Press Release Play Global!
Arab and Jewish youth in Israel will come together on the baseball field for the first time from March 5-6 in Tel Aviv. Fifteen Arab Israelis and fifteen Jewish Israelis from ages 12-14 will learn the basics of baseball through a program called Baseball Le’Kulam, or Baseball for All. The goal is to unite kids from two different cultures, giving them a chance to build understanding while having fun. Baseball Le’Kulam will be led by the Israel Association of Baseball and nonprofit organization Play Global.
All of the young players participating are new to baseball, and many have never before interacted with their peers from other cultures. These kids will learn not only the fundamentals of the game, but also how to work and play together.
Baseball was introduced to Israel in the mid-1980s. While it has gained popularity since then, it remains a niche sport. Only one full-sized baseball field exists in Israel. Otherwise, players improvise diamonds on soccer fields or in local parks.
Says Israel Association of Baseball National Director Nate Fish:
“Baseball Li’Kulam means “Baseball for All”, and will be the first program we’ve had in my time as National Director that aims specifically to bring Arab and Jewish kids together. We have a great group of people including baseball coaches from Play Global and the IAB, and educators from the Jewish Israeli and Arab Israeli communities. The kids will play together, eat together, talk together, and hopefully forming lasting friendships. We plan to offer this program three times this year.”
Baseball Le’Kulam doesn’t aim to solve any political issues. It will, however, give a group of Jewish and Arab kids common ground and the chance to know each other as teammates.
About Play Global
Play Global is a nonprofit organization based in the U.S. and working internationally. Its mission is to develop respect and teamwork through baseball. Play Global! conducts programs in developing countries and conflict areas, with the goal of helping kids learn skills for success while having fun. More information is available at www.play-global.org.