Baseball program brings together Arab and Jewish kids
In Friday’s unseasonal March sunshine, a group of sixth graders played baseball on the field at the Baptist Village in Petah Tikva. The sounds were no different than in any other game, with fielders on base shouting for the ball and batters excited at a solid hit. What was different was that out of the 28 kids on the field, 13 were Jewish kids from Modi’in and 15 were Arab kids from Ramle, participating in the Baseball for All (Baseball Le’Kulam) pilot program sponsored by the Israel Association of Baseball and Play Global.
While initially a little wary of each other, by the end of the two-day program, which aimed to bring together the group of non-baseball players and teach them how to play, new friendships were formed and more than a few stereotypes were broken.
All the participants were new to the game, and over the two days learned not only the fundamentals of the game, but also how to work and play together. “This is the first program the IAB has run that aims specifically to bring Arab and Jewish kids together,” notes Fish. “We gathered a great group of people including baseball coaches from Play Global and the IAB, and educators from the Jewish Israeli and Arab Israeli communities to teach the kids baseball, and to encourage them to form lasting friendships.”
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