Tel Aviv, Israel Sunday, December 12th, on a rainy and stormy day when most people would not venture out from their homes, Bring It In - Israel Fellows Sam Forman, Gabi Remz from Young Judaea Yearcourse, and Meagan Newman from Career Israel, showed tremendous resolve and dedication not only coming to Bialik School in Tel Aviv, but bringing with them an impressive amount of positive energy and enthusiasm. In the near hurricane like conditions, Fellows changed buses two times in order to show up at Bialik School in Southern Tel Aviv to coach children from the after school program. Bialik is an amazing school made up of children from around the world, many of which our children of refugees from Darfur and Western Africa.
The children were extremely excited to see the coaches. BII Fellow Gabi Remz started the day off leading the children through a warmup that consisted of jogging in place, high knees, and jumping. Bring It In - Israel in field training days consist of teaching Israeli children English, teamwork, listening, and communication. BII Fellow Sam Forman ran a defensive warm up with quick feet and 360 jumping that had the children smiling and laughing. BII Fellow Meagen Newman lead group call and response stretching. The children were then split up into three teams to partake in basketball drills and relay races. According to Bring It In - Israel Head Coach David Lasday, "The Fellows were incredible. First coming out in terrible weather conditions, and then being able to work within a classroom, in a small space. They were truly dynamic." For more pictures from this great in field training day click here.
Jerusalem, Israel Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, Bring It In - Israel Winter Fellows met with David Kramer Founder of the NU Campaign, a company that promotes Israeli causes through awesome T-Shirts that tell the story of the cause. Kramer spoke with the Fellows about the power of a story to teach people, connect them to a place, and inspire. Kramer encouraged the Fellows to find their own stories during the Bring It In - Israel Fellowship, and share them with youth back in North America. In the spirit of Hannuka, Kramer went on to tell Fellows a story from his youth, growing up in South Africa, about how a small spark can change the world.
As part of the Bring It In - Israel Fellowship, each Fellow received a NU Campaign shirt. According to Bring It In - Israel Head Coach David Lasday, "We at Bring It In - Israel feel that it is important for Fellows to compile and share their own personal stories from their experience as part of our program. Moreover, as Israel Sports Educators they have the platform to promote the stories of other amazing Israeli causes and successes. The NU Campaign is doing important work and we were lucky to have Kramer come talk with our group." The Fellows were so excited about the NU Campaign Shirts, that they are making plans for Kramer to come speak with their perspective long term Israel programs
Kramer and Lasday took the opportunity to talk with the group about their experience as 2010 PresenTense Summer Global Fellows, telling fellows about the different tools, skills, and networking the PresenTense Fellowship offered. Kramer told the Fellows that due to the group pitching throughout the PT Fellowship, he knew the inside outs of the Bring It In - Israel Fellowship before it ever came into exstence.
Fellows left the sessions inspired to hone their own stories from their Bring It In - Israel experiences, in order to educate and connect Jewish youth in North America to Israel.
December 6th, Netanya, Israel, Bring It In - Israel Fellows joined players from Barak Netanya to hold a special Hannukah Clinic for children from Rav Cook after school program. Children were very excited to meet Netanya players and Bring It In - Israel coaches from North America. Barak Netanya brought the children basketballs and official team shirts. There were big smiles all around as the children had the opportunity to get their pictures taken with players.
The excitement and energy continued into the practice. Children learned the names of the lines of the court in English and had the opportunity to stretch in English with Barak Netanya player Jacob Colburn. Bring It In - Israel Fellow Chava Dashevsky was a star Hebrew translator. Chava lead the children through ball handling drills, relay races, and other team building games. The practice ended with the hands in cheer "We are"... "Barak Netanya." The children's faces shined with pride and enjoyment.
Click here to see more pictures.
Blog post by Bring It In - Israel Winter Fellow Meagan Newman
November 28th, Jaffa. Head spinning, nose running, and finger swelling, up out of bed I go, take some Tylenol, grab some tissue, and tape up my finger eager to rock some kid’s worlds for two hours of amazing Basketball fun! Riding solo as the only winter fellow at the Weitzman School in Jaffa on Sunday November 28 I used this opportunity to hone in on my Hebrew skills. I arrived at the school during recess and immediately took the opportunity to join in on the fun dancing with a group in the middle of the yard. Play and sport has always been the easiest way to relate to youth, and to start to build a
rapport with them; and it is fun!
The theme of the day was focusing on positive reinforcement and feedback in Hebrew. Being the only fellow there, I knew I would be given multiple opportunities to lead the session practicing my Hebrew skills. I was perched at the top of the court after giving an example so I was in a good position to cheer on the kids as they came around the cones half way through their relay races. This gave me the opportunity
to give them some positive feedback quickly as they went back into the final stretch before hand off, having the time to make any minor corrections. I feel as though the kids valued from my positive feedback as they knew they were starting to grow stronger as little players.
Overall, even with a head cold and jammed/bruised finger, spirits were high and positive attitudes of both myself and the class elevated the atmosphere. It was a great experience being solo as I was forced out of my comfort zone to use my Hebrew to connect with the class on a different level. Thank you Weitzman for a
Click Here for more pictures.
November 29th, Bring It In - Israel Fellows Judah Batist and Jacob Walker from Aardvark Israel showed why they were chosen as Bring It In - Israel Fellows Monday morning at Henesuee School in Jerusalem. Quiet and attentive at training sessions and previous in the field training sessions, Judah and Jacob stepped up and lead the event. The two Toronto Fellows acted as a tag team, taking turns demonstrating drills, giving instructions, teaching English phrases, and getting the children cheering. Both demonstrated excellent command of the Bring It In - Israel curriculum and Hebrew sports vocabulary.
Henesuee School, located in downtown Jerusalem, encourages children to choose what subjects they want to study. On Monday that was clearly basketball and team building games. Both the 3rd and 5th grade classes had an amazing time. Every child in the gym was cheering. After the event Judah and Jacob were full of ideas for Israel Sports Days back in North America. Jacob said that it was his best day so far in Israel.
After the spirited sports activities Henesuee gym teacher Ruti said, "Bring It In - Israel is always welcome at Henesuee school." Click here for pictures from the event.
This blog post is by Bring It In - Israel Winter Fellow Meagan Newman
Training Day 2: Wednesday November 24, 2010 with Vito Gilic from Wingate. It was an amazing Wednesday evening at the Hands in Hands School in Jerusalem where the fellows got a rare treat to gain some very valuable insight from one of the most innovative and intricate coaches in Israel. Vito Gilic who has been coaching in Israel for the past 10 years joined the fellows sharing his tricks of the trade. The main point reiterated throughout the night was the importance of combining together both personal skills with basketball skills in every drill.
The night started off with dribbling skills incorporating teamwork and creative thought. In pairs, fellows started dribbling side by side with the right hand leaning on each other until half court. At that point the partners broke apart and each did a lay-up (person on the left did a left hand, right a right hand lay-up). As the drills were completed a new element was added such as holding hands behind each other’s back or linking inside legs encouraging creative thought on how to stay together as a team.
The next set of drills were passing skills. This drill set incorporated a lot of teamwork and coordination of both partners. Side step hand offs was the name of the game as partners made there way up and down the court side step shuffling while both tossing each other a ball at the same time with their right hand and catching with the left. The progression of the drill switched to catching with you right hand and throwing with the left to taking two shuffles, faking left and throwing
right to a fun game where partners were still passing both balls but were now squared to the basket like one would be in a game situation passing then taking a shot. Competition was added when the drill would end when the first fellow reached three shots in consecutively.
Simple objects were incorporated into the practice when the fellows worked on multiple skills using a cone. Coordination and teamwork were prevalent when partners each had a cone and a ball and had to dribble and try to catch the ball on the cone when the partner decided to pass. Then, the partner who caught the ball on the cone proceeded to toss the ball back while maintaining a constant dribble. This
moved into a relay race increasing the skills as new elements included dribbling, crossovers, and catching.
The final minutes of the practice were spent playing a type of full court game. Each team member was given a number. That number defined how many points their shots were worth. No team is allowed to dribble at the beginning but as teams scored, your point value equaled the amount of dribbles your team was allocated. The game was played to 15 and was a great way to end the practice. This game had more meaning behind it, as it is a way to manage equal and fair play. The game could be set up so the dominant more experienced player is worth one point and the struggling player worth the most. This not only give the struggling player more opportunities to practice but puts the strong player in a leading role making sure to feed the ball to other team members and not just carry the team themselves. Vito showed us unique ways to educate youth through basketball but made sure we recognized that it could be transferrable to other coaching situations and sports.
A big thumbs up for an amazing night the fellows are looking forward to testing out their new skills this coming Friday with a session back at Hand in Hand. Toda Raba Vito!!
Monday November 22nd, Bring It In - Israel Head Coach David Lasday and Fellows Meagan Newman (Career Israel) and Chava Dashevsky (Real Life Israel), watched Bnei Hasharon take on Ashdod in the Israeli Men’s Premier Basketball League. Meagan, who is interning with the Bnei Hasharon basketball club as part of her internship with Career Israel, got Bring It In - Israel tickets. It was a hotly contested match that went into overtime. In the end the home team Bnei Hasharon lost to visiting Ashdod.
Fellows benefited from the exposure to a professional Israeli sporting event, interacting with fans and learning Israeli cheers and sports vocabulary. The Canadian fellows even found a boy from Ranana wearing an Israel Canada T-shirt.
A big thank you to the Bnei Hasharon club for hosting us.
Bring It In - Israel Winter Fellows participated in their first in the field training day in Jaffa at Hashmonaim Elementary School. Hashmonaim is between the Ajami neighborhood of Jaffa and Bat Yam. Fellows gained hands on experience running team building basketball games for Israeli children from 1st to 5th grade. They also had a chance to hone their Hebrew sports vocabulary while talking with the children. The day was done in partnership with PeacePlayers International - Middle East and Bnei Brit Community Center. The morning activities were run by Toronto Fellows Chava Dashevsky, from Real Life Israel, and Judah Batist and Jacob Walker from Aarvark. As Toronto's partnership 2000 city is Bat Yam, Bring It In - Israel Fellows look forward to bringing back their experience to Toronto running Israel Sports Days at religious schools, day schools, and camps.