Soccer for Peace is a non-profit organization aiming to unite children of war-torn nations in their shared love of soccer. Based in New York City, the organization has no affiliation; political, religious or otherwise.
Originally conceived as a one-time event, Soccer for Peace has blossomed into an ongoing peace-building effort. In 2005 we held our first ever overnight camp, providing intensive soccer training and dialogue workshops to 25 Arab and 25 Jewish children. In 2006 we repeated the effort, albeit on a far larger scale. We returned in 2007, this time in partnership with the Maccabim Association, the community services arm of famed soccer club Maccabi Tel Aviv.
By virtue of our partnership with the Maccabim, Soccer for Peace enters into a new era of programming. Bonds forged at summer camp will be strengthened throughout our year-long program, and kids who get involved at age 10 will remain with us until they turn 16. We also believe that our collaboration provides a strong base for long-term growth, in terms of numbers and geography.
Ultimately, there is no limit to Soccer for Peace’s potential. Though conflict exists in every corner of the world, so too does soccer; the most watched and played sport on earth. United in their love of the game, participants in our programs form organic relationships, implicit in which are the trust and respect necessary for constructive dialogue. With this as our guiding principle, Soccer for Peace believes that sport can serve as both a metaphor and vehicle for peace in our time.
The Maccabim Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving social and educational opportunities for children in peripheral and downtrodden areas of Israel. The organization uses soccer to reach out to over 4,500 disadvantaged children, providing them with meaningful recreational activities while helping them integrate into society. In all of their programs, soccer serves as an educational tool to help participants gain important skills and life values. A notable framework that they run is The Barkai Center for Education, Soccer, and Coexistence. It is a platform that enables Jewish and Arab youngsters from Israel’s conflicted Wadi Ara region to interact with one another through soccer and dialogue activities. Goals of Peace is a cross-border coexistence program organized through the Barkai Center that enables Jewish and Arab youth from Israel and Palestinian children from Jenin to interact with one another through soccer, dialogue, and cultural enrichment activities.
This is just one of the great things that Maccabim is doing. To learn more download this packet or check out their website.
The Peres Center for Peace is Israel’s leading non-profit organization promoting peacebuilding between Israel and its Arab neighbors, and in particular between Israelis and Palestinians. Founded in 1996 by the President of Israel and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shimon Peres, the Peres Center conducts dozens of projects, involving thousands of Israelis and Palestinians, fostering socio-economic cooperation and people-to-people interaction in a wide range of fields, such as medicine, sports, agriculture, the environment, business, education, youth, technology, the arts, and more.
The Peres Center believes that working towards peace should not just be left to governments, but rather that Israeli and Palestinian civil society should be actively engaged in peacebuilding activities. Through bringing together Israelis and Palestinians and focusing on common Arab and Israeli social, economic, developmental, cultural and educational interests, the Peres Center enables real people-to-people relationships to be formed, paving the way to a real and lasting peace between peoples. Their mission is this:
Our mission is to build an infrastructure of peace and reconciliation by and for the people of the Middle East that promotes socio-economic development, while advancing cooperation and mutual understanding