Shalom Life | January 30, 2015

Volunteers Jumping Through Hoops to Help At-Risk Israeli Youth

Hoops 4 Israel back for its Sixth Year

By: Daniel Horowitz

Published: May 1st, 2012 in News » World

Volunteers Jumping Through Hoops to Help At-Risk Israeli Youth

“Bounce, bounce!” “Squeak, squeak!” “Swoosh!”

The unmistakable sounds of HOOPS 4 Israel, the ground-breaking initiative founded five years ago by Jewish Toronto’s own David Goodman is back!

It was in 2007 when Goodman perceived that at-risk youth in the Ethiopian-Israeli community in Israel were in dire need of programs and initiatives that squarely focused on their continuing plight for social acceptance, access to education, and financial assistance. David, a huge basketball fan figured that by using sports, especially “Hoops”, basketball, that a groundswell of awareness could be brought to this issue, and he was right with the birth HOOPS 4 ISRAEL.

The initial plan was to raise $10,000 dollars and involve a few dozen Jewish volunteers in the process. Six years later, Hoops 4 Israel has become a highly anticipated annual event that has raised over half a million dollars, involved hundreds of volunteers and participants, and impacted the lives of hundreds of Ethiopian-Israelis through supporting sports and education programs in two communities in particular that are home to dense populations of Ethiopian-Israelis: Bat Yam and Kiryat Moshe, Israel.

In 2012, HOOPS 4 ISRAEL or “H4I” will take place on May 6th at the Kimel Family Education Centre on The Joseph & Wolfe Lebovic Jewish Community Campus in Vaughan, Ontario. Spearheaded as always by a dedicated and enthusiastic committee of community volunteers, and administrated over by the UJA’s young adult engagement division Community Connect, Hoops 4 Israel remains a powerful and heralded charity sports initiative. In addition to directly supporting programs that support at-risk youth in Israel such as the Zipori Educational Warm House and the Living Bridge Partnership, H4I has expanded its mandate to also include raising funds for underprivileged youth here in Toronto, giving children the chance to have access to summer programs through the JCC Chai Sports Scholarship Fund and the Centre Camp Scholarship Fund.

The tournament structure is 3-on-3, half court, round-robin play that makes for fast-paced, competitive games that provide great entertainment for player participants and spectators alike. A number of corporate sponsors, Not-For-Profit organizational partners, and generous private donors all contribute to making the event possible.

On Sunday May 6th 2012, the UJA’s Community Connect and the United Jewish Appeal of Greater Toronto invite you to take in the sights and sounds of the 6th annual HOOPS 4 ISRAEL at the Kimel Family Education Centre at 9600 Bathurst Street.

For more information or to schedule an interview with the UJA’s Community Connect regarding HOOPS 4 ISRAEL, please contact Moshe Modeira at 647-217-8099 or via email at mmodeira@ujafed.org

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