Hapoel Katamon Neighborhood League

Hapoel Katamon


Need: Jerusalem is a complex city with many challenges. In order to promote coexistence and acceptance of the other, it is important to bring Jewish and Arab populations together from different areas of the city, from different backgrounds, religions and cultures, and further emphasizes the values of accepting and respecting the other. Understanding these values will enable the children to demand them for themselves in the future.

Response: The Neighborhood League combines sports with education in both Jewish and Arab schools. Operated by the Hapoel Katamon Football Club, the program offers twice-weekly football practices, weekly after-school learning centers, and monthly tournaments for its participants. In the 2015-16 season, 32 teams participated in 18 tournaments. Most children came from economically disadvantaged families.

In the Neighborhood League, participants must meet certain scholastic standards and participate in the learning centers in order to join the team. The League also seeks to impart values of respect and concern for others, accepting the ‘other’ and refraining from violence and racism. Project volunteers view one of the key principles of the program as providing a constructive framework for children after school and preventing them from loitering in the streets. They also view this league as an opportunity to enable children of all backgrounds to have an equal opportunity to participate in a serious and high-level football club.

Population Served: In 2015 – 16 there were 500 Jewish and Arab children – both girls and boys in grades 4 – 8.

Impact: “[The Neighborhood League is] an amazing project of Hapoel Katamon! Many thanks to our wonderful coach!” Participant’s parent.