NEWPORT – The International Tennis Hall of Fame is launching a partnership between Rhode Island and Israel, with a goal of uniting global communities through tennis.
TeamFAME, from Newport, and a team from the Israel Tennis and Education Centers will participate in the inaugural “Building Bridges Through Tennis,” Aug. 21-23, at the Tennis Hall of Fame, 194 Bellevue Ave.
As part of their preparation, the American players, who are students at Newport’s Thompson Middle School, attended four sessions at Temple Shalom, in Middletown, to learn some Hebrew and a bit about Israeli culture and geography. The players also got a taste of Israeli food and learned to write their names in Hebrew transliteration.
When the Israeli players and their chaperones arrive in Newport, they will stay with area host families. The teens are part of the Israel Tennis and Education Centers, an organization with chapters across Israel. Like TennisFAME, which is a chapter of National Junior Tennis & Learning, ITEC brings tennis to kids who might otherwise not play while also offering character education and academic enrichment.
The three-day multicultural learning experience kicks off on Aug. 21, when the groups gather to get to know one another. On Aug. 22, there will be a grass-court clinic, Davis Cup-style tournament and Exhibition Match, along with an adult tennis mixer. After tennis, at 5 p.m., there is a cocktail reception.
The public is invited to watch the players, play tennis and attend the reception. Attendance is free, but registration is required. Go to https://www.tennisfame.com/building-bridges for the complete schedule, registration and more information.
On its website, the Tennis Hall of Fame urges the public to “Come cheer the kids on, participate in the festivities and witness the magic of tennis in bridging cultural divides and nurturing young talent.”
FRAN OSTENDORF (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the editor of Jewish Rhode Island.