July 9, 2009 / 17 Tammuz 5769
On July 1st, 14 Ethiopian children celebrated their completion of the 'On the Ball' program: a year of tennis and educational enrichment activities at the tennis center in Jerusalem and at the Mevasseret Zion Absorption Center. Thanks to the generosity of Adam Silverman and Sam Kramer from the UJA-Federation of New York, and the Jewish Agency for Israel, this program was able to meet the unique physical education and educational enrichment needs of these Ethiopian youth as they integrated into Israeli society.
The ceremony was attended by Eli Cohen, the Director of Aliyah and Klitah activities at the Jewish Agency for Israel, and Tal Brody, former star of the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball club. Galia Glass attended the ceremony, representing the UJA-Federation of New York and the boys, who campaigned in their community to raise funds for the program as they prepared for their Bar-Mitzvot. Galia read letters from Adam and Sam, who were both thrilled that the ceremony took place, and sad that they could not be in attendance.
The children participating in the program received trophies, certificates and medals, and read speeches thanking Sam Kramer and Adam Silverman, the UJA federation of New York, and the Jewish Agency for Israel for their assistance in making this program possible.