JNF-USA Donors Join Governor of Connecticut and Consul General of Israel to New England at Team Israel’s Pre-Olympics Baseball Game Against Bristol Blues
HARTFORD, Conn., July 23, 2021 —Jewish National Fund-USA (JNF-USA) donors from across New England joined Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont and Ambassador Meron Reuben, the Consul General of Israel to New England, at Dunkin Donuts Park on July 14 to watch Team Israel take on New England’s collegiate baseball team as the Israeli national team prepared for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Ambassador Reuben and JNF-USA Executive Director Sara Hefez threw the ceremonial first pitches, and then were joined on the field by Dar Nadler, JNF-USA’s Israel Emissary, and JNF-USA’s President of the Boston Board of Directors, Risa Aronson, her husband Steve Aronson, and their family to sing Hatikvah, Israel’s national anthem. Governor Lamont, Hartford Yard Goats owner Joshua Solomon, and thousands of fans cheered loudly from the stands as the two teams hit the diamond.
Ambassador Meron Reuben, Dar Nadler, Sara Hefez, the Aronson Family and Team Israel fans sing Israel’s national anthem before Team Israel vs. Bristol Blues
Though the Bristol Blues took the lead and beat Team Israel 10-2 at the Yard Goats’ home stadium, there was no sign of disappointment among fans, who were delighted to have the opportunity to watch Israel’s Olympic baseball team live in action before competing on largest sporting stage in the world.
“Israelis are immensely proud that we are one of only six teams to make it to Tokyo,” said Ambassador Reuben.
Pitcher Jeremy Bleich poses with Hartford Yard Goats owner Joshua Solomon and Team Israel General Manager Peter Kurz
Together with its Project Baseball initiative, Jewish National Fund-USA is supporting Team Israel’s journey to the Tokyo Olympics and beyond.
“These athletes are representing Israel and Jewish people everywhere. They are representing all young children who dream of having a professional career in sports,” said JNF-USA’s CEO Russell F. Robinson. “I have every reason to believe this team is going to make us all proud in Tokyo.”
A large portion of the funds raised for Project Baseball will go toward repairing old fields and building state-of-the-art baseball and softball fields in Beit Shemesh and Ra'anana.
Jewish National Fund-USA Southern New-England Board enjoying a morning watching Team Israel vs. the Bristol Blues at Dunkin Donuts Park on July 14, 2021
It is expected that once the fields have been constructed, Israel Baseball will be able host winter baseball leagues as well as international baseball games. Most importantly, team representatives believe “if you build it, they will come,” and the fields will bring more awareness of the lesser-known sport to Israelis, helping to develop the next generation of Israeli-born baseball athletes.
Team Israel is scheduled to play against South Koreaon Thursday, July 29, at 6:00 am ET, and will face the United States on Friday, July 30, at 6:00 am ET.
To learn more about Jewish National Fund-USA’s Project Baseball initiative and how you can support Team Israel, visit jnf.org/projectbaseball or email JNF-USA Executive Director Lou Rosenberg at [email protected].
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About Jewish National Fund-USA
JNF-USA is the leading philanthropic organization for Israel that supports critical environmental and nation building activities in Israel’s north and south. Through its One Billion Dollar Roadmap for the Next Decade, JNF-USA is developing new communities in the Galilee and Negev, connecting the next generation to Israel, and creating infrastructure and programs that support ecology, individuals with special needs, and heritage site preservation.