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 and the West Bank, 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.
Neta Patrick joined as Managing Director of PeacePlayers Middle East in March 2020. She is an Israeli lawyer with 13 years of experience working for the third sector as a lawyer and an executive director.
Neta served as Executive Director of Yesh-Din, an Israeli human rights organization working to enhance the rule of law in the occupied territories and protect human rights.
Prior to Yesh-Din Neta worked as a lawyer specializing in Israeli constitutional and international human rights law in a private law firm and later as the head of the International Human Rights Law Clinic at the Hebrew University School of Law in Jerusalem.
Neta holds an LLB from Tel Aviv University in Law and Gender Studies, and an LLM from Columbia Law school, both with honors. Just prior to joining PeacePlayers, she was most recently a program manager at the Tel Aviv University Entrepreneurship Center, where she focused on Social Entrepreneurship.
Sharon Rubinstein has been working as a resource development professional for grassroots service organizations for the last 13 years. She joined PeacePlayers in April of 2012 as a Development Associate, and has since grown into the role of Senior Resource Development and Compliance Manager – leading the organization’s fundraising and development initiatives, providing support to the marketing and communications team, and serving as a compliance specialist for the organization’s work with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Sharon is a graduate of The Ohio State University (OSU). Her focus in minority studies, among other experiences at OSU, led Sharon to shift her career focus to the nonprofit sector. She received a Master’s in Nonprofit Administration (MNA) from John Carroll University in 2009, and has served as an active member of both AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals) and the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network’s (YNPN) Cleveland chapter.
Sharon was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, but moved to Beachwood, Ohio at a very young age. Moving back to Israel had always been a dream, and Sharon made it a reality when she made “Aliyah” in 2012. Currently, Sharon resides in Givatayim, Israel with her husband Mark and two children, Sophie and Gabriel (Gabi).
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.
Muhammad was born and raised in Jatt, a city in the North of Israel. From an early age, Muhammad has always loved sports, particularly basketball, which led him to not only play for his team in Jatt but to eventually start coaching. He joined PeacePlayers in 2017 and has since been coaching, and running twinings between boys’ and girls’ teams in Meiser, Binyamina, and other cities in the North. In 2020, Muhammad completed his degree in Sports Education from the Wingate Institute and began teaching sports education at a local school to youth from grades 10 to 12.
Location: Middle East
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.
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.
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.
Neta Daniel is a PeacePlayers alumna who recently joined the PeacePlayers Middle East team as a Program Manager. Neta is a true representation of PeacePlayers’ leadership pipeline, having grown up in the program and now leading several activities. Her relationship with PeacePlayers started almost a decade ago when she joined as a participant in 2012. She is a graduate of several PeacePlayers Middle East programs including the Jerusalem All-Stars and the Leadership Development Program. She was also a member of the first-ever All-Stars team to win a championship back in 2014.
Prior to joining PeacePlayers, Neta had never met an Arab and only based her perspective of “the other side” on what she saw in the media. It was when she began playing basketball with her Arab counterparts that her perspective around the conflict changed, and specifically, that she realized that Arabs and Jews have much more in common than she ever realized.
Over the years, Neta has passed on this message to those around her, including her friends, family, and members of her community. Now that Neta has completed her compulsory national military service, she has joined her PeacePlayers family and is excited to take on the role of manager of several programs in Jerusalem. Neta will also work jointly with her Arab colleagues in coaching and facilitating several joint activities.
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.