About the project
The Spafford Community Center was founded by the Association for the Playground Adjacent to the Spafford Children’s Center, an organization established in 1968 to safeguard an area behind the Old City walls between Damascus and Herod’s Gates that had been used as a Jordanian army camp and was one of the only remaining open spaces in the Old City’s Muslim Quarter. In its early years, the center offered children’s activities in the playground. In the 1980s, the center began to operate as an annex to the Beit David Cultural & Community Center, enabling it to expand its activities to include programs for youth, women, the elderly and others. The Jerusalem Foundation renovated the community center’s building and added an activities wing in the 1980s and developed the Douglas Center, courtyards for outdoor games and sports, in 1995. It also has supported many activities, including creation of a toy lending library, teacher training programs and assessment work. The center was renamed the Abna el Quds (Sons of Jerusalem in Arabic) Community Center in 1998.