Bar mitzvah project dedicated to Jews, Arabs, Bedouins playing together

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RIVERDALE -

A bar mitzvah project is helping to bring together Israeli athletes of Jewish, Arab and Bedouin backgrounds.

The Israel Tennis Centers Foundation has 14 locations spread throughout Israel. It was created over 40 years ago by a group of global volunteers who wanted to create a safe haven for children after school during a clamorous time in the country after the Yom Kippur War.

Center athletes are now on a summer exhibition tour of the East Coast, which included an event at the Club of Riverdale. As part of his bar mitzvah project, Benjamin O'Connor Skloot was in attendance with friends and family, raising scholarship money so underserved children can acquire all life skills taught at the centers.

MORE: Interview with Israel Tennis Center executive VP

"I love tennis so much and I'm proud to be Jewish," Skloot said of why he chose the idea.

The foundation doesn't only cater to Jewish youth. With a core belief of coexistence, its programs are open to all children living in Israel regardless their religion, background or economic circumstance.

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