Dear Family and Friends Who Are Just Like Family,
As many of you might already know, I'm considered the "sporty" one in my family. Even though I look fancy in this picture, I'm typically in a pair of sweats, ready for a game of...whatever! I especially love basketball. I love the sport itself, of course, but I also love the pride I feel in being part of a team working together and cheering one another on. I realize that not everyone is so lucky. I was introduced to the Israel Sport Center for the Disabled when they came to visit my school earlier this year, and I was blown away when I learned what the disabled athletes there have been able to accomplish with the Center's support.The Israel Sport Center for the Disabled is one of the world pioneers in the field of sports rehabilitation. It specializes in the physical and psychological rehabilitation of children and youth. This June, I will, g-d willing, become a Bat Mitzvah. In preparation for this huge milestone, I went on a trip to Israel, and was fortunate to have been able to visit and tour the Center, along with some of my friends. We got to meet Boaz and Caroline, both tremendously accomplished athletes. Boaz actually won a silver medal in wheelchair tennis at the Beijing Para Olympics, and Caroline has won medals playing table tennis. Boaz spoke from his heart about the desire and the need for all individuals to achieve excellence in their own ways. I totally get that! With a disability, however, achieving that level of pride and success might be more difficult. But at the Center, the talented and patient staff focuses on the abilities of each athlete, and not the disabilities. While we were there, we got a taste of what it's like to play wheelchair basketball. Let me tell you, it's TOUGH. Only one of us was able to make a basket, only once, and I'll let you in on a little secret - it wasn't me! That's OK - I'll keep practicing. In fact, I'd like to invite you all to give it a try yourselves! In honor of my upcoming Bat Mitzvah, and in order to raise awareness and, most importantly, funding for this incredible organization, my family and I will be hosting a special Basketball Exhibition and Experience on May 17th. I hope you're able to join us, but even if you can't make it, please consider donating to The ISCD. Israel's government covers only 1% of the Center's budget. That leaves the other 99% to us!
Thanks so much,