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Jerusalem of Youth!

Hapoel Jerusalem prove to be Champions on and off of the basketball court!

Dov Halickman Photography

On Thursday evening Hapoel “Bank Yahav” Jerusalem hosted a gala dinner and auction at Jerusalem’s Crowne Plaza hotel to support members of the youth teams who need help financially, socially and educationally.

Hanoch Daum, author and comedian auctioned off valuable championship rings, balls and autographed jerseys to raise money for the children who would otherwise not be able to attend Hapoel Jerusalem’s youth programs.

Players Lior Eliyahu and Yotam Halperin were happy to donate their championship rings to such an important cause and were delighted to be able to give back to the city of Jerusalem which is so supportive of the team.

All of the Hapoel “Bank Yahav” Jeursalem players were in attendance as well as many former players, fans and supporters of the team. Just eight months ago, Hapoel celebrated their first ever Israel Basketball League Championship.

Three Hapoel youth after school basketball programs are housed at The Red House in Orr Shalom’s Reut Home for Boys in Jerusalem. The home is for children who have been removed from their biological parents by the Ministry of Social Welfare following abuse, neglect, violence and traumas. These children are suffering from high anxiety levels causing behavioral disturbances and participation in Hapoel’s youth programs makes a huge difference in the lives of these children. The children are also given season passes to attend all of the home games.

Two Hapoel youth after school basketball programs are conducted for the children of Shalva, the Association for Mentally and Physically Challenged Children in Israel. Shalva offers high quality care for individuals with disabilities, empowering their families and promoting social inclusion. Having the opportunity to play basketball gives these children a chance to strengthen their muscles, gain confidence in themselves and feel part of the community. They also attend many Hapoel games and are honored each year at the annual Chanuka game.

In addition, Hapoel players visit sick children at Hadassah Hospital and children with cancer from Zichron Menachem are invited to attend the basketball games at the arena.

It is great to see the impact that Hapoel is already making with Jerusalem’s youth. We are looking forward to seeing the expansion of the youth programs to include more children who would otherwise not be able to join a youth basketball team or attend a professional basketball game.

Sharona Margolin Halickman