For over four decades, ITEC has embraced Israeli youth across all cultures and ethnicities. ITEC believes strongly that the tennis court is an ideal venue to enable young people from all backgrounds to meet, play, compete and engage in a spirit of shared opportunity, mutual respect and friendship. ITEC’s proactive outreach to the parents , educators, children, and youth of Israel’s Arab cities and towns reflects our deep commitment to Excellence, Equality, and Education as we help nurture and develop tomorrow’s leaders.
The historic 2020 Abraham Accords that ushered in an unprecedented spirit of Peace and normalization between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan have helped bolster good neighborliness collaboration, cooperation and embrace between Jewish and Arab communities throughout Israel.
For 45 years ITEC has embraced Abraham’s spirit in reaching out to Arab, Bedouin and Druze youth. The Abraham Normalization Accords have provided even broader opportunities for ITEC to expand and deepen relations with the children and youth of Israeli Arab cities, towns, and Municipalities.
ITEC’s social impact programs provide tennis lessons, fitness instruction, group counseling, tutoring, mentoring, and educational enrichment activities to children in Israel. Our 17 tennis and education centers across Israel foster friendships in an open, friendly, compassionate and loving environment enabling every ITEC child to fulfill his/her potential on and off the court.
February 2022 – We’re thrilled to share the opening of our 17th ITEC center, which is truly unlike any other.
This center is in the city of Tayibe, the second largest Arab city in Israel; this opening is possible through groundbreaking collaboration between ITEC and Tayibe’s local government. The leaders of Tayibe believe in ITEC’s unique blend of tennis and education to help their children reach their potential.
In this video, a Tayibe elementary school principal shares why introducing children from different cultures is key to Jewish and Arab people living in peace.
Bringing children together is one step in our ground-breaking “Abraham’s Bridge” initiative, with the goal of creating peace and partnership through humanity. Together we can bridge the divide between Arab and Jewish cultures and our children are the foundation needed to forge a stronger Israel.
January 2022 – ITEC is dedicated to providing support where there is need, throughout the Middle East region. Now, children in the Druze community in Mas’ada in the Golan Heights are part of our ITEC family; this satellite center of Kiryat Shmona offers immersive after-school programs.
January 2022 – An elementary school principal from Tayibe, one of the largest Arab cities in Israel, shares why introducing children from different cultures is key to peace. Bringing children together is one step in our ground-breaking “Abraham’s Bridge” initiative, with the goal of creating peace and partnership through humanity. Together we can bridge the divide between Arab and Jewish cultures and our children are the foundation needed to forge a stronger Israeli society.
January 2022 – Moments like this make us proud of the bridges we are building. Hours after helping to resurface tennis courts in the Bedouin town of Rahat, Mayor Sheikh Faiz Abu Saheban shared some thoughts. Despite some of the mistakes by google translate, his sentiment of partnership still shines through and it is very powerful!
December 2021 – ITEC coach Ronen Moralli was invited to deliver an inspirational coaching session to Tayibe’s soccer team!
This influential session emphasizes the power of the ITEC philosophy – it’s not about one sport in particular. By using sports as a medium and sharing the ITEC culture with diverse communities in Israel, we hope to build bonds and connections that can produce a stronger, more inclusive society.
November, 2021 – At ITEC Beer Sheva, a group of Bedouin girls from the nearby city of Rahat participate in our Girls Empowerment program.
This program seeks to foster autonomy and self-confidence among all girls living in Israel through tennis lessons, physical fitness, mentorship, and empowerment seminars led by trained professionals.
By bringing these groups together, we aim to instill a cross-cultural understanding that continues to grow stronger for future Israeli generations.
November, 2021 – ITEC recently partnered with elementary schools in Tayibe to provide support and programming for students.
September, 2021 – ITEC held a round table inviting locals from Rahat to discuss the needs of the community and how we could work together to support each other as partners.
Jewish and Arab men and women, sitting around the table, welcoming each other, offering creative ideas and solutions has brought us one step closer to a stronger Israeli society.
In empowering the women of Rahat and allowing everyone’s voice to be heard, we aim to create a shared sense of identity and build a more inclusive society for the next generation in Israel.
August, 2021 – With the support of the Mayor of Rahat, Sheikh Faiz Abu Sihiban, and the Chairman of the City Sports Committee, Amar Abu Jarara, we are working alongside local leaders to instill ITEC values in the youth.
ITEC staff has been training educators in Rahat in the past months to develop local ITEC programming that we hope will one day produce a more connected and inclusive generation.
By sharing our mission and values with Bedouin communities, we hope to support more children in Israel and help build a better tomorrow.
July, 2021 – At ITEC’s Tayibe Leadership day in May 2021, legendary ITEC coach Ronen Moralli connected with a new friend, Esman. The moment Ronen invited Esman on the court was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. As the day concluded, Esman invited Ronen and ITEC staff to visit the orphanage she runs in Tayibe.
Ronen was first welcomed to the orphanage to lecture staff on positive leadership. After the lecture, Ronen led the group in outdoor tennis activities and developed a special connection to a child living at the orphanage. One week later, ITEC staff returned to share a day of programming with the 60 children living in the orphanage.
During these special visits, bonds were formed, and we were inspired to see Arab and Jewish coaches working together to teach children of all backgrounds how to play tennis. We hope to strengthen these bonds through continued visits and efforts at the orphanage to help build a better future for all children in Israel.
July 2021 – In spite of challenges faced in Israel this year, ITEC remains committed to extending its hand to more children in Israel. ITEC’s CEO, Erez Vider describes the meaning behind the organization’s latest initiative, “Abraham’s Bridge.” The goal is to help build a stronger society in Israel. At the core of that strength is human connection, which starts with our children – the next generation of leadership. We hope that providing children with opportunities to collaborate in a diverse setting will help nurture and celebrate new bonds that will lead to a better future for all.
June 2021 – The ITEC Foundation received letters from Israeli leaders endorsing their support for our Abraham’s Bridge initiative.
Letter from Former President Rivlin
Letter from Mansour Abbas, Leader of the United Arab List and Chair of Special Committee on Arab Society Affairs in the Knesset
June 2021 – Despite the recent tensions in Israel, ITEC and its partners remain committed to furthering their initiatives to reach and support more children in Israel. On June 7, 2021, ITEC leadership and collaborators from the Bedouin city of Rahat gathered at the Partnership Forum in Ramat Hasharon. Speakers on the forum included Sheikh Faiz Abu Sahiban, Mayor of Rahat, Dr. Ian Froman, Co-Founder of the Israel Tennis & Education Centers, Dan Diker, Vice Chairman ITEC International Board of Directors, Erez Vider, ITEC Global CEO, and Aliza Abedelkader, Women’s Empowerment Advocate in Rahat. The day consisted of relationship building, leadership, excellence, inclusion, and tennis.
Rahat Leadership Day represents a large part of ITEC’s mission – to provide immediate assistance and equal opportunities to Arab children. Through street tennis and in-school programs, ITEC staff can help bring tennis to the children of Rahat sooner rather than later. ITEC’s ultimate goal is to build a center in Rahat that can bring ITEC’s services directly to the Bedouin community, hoping to promote living together in peace and help develop the next generation of leadership.
May 2021 – In early May, tensions began to rise, sparking unrest among the people of Israel. During this tense time, ITEC remained committed to providing a safe, inclusive environment for children of all backgrounds in Israel. Despite the potential danger guests faced, on May 20, 2021, it was a pleasure to welcome guests to a previously planned leadership day. Collaborators from Tayibe, the second-largest Arab city in Israel, were invited for a day of cross-cultural exchange and hospitality at our headquarters in Ramat Hasharon. This event was only the beginning of a larger initiative to bring ITEC’s unique formula for inclusion directly into Arab communities by partnering with Tayibe and the Bedouin city of Rahat. ITEC aims to build bridges through the vehicle of tennis and sports diplomacy to extend its reach to more children in Israel!
December 2020 – In 2020, ITEC student Mika Dagan-Fruchtman became the first Israeli tennis player to be invited to a WTA tournament in the United Arab Emirates after the normalization agreement between the UAE and Israel. Ranked among the top 200 tennis players worldwide and the top eight in Israel, Mika participated in a ranking tournament in Dubai. It was a historical moment to be warmly received by our new friends and neighbors and to see Israel’s flag flying proudly on the courts in Dubai.