About the project
The Jerusalem Foundation established the Paley Center in 1977 in response to the need for organized art activities in east Jerusalem. Before its construction, courses were periodically offered at the nearby Rockefeller Archeological Museum and the Beit David Youth & Community Center; however, the Paley Center provided a facility designed specifically for this purpose on a regular basis for the first time. The center, which is operated by the Israel Museum, also was the first institution in Jerusalem to offer joint art classes for Jews and Arabs. The center was designed by architect Moshe Safdie to step up a hill in a series of stone-faced horizontal forms with arched window openings to blend with the landscape and the scale and details of local architecture. The facility includes classrooms, a 120-seat auditorium, an exhibition hall and a roof garden. Since its construction, the Jerusalem Foundation has supported exhibitions, school programs, programs for children with special needs and a summer camp. In 2002, nearly 40,000 visitors toured the center’s exhibits, approximately 12,000 children participated in school and afterschool programs, and approximately 1,000 children attended the center’s summer camp program. In 2006, the Foundation began planning a major renovation of the facility.