Israel Tennis Centers Hosts Special Holiday Event for Arab and Jewish Children

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Gathering Symbolizes the True Spirit of ITC's Coexistence Program

Arab and Jewish children of the ITC celebrating the holidays together

The Elizabeth & Lawrence Krulik Israel Tennis Center in Tiberias hosted a very special event for the children of its Coexistence Program on Sunday, December 21st. A group of 21 children comprised of Arab Christians from Eilaboun dressed up as Santas gathered with Jewish children from Tiberias bearing Chanukah items in what they called their ‘ChristMukkah’ party.

Each group spoke about the importance of Chanukah and Christmas in an effort to teach the important customs and traditions of their respective holidays. They played with dreidels and drew Santas as part of a fun and creative activity. At the end of the party the ITC coaches dressed as Santas and gave each child a gift. There was a very festive atmosphere and a fun time was had by all.

ITC’s Coexistence program creates an equal playing field for children from different religions through integrated programs for Jewish and Arab children. Starting with the very young in the Twinned Peace Kindergarten Program, the ITC encourages children and their families to engage in dialogue, set common goals and ultimately realize that they play on the same team.

“The bringing together of these multi-cultural groups is what the holidays and our Coexistence programs are all about,” said ITC International President Benjamin Beiler from Chicago, IL. “Seeing them interact and learn from each other is what we strive for each and every day here at the Israel Tennis Centers. We are grateful to Crown Family Philanthropies and Len Goodman for their support of the Doubles Coexistence Program at the ITC – Tiberias.”

This program is part of the ITC’s mission of helping Israel’s young people to learn life skills through sport in order to become strong and productive members of their communities. Through its social impact programs, a wide range of children are served, including youth at risk, immigrants and children with special needs, from autism and ADHD to Down Syndrome as well as those with developmental and physical disabilities.

The Coexistence event in Tiberias underscores the ability of tennis to bring together children from different religions, promoting understanding, cooperation and friendship on and off the court. In doing so, Israel can become a shining example of justice and equality amongst all its people, creating a more peaceful society in Israel and beyond its borders.

About the Israel Tennis Centers Foundation:

The Israel Tennis Centers Foundation (ITC) is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization that works tirelessly through the medium of sport to enhance the development of Israeli youth. Since opening its first center in Ramat Hasharon in 1976, the ITC has helped over 400,000 children, many of whom come from outlying development towns throughout Israel. The ITC’s 14 centers stretch from Kiryat Shmona on the Lebanese border in the North to Beer Sheva bordering the Negev Desert in the South. http://www.israeltenniscenters.org.

Contacts:

Jacqueline Glodstein                
ITC Vice President/Global Development    
646-884-7450
jglodstein(at)israeltenniscenters(dot)org

Richard Weber
ITC Global Director of Marketing
646-884-7410
rweber(at)israeltenniscenters(dot)org

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