The Jerusalem Neighborhood League

The Jerusalem Neighborhood League 1
Some five years ago the Jerusalem soccer club HaPoel Katamon initiated the Neighborhood League as coexistence and community project. Ever since then the Jerusalem Foundation has been a major funding partner. Fifth and sixth graders, boys and girls, Jewish and Arab, from across the city are organized in the league, practicing soccer, participating in a learning centers and most of all – meeting once a month for the Daniel Gablinger Foundation Tournaments.

The Jerusalem Neighborhood League 2
One of the major goals of the Neighborhood League is facilitating contact between Hebrew and Arabic speaking youngsters in Jerusalem, fostering respect and good sportsmanship. The league's organizers are getting ready for the upcoming season opening in fall. They are optimistic for the upcoming year, despite of the trying times for Jewish-Arab coexistence that Jerusalem is currently experiencing. Our hopes are fueled by the successful matching of kids from Pisgat Ze'ev, a mostly Jewish neighborhood, and Bet Hanina, an adjacent Arab neighborhood. Asked whether they play with Jewish/Arab kids outside the Neighborhood League's Program, they all answered with "yes". It turned out that since they got to know each other thanks to the Neighborhood League, and in the 2013 – 2014 school year they met regularly on the sports field of the Teddy Kollek School in Pisgat Ze'ev and play soccer, which continued into the summer. Teddy Kollek, Jerusalem's legendary mayor and founder of the Jerusalem Foundation, would certainly have been proud to have his namesake school be a part of this coexistence success