Jerusalem- YMCA

Organ n. I

The organ at YMCA in Jerusalem was built with the generosity of the Juilliard Foundation from New York. It was constructed by the American organ-builder Austin and installed in the concert hall of the YMCA center in Jerusalem in 1932. The scene of this hall is confined, so the console was placed in the hall and not on the scene and the organ itself was installed in several rooms adjacent to the hall communicating with it through holes made above the stage. These rooms being very small, a complete distortion of the instrument’s sound resulted and no one knows really how it could have sounded if one had placed it in the sound volume that it needed. Despite its questionable musical quality and acoustic problems, this instrument remained for about 40 years the only existing organ in a concert hall in Israel, and for this reason it was widely used for concerts and recordings. Most of the concerts were given by the Israeli organist Max Lampel, who worked in the early Israeli Radio and was for many years an organ professor in the Jerusalem Music Academy.

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The organ was disassembled in 2000 as part of a project to be installed in a warehouse in the city of Safed (Northern Israel). Due to a lack of financing this project was abandoned. Later, the Municipality of the city of Carmiel (Northern Israel) asked the organ builder G. Shamir to rebuild and install the organ in the great concert hall of the town. This project also remained unrealized. Meanwhile, except for the pipes from the fourth manual division which remained in YMCA, the organ itself diappeared.

[This organ is described in the article “Organs in Israel” appearing in the journal “The American Organist” of April 1991 by Brenda Lynne Leach.]

Description of the organ

Disposition     47 stops       2917 pipes

First manual – Positive

Concert Flute 8′
Dulciana 8′
Flute 4′
Orchestral Oboe 8′
Clarinet 8′
English Horn 8′
Celesta (real steel chimes)

Second Manual – Great

Double Open Diapason 8′
First Open Diapason 8′
Second Open Diapason 8′
Waldflute 8′
Dulciana 8′
Octave 4′
Flute 4′
Twelfth 2 2/3′
Fifteenth 2′
Tromba 8′
Clarion 4′ (extension)
Electronic echo device


Third manual – Swell

Bourdon 16′
Open Diapason 8′
Gedackt 8′
Octave 4′
Salicional 8′
Voix Celeste 8′
Aeoline 8′
Unda Maris 8′
Flute 4′
Piccolo 2′
Mixture 5 ranks
Double Trumpet 16′
Cornopean 8′
French Trumpet 8′
Clarion 4′ (extension)
Vox Humana 8′

Fourth Manual – Echo

Echo Dulciana 8′
Unda Maris 8′
Cor de Nuit 8′
Concert Flute 8′
Vox Humana 8′
Electronic echo device


Pedal radial

Contra Bourdon 32′
Diapason 16′
Bourdon 16′
Echo Bourdon 16′ (from Swell)
Octave 8′ (extension)
Gedact 8′ (from Swell)
Double Trumpet (from Swell)
Trombone 16′
Tromba (extension)
Electric manual and stop action
Tutti preset