The Jerusalem Foundation:
Playing Together: Coexistence through Sports
The Need: There are few opportunities exist for genuine and lasting contact to reduce fear and decrease attitudes and acts of racism. Sports, which generate universal interest across cultures and interaction is not language-based, represent a particularly useful tool in bringing communities together.
Response: As the Jerusalem Foundation strives to provide opportunities in dialogue and shared living, we seek funds for the following programs:
- Hapoel Katamon Neighborhood Soccer League combines sports with education in both Jewish and Arab schools, and brings all together in monthly tournaments.
- Soccer for Jewish and Arab Youth at Risk – training to become coaches and coach assistants.
- Multicultural Streetball, an annual 3X3 basketball tournament has turned into an annual event in Jerusalem’s Koret Liberty Bell Park.
- Runners without Borders, groups of Jewish and Arab long-distance runners.
Impact: "Although we already meet each other [at tournaments], our friends from Beit Hanina cross the main road between our two neighborhoods once a week to play with us at Pisgat Zeev’s football pitch. Until we joined the Neighborhood League, we didn’t know anyone from Beit Hanina, but now we do! It’s funny that we live so close and until now haven’t met. It’s great to play soccer with them, they are really good and they make us better!”
Population Served: Each year these projects bring together hundreds of Jewish and Arab children and teens, facilitating a rare chance to bring together children (and sometimes even parents) from different areas of the city, from different backgrounds, religions and cultures, and emphasize the values of accepting and respecting those unlike themselves.
Partners:Jerusalem Municipality; Ministry of Education, Division for the Advancement of Youth
Funding Needs: NIS 120,000 per program