Playing on the same side

Being there on Tuesday when the Duke of Cambridge attended the football event in Jaffa, and seeing the Equalizer Programme team in shirts emblazoned with the UJIA logo, was a moment of pure pride for me.

It was a chance to shine a light on a genuinely amazing initiative where Jewish and Arab children, aged nine to 16, actually play together, which is all too rare in Israel.

UJIA is the biggest single funder of the Equalizer Programme, and we’re committed to the project because it’s forward-facing and makes a positive difference to Israeli society, for Jews and Arabs alike.

It instils educational, sporting and social values, and this year 998 children benefited from improvements in maths and literacy as well as developing life skills, self-confidence, confidence and leadership.

It is a journey, and the British Jewish community now supports a wide variety of shared existence programmes across Israel, through many different charities, not just UJIA.

This reflects evolving attitudes in the right direction and I hope that the royal visit will help to further this cause.

If I had one message to the Jewish community, I would say this: next time you are in Israel, please take a few hours of your time to visit an organisation that is addressing social cohesion in Israel.

Meet new people and get to know a different side of our homeland. I would be happy to arrange a visit to the Equalizer Programme in northern Israel, or another of our shared existence projects.

The Duke of Cambridge attends a session at the Equaliser football programme, Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Israel.
Photo credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire – via Jewish News 




About the Author
Natie Shevel is UJIA Regional Director 
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