At the YMCA, we’re for healthy living, youth development, and social responsibility. Our mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all.

Illinois YMCAs are in 150 diverse communities around the state, and serve almost 1.2 million Illinoisans, both children and adults. The Illinois State Alliance of YMCAs advocates on behalf of these Ys.

The Illinois State Alliance of YMCAs connects, supports and fosters state-wide initiatives, leads public policy education efforts and ensures communication to advance the YMCA’s mission in Illinois.

Did you know we are the single largest provider of early childhood and school age programs in the state, and the nation? Illinois Ys provide chronic disease prevention and education programs, such as the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program and LIVESTRONG® The Illinois Alliance of YMCAs, and many individual Ys, also are part of Pioneering Healthier Communities efforts to help children and families choose a healthier path by improving physical activity and nutrition in communities and schools.


University YMCA Presents BESA:  A Code of Honor Exhibition

The University YMCA will observe International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 24, 2019 with the opening of an exhibit from Yad Vashem: The World Holocaust Remembrance Center called Besa: A Code of Honor – Muslim Albanians that Rescued Jews During the Holocaust.

Art @ the Y, a public arts initiative of the University YMCA, is pleased to present BESA: A Code of Honor. Besa means “to keep the promise.” It serves as the highest ethical code in Albania. Following the German occupation in Albania in 1943, the Muslim-majority country of Albania protected their Jewish citizens and provided refuge to Jewish people from other parts of Europe. Almost all of the Jewish people living within Albanian borders during the war survived. The exhibition features photographs and stories of those who lived in Albania throughout the Holocaust.

All are invited to visit BESA: A Code of Honor starting Thursday, January 24 through February 17, 2019 at the Murphy Gallery of the University YMCA.

For more information about Art @ the Y, please visit:


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