Israel has been a land of conflict for almost 6000 years. Torn apart by religious differences, ethnic strife, cataclysmic events and faulty governments, the region has suffered greatly, and there is no peace. The fractions of ethnic and religious segments in the society run deep.
COCI came to Israel with a goal to help heal the rifts between the children. Board Member Pat Strong identified Happoel Ketter in Tel Aviv, a group who was forming a soccer league for underprivileged, disadvantaged, and disabled youth which worked across ethnic and religious divides. This league honored students with opportunities for group work before games, homework study sessions, and provided them with uniforms and resources to learn how to be one team, despite their differences.
From 2006 – 2011, COCI provided support to the program, called Bridge to Peace, became a model of diplomacy, young people on teams together, working together and rooting each other on, across the divides. Their parents, on the bleachers, cheering them on together. Celebrating the victories, as a team. Please view our slide show to learn more about COCI’s involvement in Tel Aviv, Israel.