Via Value Tolerance through Sports
Need: Internal political and ethnic tensions in Israel are causing deeper rifts within society, leading to racism, intolerance, and physical and verbal violence. Jewish and Arab communities rarely have the opportunity to meet and, influenced by regional politics, each group feels it is in conflict with the other, leading to racism and bigotry.
Concept: Studies in conflict resolution clearly demonstrate that the best way to eliminate barriers is for different groups to cooperate towards a shared goal. Via Value Tolerance through Sports instills social and educational values on the playing field and provides opportunities for different communities to meet and work together towards a shared objective.
Via Value programs bring together children, parents and coaches from different religious and ethnic backgrounds – Jews, Muslims, Christians, and immigrant groups – for friendly matches, shared development workshops, and community projects to develop tolerance and respect for others that extend into daily life. When coaches, players and parents work towards shared goals of sportsmanship, respect and tolerance on the field, these values are internalized and extend into daily life, leading to a society that is tolerant, cooperative and optimistic.
Via Value programs are run throughout Israel in partnership with the Israeli Community Centers Association and professional sports clubs. The programs equip coaches, who are the main drivers of change for young athletes, with the tools to incorporate educational outlooks and methods in their coaching. Via Value also runs parental workshops on positive involvement in their children’s athletic, academic and personal lives, and empowers youth counselors and volunteers to become community activists and role models for younger children.