Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Beit Shemesh, Israel— Just weeks after breaking ground to build the first regulation baseball stadium in the country and days after the Israel Association of Baseball’s (IAB) Team Israel ignited new excitement for the sport, an innovative crowd-funding campaign was launched via GoFundMe to raise funds to help build the complex.

In just a few days since launching the site https://www.gofundme.com/nkchs-beit-shemesh-baseball-field, the association has already secured large and small donations from people around the world who want to be a part of this historic initiative. This will be one of several fields that will be built throughout Israel with the support of the Jewish National Fund’s Project Baseball.

The facility will be situated in one of Israel’s most densely populated Anglo-speaking communities, helping children of new immigrants to Israel build confidence and become more socially integrated into Israeli society. Previously, the IAB was forced to rent soccer fields from surrounding communities. However, the organization is expanding its efforts and hopes to rapidly promote baseball as a leading sport in Israel.

“Our team’s thrilling run in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) put baseball in Israel on the map,” said Jordan Alter, who made Aliyah in 2005 from Fair Lawn, and heads the Beit Shemesh Baseball non-profit organization. “We see demand and attention growing, and now we need the infrastructure to capitalize on this momentum. This is where we need financial support to back up our growing projects.”

Founded in 1986 by a group of expatriate baseball enthusiasts living in Israel, the IAB’s goal is to promote and teach the game of baseball in Israel. About 1,000 players are part of the IAB’s leagues, ranging from Little League to adult. The IAB brings together Israelis of various ethnicities who play on teams within the country and represent Israel in national teams abroad. To read more or donate to the Bet Shemesh Baseball Field fund, visit https://www.gofundme.com/nkchs-beit-shemesh-baseball-field.

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