In Palm Beach County, tennis is a part of life…but so is giving back and feeling great about it.
For over 40 years, the Israel Tennis Centers Foundation has worked tirelessly through the medium of sport to enhance the development of Israeli youth. Today, ITC is one of the largest social services for children in Israel. Since 1976, ITC has helped more than 500,000 children, many of whom come from outlying and underserved towns throughout Israel. The ITC’s 14 centers stretch from Kiryat Shmona, on the Northern border, to Beer Sheva on the country’s Southern border.
The focus of the ITC is on empowering children every day so they can become better human beings. Through its social impact programs, a wide range of children are served, including youth at risk, immigrants from Ethiopia, Russia, and the Ukraine along with children with special needs, from autism and ADHD to Down Syndrome, as well as those with developmental and physical disabilities. The ITC also recognizes the ability of tennis to bring together children from different religions as seen in its highly successful Coexistence Program.
The Israel Tennis Centers Foundation holds exhibition cycles several times a year, bringing diverse teams of children to the US, that take part in their educational and sports programs across Israel. These tours travel to various cities and towns in North America, with frequent stops in Palm Beach County.
From Feb. 21 to 23, the ITC will host its first annual Academy Weekend, on the grounds of the Delray Beach Open sponsored by The Stone Family. This Pro-Am event, chaired by Palm Beach County residents Barbara and Richard Rothschild, will feature former pro players Aaron Krickstein, Anna Smashnova and Jesse Levine, along with former ATP ranked, ITC Alumnus and registered amateurs.
On Saturday, Feb. 23, the ITC student team will arrive in Palm Beach County, FL from Tel Aviv, to kick-off the Winter 2019 exhibition tour. The first exhibition and fundraiser will take place in Boca Raton, FL on Sunday, Feb. 24. The team will remain in the Sunshine state traveling from coast to coast, through March 19.
This season’s team is a multicultural group of four Israeli junior tennis players, including Koral, a 17-year-old girl from Tel Aviv; Jasmine, a 10-year-old Arab girl from Akko; Ariel, a 10-year-old boy from Tel Aviv and Tuval, a 19-year-old young man also from Tel Aviv. At various points during the tour the team will be joined by ITC Alumnus and former #18 in the world in Singles, Amos Mansdorf and Noam Yitzchaki, ITC Alumnus, Graduate Student at University of South Florida and former #1 Men’s Tennis Player in Israel.
During their US appearances, in addition to exhibiting their skills on court, these youth ambassadors will share their personal stories about the impact of the ITC on their lives off court, on their families and the communities in which they live.
This blog is sponsored by Israel Tennis Centers Foundation