Christian Quarter Center for Residents

Christian Quarter Elderly Center 1

The Jerusalem Foundation and the Jerusalem Municipality renovated an historic building for the residents of the Christian Quarter of the Old City and its environs, who can now enjoy a unique meeting place.

The Jerusalem Foundation and the Jerusalem Municipality dedicated a unique Center for the Residents of the Christian Quarter and its environs. The Center operates in a building that was, until recently, neglected and inaccessible. From now forward it can serve hundreds of elderly and youth in the area.

The Center, which is operated by the Social Services Department of the Jerusalem Municipality, is located in an historic building that is owned by the church, on the Street of the Greek Patriarch in the heart of the Christian Quarter of the Old City. The Jerusalem Foundation, in cooperation with the Social Services Department, prepared a plan for renovation that would enable the local population to receive proper services. The massive renovation of the interior sought to preserve the building’s unique historic character. Thus, for example, part of the building’s new floors include illustrated cement flooring, the existing wide windowsills were turned into benches, the building’s vaulted ceilings were preserved and special light fixtures were adapted and affixed. Residents will enjoy new work stations and computers, activity rooms, a kitchenette, and a multi-purpose room with sitting and coffee corners.

Christian Quarter Elderly Center 2

In the afternoon hours the Center will become a center for youth, who will be able to use the space for a range of activities. The Jerusalem Municipality was a critical funding partner in this renovation, supplementing the funds raised by the Jerusalem Foundation from the Archdiocese Vienna - Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Austria, Friends of the "Hilfsverein" for the Elderly in Jerusalem, Switzerland.

Haneen Mgadlh, Coordinator for east Jerusalem projects for the Jerusalem Foundation, said that for many residents of the Old City the Center is a second home and gives them a family feeling. “This place helps them to leave behind their loneliness and enables them to meet up with friends. For many of them this is the only activity center that they go to all week, and they garner strength and meaning from it.”

Director General of the Jerusalem Foundation, Anat Tzur, added that “The Jerusalem Foundation operates in a range of fields in east Jerusalem, including culture, education, community and welfare, in order to respond to the needs of the residents. The project in the Christian Quarter was carried out in an exceptional fashion by the Planning and Construction Department of the Jerusalem Foundation, while relating to and providing responses for the needs of the local population – old and young alike. “