Israel Tennis Centers Foundation is now the Israel Tennis & Education Centers.
Israel Tennis & Education Centers Foundation, which announced the name change on July 25, is a social service organization that empowers vulnerable children from diverse backgrounds and opened its first center in 1976 in Ramat Hasharon, a Tel Aviv suburb. The organization was initially spearheaded by a group that included Dr. William Lippy of Warren.
Jackie Glodstein, executive vice president, global development for Israel Tennis & Education Centers, said the change in name was driven to reflect the work they do at the organization.
“We utilize tennis as a framework to bring kids in the door, to teach them life skills and values,” she said. “We combine that with informal educational programs in the sports setting where we provide enrichment activities, particularly for vulnerable children whose parents don’t have the opportunity or the wherewithal to provide them with the extra-curricular actives that we like to provide our children here in the United States.
“We utilize that opportunity within the tennis centers. So there’s study hall, we teach them health and wellness and English is the international language of tennis, so we can teach tennis and English or tennis in the classroom. Our core programs on the social side feature at-risk youth, special-needs children, college assistance programs and girls’ empowerment.”
Glodstein said the foundation “covers the gamut” of tennis programs, with offerings for children from ages 3 to 18, including via an after-school tennis program. She said the high-performing children have opportunities to play in tennis tournaments and many also earn scholarships to play tennis in the U.S. based on what they learn at the tennis centers.
She said the Aug. 20 event is for “everyone, for the entire family” and is open to the public.
“It’s a great way to engage younger families and their children with Israel in a very personal way, because they interact with our children – the players that we’re bringing (from Israel) – form personal relationships, stay in touch through social media and many of them have a lifelong relationship on a personal level because of the friendships formed through the tennis centers.”