Location and general information
Ties between Arab and Jewish citizens in Israel are marred by ongoing conflict that has led to discrimination, fear, and distrust of ‘the other’ on both sides. Many of Israel’s municipalities and institutions, including schools, are uni-cultural, leaving few opportunities for integration between Jewish and Arab children that would allow them to challenge existing preconceptions and build mutual trust and the foundations for shared living. This has been exacerbated by isolation during COVID-19.
The Peres Center’s Sport in the Service of Peace: Playing Fair, Leading Peace project uses football as a peacebuilding tool. It recruits exceptional university-aged Young Leaders to participate in anti-discrimination, peace education and leadership training. These Young Leaders also develop and implement football activities for ‘twinned’ classes of Jewish and Arab schoolchildren using an award-winning sports-based peace education methodology. These activities include cross-cultural exchange, Hebrew/Arabic language learning, and joint football matches using the innovative FairPlay method where the players determine the rules of the game, referee themselves, and resolve conflicts on the pitch through facilitated dialogue. The project also provides educators with tools for promoting children’s rights and development through access to sport.
- Promote integration, anti-discrimination and dialogue among Jewish and Arab children and youth in Israel.
- Train Jewish and Arab Young Leaders in leadership development, conflict management and the use of football as a tool for peace education.
- Encourage positive changes in perceptions and the elimination of stereotypes through joint football and peace education activities for Jewish and Arab children.
- Promote the children’s rights toolkit for educators and a nationwide network of Jewish and Arab educators using football as an educational tool.
- Recruitment and training of 17 outstanding Young Leaders (half Jewish, half Arab, and half male, half female) from across Israel.
- School outreach developed and implemented by Jewish-Arab pairs of Young Leaders for classes of Jewish and Arab schoolchildren ages 8–12.
- Provision of distance-education support for teachers in light of COVID-19 to help them provide children with safe quality online activities focused on the themes of diversity, tolerance and inclusivity.
- Enhancement of the personal and professional leadership skills of 17 Jewish and Arab Young Leaders, as well as their mutual understanding and trust.
- Promotion of cooperation, trust, and understanding among 240 Jewish and Arab schoolchildren through joint football activities and peace education.
- Integration of anti-discrimination education into the school curriculum (both online and in the classroom) in 8 participating Jewish and Arab schools across Israel.