PeacePlayers Middle East engages over 500 Palestinian and Israeli youth each year, ages 6-25, in year-round and multi-year basketball training, conflict resolution education and leadership development activities in Israel, with its head office in Tel Aviv – Jaffa. Programs are divided into five tiers:
of participants are more positive about the outgroup following participation
of participants have developed cross-community friendships
of participants report improved self-esteem
of participants have confidence in their ability to serve as leaders within PeacePlayers and in their communities
Recent 8 year randomized control trial study in the Middle East proves the impact of PeacePlayers on building peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
With a BA in Social Work from Bar-Ilan University, Shlomit joined the organization in early 2012 after living in New York City for six years. After gaining experience in bookkeeping in the US, she started running the finance department in the Middle East and has continued to do so to this date. Her financial work involves not only local responsibilities but also a global collaboration with the US staff and finance team. Over the years, Shlomit has also been essential in many other parts of the organization, including administrative work, ongoing office management, and using her incredible talent in anything related to graphic design. Shlomit lives in Tel Aviv with her husband Avner and adorable son Eytan.
Tahila was born in Maputo, Mozambique, and moved to South Africa at the age of 16 to pursue her studies at the University of Cape Town (UCT). Tahila holds an Honors Degree in Gender and Transformation and a Master’s Degree in African Studies from UCT.
Prior to joining PeacePlayers, she worked as a researcher and writer for a number of Southern African human rights, gender, and LGBTI rights nonprofits and foundations, such as the Heinrich Boell Foundation, The Other Foundation, and Iranti-Org. In the Spring of 2017, Tahila moved to Tel Aviv, Israel, where she completed a Professional Fundraising Course from NGO Catalyst. She joined PeacePlayers Middle East in the summer of 2019, and now works in the resource development, communications, and marketing departments.
Alona was born in Russia, and moved to Israel in 2011. She played professional basketball in Elitzur Ramla for four years, and then found her passion for coaching. She joined PeacePlayers as a coach in September of 2018,and has since been coaching the younger All-Stars mixed teams. In the last few years, Alona hasalso played a significant role in coordinating activities with program managers, and most recently, she has become responsible for coordinating attendance, scheduling games.
Duha is a leader, peacebuilder, basketball player and coach, who was born and raised in a conservative village in East Jerusalem. She joined PeacePlayers in 2006 when she was only 10-years-old and has grown from being a participant to becoming an essential pillar of the program. She was a founding member of the Jerusalem All-Stars, the first and to this date, only mixed Arab-Jewish team to play in the elite Israeli league, and she was also one of the first certified female basketball coaches from East Jerusalem.
Over the past 14 years, Duha has also worked with several international peacebuilding initiatives worldwide and has shared her story to inspire others in many parts of the world including the White House and the Laureus World Sports program in both Germany and Monaco. Today, she is PP-ME’s Program Manager in Jerusalem and is also a critical member of several PeacePlayers projects around the globe.
Musa is a PeacePlayers alumnus who has recently become a coach and program coordinator for some of PP-ME’s programs in Jerusalem. He has been a part of the PeacePlayers family for over 12 years and was one of the pioneers of many PP-ME programs, including the PeacePlayers Basketball Clubs and the Leadership Development Program.
When Musa joined PeacePlayers 12 years ago, he joined to play basketball and was reluctant to interact with his Jewish peers. But after a few mixed activities, he started opening up and slowly began working together with his Jewish counterparts to achieve common goals both on and off the court. With time, Musa built life-long friendships with Arab and Jewish youth in the program and found himself standing up for peace and cooperation at home, in school, and in his community.
Today, Musa is not only a coach and coordinator but is also a prominent leader and role model for the younger youth in the program. In addition to his work at PeacePlayers, Musa is also pursuing a degree in Medicine.
Malak is an Arab young leader from East Jerusalem, who has been with PeacePlayers for about nine years. She joined the PeacePlayers Basketball Clubs when she was only 10-years-old, and though she was skeptical at first, her father’s encouragement and her love for basketball motivated her to stay. In 2012, Malak became one of the founding members of the PeacePlayers All-Stars, and at the age of 13, she joined the Leadership Development Program (LDP) through which she received training as a coach and peace education facilitator.
Today, Malak is a leader, a peacebuilder, and a role model for hundreds of youth leaders in and around Jerusalem. She is currently pursuing her post-secondary studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Communication, Journalism and International Relations. At PeacePlayers, she is currently working with the global team as a member of the Leadership Academy Steering Committee and is due to begin coaching again.
Ofir joined PeacePlayers Middle East as a participant in 2015 and graduated from a series of programs including the All-Stars and Leadership Development Project (LDP). She earned her coach’s certification in 2018 and subsequently began coaching a number of teams in West Jerusalem. She eventually took a hiatus for her mandatory military service, but during her time there, she remained involved with PeacePlayers as an alumna. In 2022, she officially joined the organization as a Project Coordinator, to run PeacePlayers ME’s Alumni Engagement Project and oversee the youth programming in West Jerusalem.