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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Boys Gym: 1939

Boys Gym: 1939

British Mandate Palestine, August 1939. "Jerusalem Y.M.C.A. activities. Gymnasium, boys' drill." American Colony/Matson photo. View full size.

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Mr. Gymnast in the black shorts on the right looks like he could crack walnuts between those thighs!


At the time the Y served the entire population of Jerusalem -- Christians, Muslims, Jews, Armenians as well as the British administration.

Words to remember

"Here is a place whose atmosphere is peace, where political and religious jealousies can be forgotten, and international unity fostered and developed."

-- From the dedication address by Field Marshal Edmund Lord Allenby, April 18, 1933. Not bad for something built so close to old Jerusalem that it must have been on someone else's idea of hallowed ground.

The Y

Here's a picture of the Jerusalem YMCA that I shot this May during a trip to Israel. It was directly across the street from the King David Hotel, itself a major attraction with a ton of history.

Safest way to swim

is definitely on a gymnasium floor. It insures that even the most inept among us cannot drown.

Jerusalem YMCA

It's still there, serving as a hotel although I gather it still functions in its original purpose. When you think about it isn't that incongruous; at the very least it would serve as a stopping place for Christian pilgrims visiting the city. A lot of visitors to the city are still pilgrims from the three Abrahamic faiths.

Great job!

Wow, they're doing a great job considering how shallow that water is!

High and dry

The pool was filled in over the summer, but nobody told the boys.

Learning to swim

Now all we need is a pool!


Is there something incongruous about a YMCA in Palestine? Or are the kids British?

[At the time of this photo, the Christian population of Jerusalem was over 30,000. Below, the exterior. - Dave]


That can't be! Why, there's my old sadistic gym coach, who just retired last year.


Ok, boys! Let's do the "Airplane"!

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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