Maybe it's no Sports Club/LA in its luxury and beauty, but the Elite Sports Center at Tel Aviv University is one of the best sports clubs in Israel, with facilities and services that may make even the premier sports club in L.A. a little envious.
The Elite Sports Center runs all of the sports and recreation activities of Tel Aviv University, including the Goldreich Family Health and Fitness Center and the Goldreich Multipurpose Sports Building, where the club is housed. The buildings were donated by Los Angeles real estate tycoon Jona Goldrich - originally from Israel - and his family on the belief that a strong nation is a healthy one.
Open daily from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., the Elite Sports Center offers services and equipment standard to most developed clubs: classes, trainers, a health and nutrition counseling lab, Jacuzzis, saunas. But it even goes a step further. There are three swimming pools, one of which is Olympic size, an outdoor movie theater and a pool for children. There are roughly 10,000 members, of which one-fourth are Tel Aviv residents who pay a higher fee than the students.
The club is always busy, and the social and university buzz at the club make it the perfect spot to get not only the body in shape, but also one's social life. During the summer, the club is open 24 hours on Thursdays - the Saturday night of Israel. The swimming pools, workout rooms and squash courts are packed with Israelis taking a break from studying and work, and sometimes looking for a date. The basketball court turns into a dance hall, and a movie marathon features the latest films throughout the night.
Guest passes are available for tourists and the general public for about $10.Visit the Hebrew-only Web site at href=http://www.sports-center.co.il>www.sports-center.co.il for more information.
Orit Arfa lives in Jerusalem.