The increasing occurrence of violence in schools is a troubling phenomenon. Tragic events like the killings at Santana High School in Santee, CA, and Columbine High School in Littleton, CO, underscore the depth of this problem in the U.S. Less well known, however, is that intolerance, lack of student motivation and violence affect Israeli schools as well.
In a 1998 report of the Israeli Public Commission to Minimize Violence Among Children and Youth, the Hon. Matan Vilnai, Chairman of the Public Commission and currently Israel's Minister of Science, Culture and Sport wrote, "In recent years, there has been a growing concern among the public, professionals and decision-makers with regard to the urgent need to curb violence among children and youth in Israel.
In the U.S., the CTSA has brought together the professional and amateur sports leagues to promote the values of good citizenship and education through sports. Working with the NFHS, the Citizenship Through Sports and Fine Arts Curriculum for High School Activities was developed for more than 17,000 high schools across the U.S. This innovative educational curriculum is designed for use in interscholastic activities. It provides equal opportunities, positive recognition and learning experiences for the students while promoting the values of good citizenship, sportsmanship, nonviolence, tolerance and respect for diversity.
In 1999, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) President Dr. Cedric W. Dempsey and his wife Dr. June Dempsey were honored by the AIFL with the AIFL Partners for Democracy Award for their work in strengthening the relationship between the U.S. and Israel and their lifelong dedication to youth, education and sports.
When the AIFL approached us about being recognized, we certainly appreciated the honor but at the same time we wanted to expand the cause," Dr. Cedric Dempsey said. "The AIFL was receptive to the tie-in with sports-to initiate a program for high-school athletes to go to Israel and vice versa. The program would be designed not as a highly competitive kind of experience but more as a sports exchange and educational exchange, which ties into the mission of the AIFL as well the mission of the CTSA.
Israeli educators and sports authorities contacted by the AIFL agreed that this program might help address some of the social and cultural problems facing Israeli high school students.
If you would like to adopt the program or an athlete in the program please contact
Tel: 212-213-8630 ext. 222