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For many years now, the sport of softball in Israel has been evolving into the pastime that we all enjoyed when we were living abroad. The Israel Softball Association was founded by a group of North and South American immigrants in 1979, and it has done tremendous work in promoting the game to Israelis and in organizing leagues throughout the country.

One of our recent successes has been the development of our Junior Women's National Team, which has played in six consecutive European Championships. Our National Team competed at the World Championships in Clearwater, Florida in July 2017. That was the first time ever for an Israeli Junior Girls team at a World Championship. It is our goal to qualify for the Summer Olympics.

The National Team is preparing to participate this summer at the European Championships at the Open and U22 level. The teams are made up of an excellent mix of homegrown Israeli players and North American immigrants, all of whom love the game and who can now compete at the highest level. This specific undertaking of cultivating a pipeline of younger players could be a turning point for softball in Israel, as these players represent the future of the game in the country. A successful trip to the European Championships will give softball a huge boost, both in terms of the level of play that these kids will infuse into our leagues and in terms of the publicity the game will receive, and will mean one more step on the way towards the Olympics.

Moreover, we view this as a great chance for the team to positively represent Israel to players and fans from all around the globe. The girls have made lasting friendships with their fellow players, forever changing the way many of their counterparts view Israel. A trip to the European Championships is yet another opportunity for the girls to show the world that Israelis are respectful, convivial, and peace-loving, while competing every bit as hard as anyone else in the world.

However, because of the security situation in Israel and recent budget cuts, softball has lost a lot of its funding. We are grateful to partner with the Jewish National Fund in generating financial support for Team Israel Softball in their endeavor to represent Israel and the world Jewish community at the premier European tournament in our sport, and hopefully, ultimately, at the Olympics.

Thank you for your support through this JNF fundraiser.  It is vital to our success.