Pesach… A Holiday For All Children – Past, Present & Future
On Monday evening, April 10th, Jews around the world will be gathering for the first night of Passover. Participants at the Seder table will include our children and grandchildren eager to hear about the Israelite’s exodus from Egypt that led to the freedom we all enjoy today. After 3,000+ years, we are still celebrating this blessed event, thanks to the children of each generation who grow to become the next generations’ adults.
“In this same spirit, the Israel Tennis Centers celebrates the children of Israel who we have been helping for over 40 years,” said ITC Founder Dr. Bill Lippy. “Like our ancestors, the children at our centers are the focus of everything we do, empowering them to achieve a greater measure of freedom through the life skills they are taught every day. We give them the tools to reach their full potential because they represent Israel’s past, present and future.”
Noa, 8 years old, is the youngest daughter of Ghanaian refugees who emigrated to Israel 20 year ago. She has two older siblings, one of whom is severely disabled since birth. The family lives near our center in Tel Aviv, and both parents work full time cleaning houses. Finances are very tight, but thanks to the support from donors like you, Noa is able to continue her training. She also receives help with her school work while being taught important life skills that contribute to her overall confidence and positive outlook… both on and off the court.
Guy, 16 years old, is autistic and has great difficulty communicating and forming relationships. His parents could not find a way of integrating their son into group activities until he arrived at the Marjorie Sherman Israel Tennis Center in Ashkelon. His ability to communicate has soared, thanks in large part to the mentoring relationship he has with ITC coach Royi. His parents feel very grateful to the ITC for giving Guy a place where he feels loved and at home.
Muhammad, 8 years old, is an Israeli Arab whose family left Gaza to find a new home in Israel. Unfortunately, it has been very difficult for his parents to find work. Despite this challenge, Muhammad never misses a single practice while taking full advantage of other afterschool programs that the ITC offers. Even more significant are the many Jewish friendships he has made and activities that he is asked to join. It is a wonderful example of the impact of our coexistence program on the youth of Israel. For Muhammad, the ITC has truly become his second home and second family.
Leah, 11 years old, was encouraged to take up the game by her father who was a tennis coach in Russia. Tragically, he was killed in an automobile accident and young Leah’s life changed completely. Fortunately, thanks to the financial aid she receives from the ITC, one aspect of her life has not changed, and that is her continued training at the Elizabeth & Lawrence Krulik Family ITC in Tiberias. There she is able to find comfort and encouragement during these difficult times. Having the ITC to go to also allows her mother to work in the afternoons, knowing her daughter is in a safe and nurturing place after school.
For these children and tens of thousands like them, your support of the ITC is their best hope for a happy and productive future. This is especially relevant during Pesach and the sacred obligation known as Ma’ot Chittim, in which we are called upon to help those less fortunate. While this takes many forms, for the 20,000 children like Noa, Guy, Muhammad and Leah who walk through the doors of our 14 centers every year, your contribution can make a life changing difference.
Please visit www.israeltenniscenters.org/
Empowering Israel’s Children…Beyond Tennis and Beyond Borders
Founded in 1976, the Israel Tennis Centers (ITC) is one of the largest social service organizations for children in Israel, serving over 20,000 Israeli children every year. The ITC’s 14 centers stretch from Kiryat Shmona in the North to Beer Sheva in the South. Many of these centers are in underprivileged neighborhoods, providing disadvantaged children with a safe, structured and nurturing environment.
The ITC offers uniquely designed programs to meet the specific needs of its children:
- Social Impact: assisting youth at risk, those with special needs such as Down Syndrome and autism and children of new immigrants from Russia and Ethiopia
- Coexistence: bringing together Israeli Jews, Arabs, Bedouins and Druze to play and learn
- High Performance: training Israeli children to excel as tennis players.
All of these programs are open to all children living in Israel, regardless of background, religious affiliation or economic circumstance. No child is ever turned away.