About the project
The Beit David Cultural & Community Center was the first community center for Arabs in Jerusalem and the first major community center supported by the Jerusalem Foundation. Beit David, also known as the Wadi Joz Community Center, serves an estimated 25,000 residents of the east Jerusalem neighborhoods of Wadi el-Joz, Sheikh Jarrach and Bab e-Zahra. Staff is comprised almost entirely of east Jerusalem residents and programs are designed within the framework of the values, traditions and customs of the Arab community. The Jerusalem Foundation supported establishment of the facility in a former hotel building (David’s Pension, hence the name) and created the Vester Garden at the site in 1969. It built a new wing to enable the center to expand its offerings in 1974, a senior citizens center to provide health services, social welfare guidance and club activities, a sport court in 1979, a 500-seat hall behind the center for indoor sports activities and community events in 1984, an early childhood program in 1995, and a computer center in 1999. It has supported programs for children, youth, adults and seniors, taking a particular interest in activities for young people and women, including tutoring, young leadership programs, a mother and child program, a women’s health program, a vocational training program for young women and more. Over the years, the center has become one of the most important facilities in east Jerusalem (by 1999, approximately 500 people a day attended one or more of the center’s activities). Beit David is affiliated with the International Cultural Center for Youth and oversees activities at the Abna el Quds (formerly Spafford) Community Center.