A Net Gain for Israel

Israel has been put on the world’s tennis map–including the most promising appearances of its leading player, Shlomo Glickstein, at Wimbledon in Britain as well as in the U.S., Australia and elsewhere–largely thanks to establishment of the Israel Tennis Center (ITC) outside Tel Aviv and in other towns and villages in Israel.

The first 11 of 16 new courts at the ITC’s Jerusalem sub-center are to open this summer, built with a $40,000 contribution from South African Jewry, to be matched by contributions from other world Jewish communities. Another 17-court center is also to open later this year in Ashkelon, with funds raised in Britain.

Since the ITC’s first 16 court center and clubroom was opened in Ramat Hasharon near Tel Aviv five years ago, other tennis centers have been opened in Jaffa and Kiryat Shemona in Galilee, with construction of yet another set of courts in Haifa.

According to Ian Froman, ITC executive director, North American, British and West European Jewish communities have so far donated some $12 million for the establishment of the various centers which have till now provided tennis lessons and playing facilities, at a nominal cost, to about 30,000 boys and girls aged 8-13. Some of them have already appeared in international junior matches.

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