Friday, April 25, 2008
BYU Jerusalem Center
I decided to post a picture of the BYU Jerusalem center here. I also wanted to find some information about how we got the land for this, but couldn't find the interview I remembered. So I will just tell it the best I can remember. When the president of BYU, Jeffery Holland went to Israel to find land, they were shown some different sites, but none of them seemed right. If I remember correctly, the president of the church also came, and asked about Mt. Scopus. They were told that this particular piece of land was in dispute, so neither Palestine nor Israel were able to use it. They agreed to rent it to BYU under the condition that none of the students from BYU, or faculty would proselyte while studying there. BYU signed the agreement, and makes all of it's students sign a similar agreement when they go to study in Jerusalem. The church really wanted to build a structure that would be befitting the nobility of what they wanted to accomplish, and which would be beautiful, and take advantage of the view. I think this building does just that. It really is beautiful. The center isn't just used for educational purposes, but also is used by the community for concerts, and also provides free organ recitals on a regular basis. Church leaders were told that this is the most prized real estate in the area. I think both Israel and Palestine feel good about what BYU did with the land there.