Love of basketball makes for a great mitzvah project


WASHINGTON—In honor of the start of the NBA season, PeacePlayers International (PPI), a nonprofit that uses basketball to build peace in areas of conflict around the world, is launching a new “Mitzvah Campaign” that helps young Jewish people around the United States use basketball to create peace and fulfill their tikkun olam projects as part of their bar/bat mitzvah preparations.

Throughout the 2015/16 NBA season, thousands of Jewish youth around the country will have the opportunity to participate in 3 on 3 charity basketball tournaments to raise support for PPI’s programs in Israel. The aim of the campaign is to (1) give Jewish-American teenagers the opportunity to use the sport they love to impact the lives of thousands of children around the world, and (2) educate youth living in America about the conflict in Israel through the lens of conflict resolution and global social justice.

Legendary Sports Agent and New York Times best-selling author, Ronald M. Shapiro said, “PeacePlayers International’s Mitzvah Campaign is a great avenue to allowing Jewish-American youth connect with Israel in a positive way—through basketball and peace. By tapping into children’s passion for sport, this campaign is enabling more Arabs and Jews in Israel to play together, letting the common denominator of sport bring them together.”

76ers NBA Head Coach, Brett Brown, who recently visited PPI’s program in Israel said, “It was incredible to see firsthand just how impactful basketball can be in bringing together young people from both sides of one of the world’s toughest conflicts. In coaching them, I saw how dedicated they are to both becoming better players and people; if peace between Israelis and Palestinians is achieved, these will be the kids behind it.”

For further information please contact Adam Hirsch, deputy director of Development and Communications, at 202-408-5111 or


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