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Israel Hockey Exchange Program
The Israeli-American Ice Partnership is a cross-cultural exchange using ice hockey as a vehicle to build alliances, promote tolerance and cultural understanding among Jewish-Israeli, ArabIsraeli, and American youth who often live in unstable neighborhoods impacted by violence, poverty, drugs, or gangs. We explore leadership, diversity, team-building, conflict resolution, and overcoming challenges with our sister rink in Metula, Israel.
Rationale and Objectives Jewish and Muslim children in Israel grow up exposed to conflict and violence. Religious differences create a chasm while the physical separation of villages and towns provides limited opportunities for positive interactions and shared experiences. Most kibbutzim in Israel are either Jewish or Arab, and rarely interact. Similarly, many District youth grow up in poverty-stricken neighborhoods and, while separated by less than a mile from the nation’s political elite, typically never dream of attending college or travelling by air. Instead they grow accustomed to drug and gang violence common in their neighborhoods. Our youth need opportunities to overcome such challenges.
Promote understanding across cultures. Expose District youth to Middle Eastern culture, history, and religion. Build friendships among youth of various national, ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds including African American, Caucasian, Muslim, Jewish, and Christian youth in Israel and America through ice hockey.