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Project: Baseball

   

JNF’s Project: Baseball is a campaign to foster the growth of baseball in Israel, where the number of fans and players is on the rise but adequate fields are in short supply. It involves building state-of-the-art baseball fields throughout the country as well as teaching the fundamentals of the game to Israeli youth through little leagues, summer camps, and clinics.


Brad Ausmus, manager of Team Israel, with Israeli President Shimon Peres.
Photo credit: Kobi Gideon/Israeli Government Press Office

israel baseball

JNF and the IAB

Field of Dreams in Ra’anana

A minor league-style baseball complex in Ra’anana is in the planning stages, which will become the central hub for baseball in Israel, hosting daily games, European competitions, WBC tournaments, and a professional baseball league in the future.

Baseball in Israel

Though Israel may be better known for its avid soccer fans, it is quickly becoming a baseball-loving country. Over the past few years, baseball’s popularity has grown considerably among players and spectators alike. 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 and the Israel Softball Association, compete against teams from Europe, Asia, North America, and the Middle East. There are scores of leagues throughout Israel, accommodating players of all ages, genders, and denominations.

Despite the increase in baseball’s popularity, there are only a few proper baseball diamonds in Israel, and many games take place on soccer fields.

Why baseball, you ask?
After all, baseball is only a game.

To the uninitiated, that is a true statement. But for those who have come to play it, study it and fantasize about it, it is far more.

Baseball embodies values that are far too diminished in today’s society, ideals such as patience, and sportsmanship in the face of failure. 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. A runner on first base cannot advance without the help of a teammate.

For generations, baseball has strengthened communities throughout the world and provided children with important leisure opportunities. It builds sportsmanship, fosters camaraderie, and creates positive attitudes. Project: Baseball will give the children of Israel an opportunity to learn life lessons while building lasting friendships.

The famous columnist George Will once wrote: “Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona. Not all holes, or games, are created equal.”

Get involved and Donate to Project: Baseball. For naming opportunities call your local office at 888-JNF-0099.

 

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