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Project Baseball

Since 1901, Jewish National Fund has been dedicated to turning dreams into reality. Project: Baseball is just that. It is estimated that the number of regular baseball players in Israel exceeds 2,000 and continues to grow…or has the potential to grow. But therein lies the problem. There is a severe shortage of baseball fields in Israel.

You can help! For your Mitzvah Project you can directly give to those in Israel who love to play baseball!

It was not until 1979 that the first real baseball field in Israel was built. Today, Israel’s baseball federations, the Israel Association of Baseball (IAB) and the Israel Softball Association (ISA), compete against teams from Europe, Asia, North America and the Middle East. There are scores of leagues throughout Israel for players of all ages, genders, and denominations.

In 2005, the IAB held its third annual Tel Aviv Peace Clinic. Eighty Israeli, Arab and Jewish students escaped the daily pressures of life in Israel to spend a day playing baseball. The children spent the morning learning the game’s fundamentals and then played a real game in the afternoon. This gave the children a rare opportunity to interact and work together.

The growth of baseball in Israel has been hindered by several factors, but without a doubt the key one is a severe shortage of baseball fields. Examples:

  • In Jerusalem, where hundreds of adults and children participate in league play, there is only one true baseball field. And that field does not have a single blade of grass, but has a dangerous combination of dust, rocks, and thorns.
  • In Bet Shemesh, where children play baseball all the time, the one field is built on a slope, such that players must run uphill to first base.
  • In Tel Aviv, players rush to and from their positions between innings because there are no lights at the lone baseball field, so all play must cease at dusk.
  • Haifa, Be’er Sheva and Tiberias have players, but no baseball fields at all. Players from these cities must travel elsewhere to play.

To some, baseball is only a game, but for those who play it, study it and fantasize about it, it is far more. Baseball embodies values such as patience and sportsmanship. Immense value is placed on the individual, whether alone on the pitcher’s mound or with all eyes centered on the lonely hitter in the batter’s box. But baseball also personifies teamwork and interdependence.

Personal pages are easy to create. Customize your page by choosing from pre-written text about the project and then adding your own thoughts and feelings. You can even add photos to your page!

Use the Participant Center to send emails to your family and friends telling them why you’re raising money for this project.

 

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