Jerusalem trips, 1977-1985. 2 folders.
Box 12 Reports and correspondence, 1986-1994. 20 folders.
Box 13 Reports and correspondence, 1994-1999. 19 folders.
Board of Directors, December 1988-December 1994. 9 folders.
Correspondence, James W. Ashley, August - December 1991. 2 folders.
Concerns the financial situation of the Jerusalem Y.
Correspondence, 1992. 2 folders.
Executive committee meeting, January 1993.
Reports and correspondence, February 1993 - January 1994. 2 folders.

Topical Files

Box 14 Gerrit B. Douwsma files (correspondence and field notes), 1968, 1971.
Michael Bussey files (correspondence and reports), 1990-1993. 3 folders.
Nicola Ghawi, 1964-1970. 3 folders.
Holy Land 100th anniversary, 1977-1978. 2 folders.
Jerusalem International YMCA 60th anniversary, 1993.
Consultation in Israel, "Towards Reconciliation: First Steps of Understanding," 1977-1979. 3 folders.

Financial, Fundraising, and Property-Related Files

Box 17 Finances, 1943-1944.
Budgetary study, 1954.
Dalton F. McClelland ledger, 1942-1954.
Account statements and financial records, 1935, 1937-1939, 1942-1945, 1952-1963, 1965-1967. 6 folders.
Box 15 Balance statements, 1954-1957.
Financials, 1991, 1993. 2 folders.
Taxes, 1960-1968.
Staff housing, 1962-1964.
Pension plan, 1970-1974.
Lind property, 1950-1961. 4 folders.
Concerns the purchase of the Lars E. Lind house, to be used as a hostel by the East Jerusalem YMCA.
Bethlehem Road house and Clarence Schmidt power of attorney, 1973-1974. 3 folders.
Building Committee projects, 1962-1966. 2 folders.
East Jerusalem transfer of property title, 1969.
Concerns the transfer of the Nablus Road YMCA property to the International Committee of the YMCA to protect the title to the property.
Jarvie Fund,1933-1979. 8 folders.
Endowment funds for the maintenance of YMCA buildings and work at Jerusalem.
Harte Memorial Chapel Endowment Fund, 1967-1971.
Fund established by a gift of Mrs. Henry Austin, to maintain and develop the Archibald Harte Memorial Chapel at Peniel on Lake Galilee.
Harte Trust Fund, 1954-1956. Funds established with money from the estate of Archibald Harte.
Provident Fund Termination, 1954-1974. 3 folders.
Julliard Musical Foundation, 1958.
(Unsuccessful) proposal to the Julliard Musical Foundation seeking funding for a concert grand piano.
Mid-East Emergency Fund, 1967-1971. 5 folders.
Established in 1967 due to the effects of the war, to fund repairs to the building, assistance to refugees, etc.
Emergency needs questionnaire, 1967.
Emergency loan, 1974.
Box 16 Various Israel funds, 1952-1963. 2 folders.
West Jerusalem Termination Fund, 1971-1982.
West Jerusalem Termination Reserve, 1956-1963, 1965-1973. 2 folders.
Agency for International Development/Private Voluntary Organization documentation, 1992-1993, 1995. 2 folders.
Friends of Jerusalem, 1991-1996.
Endowment funds, 1953-1958.
Fundraising/National Endowment Development Program (NEDP), 1997-1999:
Box 16 Campaign plan(s).
Contribution policy/procedures.
Research -- fundraising.
ORCA strategic plan.
ORCA White Room session, July 1999.
ORCA meeting, September 1999.
Materials given to ORCA.
Prospects. 2 folders.
Resolution letters.

Jerusalem Building Records

Correspondence, reports, specifications and other records concerning the West Jerusalem YMCA building, designed by Arthur Loomis and constructed during the period from 1926 to 1933. The records include extensive files on architectural details, financial and auditors' reports, as well as documentation on the furniture and equipment purchased for the building, the carillon and organ, and the Jesus Library. Principle correspondents include Archibald C. Harte, Neil McMillan (of the YMCA International Committee's Building Bureau), John R. Mott, Waldo Heinrichs, Sherman W. Dean (of the YMCA National Council's Architectural Bureau), Fred W. Ramsey, A. Q. Adamson (consulting engineer representing Harmon's architectural firm), and Arthur Loomis Harmon.
Building-Related Correspondence, Reports, and Plans:
Box 19 Jarvie building blueprints, undated and 1965.
Includes plans with calculations demonstrating the building's ability to withstand earthquakes and other stresses.
Architectural details, 1920-1936. 28 folders.
Correspondence and related material describing the plans for and process of the building construction.
Box 20 Building-related correspondence, 1938-1969. 5 folders.
Building Committee correspondence, 1963, 1973-1974.
Primarily concerning the purchase of property from Theodore Krikorian and the sale of property at 34 Bethlehem Road.
Building and repair-related correspondence, 1957-1968.
Box 21 New building, 1926-1931.
Includes letters, memoranda, cablegrams, reports, bank receipts, and notes concerning the early plans for the construction of the building, funding and the early phases of construction. Also includes the text for a speech given at the laying of the cornerstone and copies of documents pertaining to the ownership of the land.
Requests for building photographs, 1932-1933.
Architectural correspondence, 1931-1933.
Construction executive, 1929, 1931-1933.
Includes correspondence and reports related to budget, including a preliminary price list (May 1929), itemizing and estimating the cost of furnishing the building.
Building Committee minutes, 1929-1933.
Building project, 1930-1933.
Includes correspondence, contracts, memoranda of progress, budgets, Building Committee minutes, and other material related to the construction of the Jerusalem YMCA building.
Memoranda of progress and correspondence, 1931-1933.
Includes a blueprint for a mirror pool along with related correspondence.
Budgets and correspondence, 1928-1933.
Contract documents, 1932.
Electrical work contract, 1931.
Plumbing and heating contract, 1931.
Specification negatives, undated.
Building plans and elevations (for laundry unit), 1973.
Equipment and Furnishings:
Box 21 Furnishing index, summary, 1929-1933.
Box 22 Furnishings for building, 1929-1931.
Furniture specifications, 1931. 3 folders.
Furniture specifications, blueprints, 1931.
Building furnishings, 1964-1966. 2 folders.
Equipment, 1953-1963. 4 folders.
Shop drawings and equipment, 1962-1965.
Laundry equipment, 1965.
NCR accounting machine, 1972-1974. 4 folders.
Includes correspondence with John O. Pittenger
Carillon, Organ, and Organists:
Box 22 Carillon, 1932-1934, 1937.
Includes correspondence with Nora Johnston, who was engaged to play for the inauguration of the carillon in 1933 and to train someone to play it on an ongoing basis.
Organ, 1932.
Includes correspondence with Henry Brown of the Austin Organ Company, as well as a large diagram of the organ console, the memorandum of agreement with the Austin Organ Company, specifications for the organ, programs from several recitals, and a brochure describing the organ, which was a gift of the Julliard Musical Foundation of New York.
Organists, 1932-1934. 2 folders.
Includes correspondence regarding the appointment of an organist, as well as letters to and from Rebecca B. Decherd, the individual eventually appointed; Archibald Sessions, concerning recitals that he gave, and several other organists interested in giving recitals.
Jesus Library:
Box 22 Jesus library correspondence, 1932-1947. 3 folders.
Includes receipts and lists of many of the books purchased for the collection.
Jesus Library Fund, 1932-1967.
Box 21 Catalogue of the Library of the Life of Jesus, 1935.
Presented by Margaret Lewers Hopper.
Building Dedication:
Material concerning the dedication of the Jerusalem YMCA building, which took place in April 1933, over Easter. The festivities included formal dedication exercises, featuring an address by Field Marshal Edmund Lord Allenby, which was broadcasted internationally; carillon and organ recitals; religious services; lectures; a dinner party; tours, and other activities.
Box 21 Publicity, 1933.
Lord Allenby, 1932-1933.
Correspondence concerning arrangements for his participation in the dedication ceremonies.
Lord Allenby, side trips, 1932-1933.
Correspondence concerning arrangements for trips to other locations around Jerusalem and Palestine.
Dedication Preparatory Committee, 1932-1933.
Meeting minutes and related correspondence.
Dedication exercises, 1933.
Includes transcripts of speeches and benedictions given at the dedication by Lord Allenby, John R. Mott, the Anglican bishop, the Greek Patriarchate, and W. Perry, W. H. Bowman, and F. S. Harmon, as well as the text of a lecture given by Lord Allenby.
Dedication greetings, 1933.
Dedication expenses, 1933.
Musical programs for dedication, 1933.
Box 23 (AV) Sound recordings of dedication ceremonies, April 1933. 4 78 rpm (RCA Victor home-recording) discs, 8 compact discs.
Speeches by Field Marshal Edmund Lord Allenby, W. Perry, and W. H. Bowman, psalms by Rev. Hill, Rev. Marmura, Rabbi Silver, benediction by bishop of Jerusalem, and benediction vocal solo by Don Elam. Compact disc versions include a set of 4 reference discs as well as a preservation set.
Building-Related Financial Records:
Additional materials related to finances, including budgets and contracts, are mixed in with the "Building-Related Correspondence, Reports, and Plans" series.
Box 20 Certificates of payment, 1931-1933.
Building fund, 1934.
Building fundraising, 1924.
Bank statements, 1925-1933. 2 folders.
Statements, 1927-1930, 1932-1933. 4 folders.
Box 28 (AV) Building photographs, circa 2003. 60 prints.
Interior and exterior shots, including building details and aerial photographs of the building, mostly in color, taken in conjunction with the celebration of its 70th anniversary.

Peniel-by-Galilee / Harte House

Located in Tiberias, this former residence of Archibald C. Harte was willed to the Jerusalem YMCA upon Harte's death in 1946. It was eventually converted to a retreat center, with a hostel and conference center as well as a chapel dedicated to Harte.
Box 14 Correspondence and related material, 1941, 1950-1962. 10 folders.
Box 24 Correspondence and related material, 1963-1980. 6 folders.
John Ogg Files, 1958-1967. 2 folders.
Primarily concerning building matters (John W. Ogg YMCA architect employed by the YMCA's Building and Furnishings Service).
Stage III, 1971-1973. 2 folders.
Correspondence and reports concerning development plans for the YMCA facilities at Peniel-by-Galilee.
Building plans and drawings, 1960-1964, 1979.
Includes drawings, floor plans, site maps, and elevations for the various structures that were part of the YMCA complex at Peniel-by-Galilee, including Harte House, the Harte Memorial Chapel, the hostel, and the conference center, primarily prepared by the architectural firm of Ben Dor.
Ashram House, 1971-1974. 3 folders.
Financial Records:
Box 24 MacLean Development Fund, undated and 1946-1959.
Jenkins Fund, 1950-1959.
Dr. Harte House Endowment, 1970-1976.

East Jerusalem YMCA

Located on Nablus Road, the East Jerusalem YMCA started in 1948 when staff were separated and prevented by war from returning to the West Jerusalem building. The East Jerusalem Association administered YMCAs at Field of Shepherds (near Bethlehem), Nazareth, Jericho Training School, Ramallah, and Gaza. Labib Nasir was general secretary and guiding force from its founding in 1948 until his death in 1979. He was succeeded by Kameel Nasir, who served until he succumbed to cancer in 1994.
General Files:
Mainly correspondence and reports concerning activities, personnel, finances, building-related matters, and other administrative issues.
Box 24 Correspondence and reports, 1952-1981.
Consists primarily of correspondence between Labib Nasir (East Jerusalem YMCA general secretary) and various executives at YMCA headquarters in New York (Frank Kiehne, Harry Brunger), as well as the general secretaries of the West Jerusalem YMCA (Millard Collins).
Box 11 Correspondence and reports, 1980-1988. 11 folders.
Consists primarily of correspondence between Kameel Nasir (East Jerusalem YMCA general secretary ) and various executives at YMCA headquarters in Chicago (John C. O'Melia, Kenneth Turpin).
Box 24 Senior secretary's files, 1954-1957. 5 folders.
Correspondents and reports from the files of the (West) Jerusalem senior secretary concerning the East Jerusalem YMCA. Principle correspondents include Labib Nasir, Paul B. Anderson, Millard F. Collins, Joel E. Nystrom, and Herbert P. Lansdale
Box 25 Senior secretary's files, 1958-1967. 6 folders.
Principle correspondents include Labib Nasir, Paul B. Anderson, Millard F. Collins, Herbert P. Lansdale, Joel E. Nystrom, Herbert L. Minard, and Clarence F. Schmidt.
Miscellaneous reports and report letters, 1948, 1950, 1955-1969, 1971-1980, 1987. 2 folders.
Paul B. Anderson files, undated and 1948-1954. 3 folders.
Richard Hoffman reports and correspondence, 1966-1967.
Marvin J. Ludwig files, 1973-1974.
Dalton F. McClelland files, 1950-1956.
Long-term, 1975.
Jericho refugee school, 1953-1980.
Jericho refugee school: copper blocks, 1968-1969.
Box 17 Miscellaneous oversized items, undated and 1983, 1988.
Building-Related Files:
Box 25 Basic file, 1953-1965. 9 folders.
Correspondence and related material documenting the plans for and process of constructing a new facility for the YMCA programs in East Jerusalem on Nablus Road.
John Ogg (YMCA architect) building correspondence files, 1957-1964. 2 folders.
Gerrit B. Douwsma building correspondence files, 1962-1970. 3 folders.
Lind property, 1953-1960.
Stanley High memorial plaque, 1961-1968.
Financial Records:
Box 25 Use of balance of funds transmitted for purchase of YMCA property, 1958.
Separation pay for YMCA staff, 1954
Termination fund, 1957-1977. 4 folders.
Library fund, 1970-1979.
Box 26 Financial reports, 1966-1967.
Auditor's reports, 1954-1965. 4 folders.
Accounts for 1978, July 1979.
Box 27 Jordan, 1987-1988.
Amman, 1954-1976.
Gaza, 1976-1982, 1991. 3 folders.
Field of Shepherds, 1955-1968.
A hostel and camp for boys was constructed in the mid-1950s on YMCA property known as "Field of Shepherds," located at Beit Sahour, near Bethlehem. Additional material can be found as part of general East Jerusalem files.
Field of Shepherds, Mid-East Emergency Fund, 1968.
Background info needed. Additional material as part of general East Jerusalem files.
Box 27 Correspondence and reports, 1954-1979. 13 folders.
Box 11 Correspondence and reports, 1980-1988. 6 folders.
Box 27 Senior secretary's files, 1952-1966. 2 folders.
Nick Patinos files, 1992-1993.
Capital Assistance Program (C.A.P.), 1964-1972. 5 folders.
Box 17 Miscellaneous oversized items, 1987-1988.
Building-Related Files:
Box 17 Building dedication, 1965.
Box 27 Building-related correspondence, 1966-1969.
David Baird, 1965-1968.
Concerning a donation made to the Nazareth building project.
Building plans and site plans, undated and 1957.
Building plans, specifications, and charts, undated and 1960-1963.

Printed Material

Box 17 Topographical and physical map of Palestine, undated.
"Palestine: Report and General Abstracts of the Census of 1922," 1922.
Includes a memorandum indicating the pages where figures for the population of Jerusalem (total and male vs. female) and the number and types of Christians can be found. The note also includes some of the same statistics for 1926.
Brochure on new building; "In the Heart of the City" (12th anniversary report), undated and 1931.
"Constitution and By-Laws of the Jerusalem Young Men's Christian Association," 1933.
Building dedication, 1933.
Includes a dedication program, a brochure encouraging pilgrims to journey to Palestine to attend the dedication, and a newspaper-style broadsheet published on the occasion of the dedication of the new building, outlining the history of the YMCA in Jerusalem, and its activities and contributions.
"The Jerusalem Young Men's Christian Association," 1933. 2 volumes and 2 maps.
Commemorative booklet. Includes a folding map published by the YMCA that was in the pocket of the back cover: "Jerusalem Pictorial Map, Middle Judea Excursion Map, Palestine and Southern Syria Map."
Jerusalem YMCA booklets, undated and 1997, 2003. 3 volumes.
Includes "Where the Ordinary Extraordinary" (undated, late 1990s or early 2000s), "Jerusalem International YMCA Development Plan: Preservation, Renovation, New Construction" (March 1997), and "Perfect Harmony: The Symbolic Design of the Jerusalem International YMCA" (2003).
Morris Morgenstern Foundation George Washington letter pamphlet, undated.
Miscellaneous Jerusalem YMCA brochures and pamphlets, undated and 1930-1986.
Jerusalem: Miscellaneous pamphlets, undated and 1925.
Includes Jerusalem Girls' College prospectus, 1925.
Galilee: Harte Memorial Chapel brochures, 1963.
Includes pamphlet from service of dedication, 22 March 1963.
Galilee: "A Dream of Brotherhood: Plans for a YMCA International Conference Center," ca. 1960s.
Booklet outlining project to build a conference center at Peniel-by-Galilee.
Galilee: Ashram Movement brochures, 1970s.
Galilee: Miscellaneous brochures, undated.
East Jerusalem: Miscellaneous brochures and pamphlets, undated and 1951-1973. 2 folders.
East Jerusalem booklet: "The Story of a Tent," 1960, 1965. 3 volumes.
"What is The American Colony," by Bertha Spafford Vester, ca. 1952.
Bethlehem / Field of Shepherds: Miscellaneous brochures and pamphlets, undated and 1952, 1959.
"The Field of Shepherds YMCA," ca. early 1970s.
Booklet outlining the project to build YMCA facilities at Beit Sahour, near Bethlehem, also known as the Field of Shepherds. Includes architectural plans and models.
Nazareth: Miscellaneous brochures and pamphlets, undated and 1965, 1967.
Jaffa YMCA pamphlet on lecture series, 1924.


Additional building plans, blueprints, maps, and related materials are separately stored in the flat files.
Tower Views, a bulletin of the Jerusalem International YMCA is separately cataloged in the serials collection.


This collection is indexed under the following headings in the catalog of the University of Minnesota Libraries. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Arab-Israeli conflict.
Buildings -- Israel -- Designs and plans.
Buildings -- Palestine -- Designs and plans.
Christians -- Israel.
Christians -- Palestine.
Young Men's Christian associations -- Buildings.
Young Men's Christian associations -- Administration.
Young Men's Christian associations -- Jerusalem.
Young Men's Christian associations -- Middle East.
Palestine -- Social conditions.
Israel -- Social conditions.
Adamson, A. Q.
Harmon, Arthur Loomis.
Harte, Archibald Clinton, 1865-1946.
Heinrichs, Waldo Huntley, 1891-1959.
Miller, Alvah L.
Minard, Herbert Leslie, 1908-.
Mott, John R. (John Raleigh), 1865-1955.
Nasir, Labib.
Putnam, J. Leslie.
Ramsey, Fred W.
East Jerusalem YMCA.
International Committee of YMCAs. World Service.
Jerusalem International Y.M.C.A.
Young Men’s Christian Associations of North America. International Committee.
National Council of the Young Men’s Christian Associations of the United States of America. Foreign Division.
National Board of the Young Men’s Christian Associations. International Division.
YMCA of the USA. International Division.
Types of Documents:
Sound recordings.