The student news site of Paul D. Schreiber Senior High School

The Schreiber Times

The student news site of Paul D. Schreiber Senior High School

The Schreiber Times

The student news site of Paul D. Schreiber Senior High School

The Schreiber Times

Schreiber Hosts Israeli Basketball Team

Schreiber fostered international connections on May 15 by hosting an Israeli high school basketball team, Hapoel Eshkol.  This event was made possible thanks to Project 24.  

Project 24 is an organization founded in November of 2023, just shortly after the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel.  The goal of this organization is to strengthen connections amongst Jews and Israelis worldwide, and to create projects that address the needs of those affected by the current war in the Middle East.  The organization aims to support Israel and its citizens through projects to directly help those in need.  An example of these events includes Hapoel Eshkol’s stay at Schreiber.

“The idea is through healing processes to help kids, Israel, and people in Israel recover from what happened in a way that donations sometimes don’t get to them; they’re just teenagers,” said Project 24’s founder Daniel Gradus, who attended the basketball game at Schreiber. 

The team’s time at Schreiber involved a basketball game against an integrated team of Schreiber’s varsity and JV players, and a discussion about the team member’s experiences on Oct. 7.

“I loved meeting these kids and I really learned a lot from this experience.  I hope more events like this happen in the future,” said sophomore Andrew Mak. 

Members of Hapoel Eshkol, a basketball team of the Eshkol region of Israel, belonged to one of the most impacted communities on Oct. 7.  After the attacks, each player had to evacuate to different areas of the country, and many of the team’s members lost their family members and homes.  

Schreiber is just one school of many in New York that Hapoel Eshkol visited, and because of their journey to America, the long separated team was finally reunited.

Project 24 brought Hapoel Eshkol to Schreiber High School through coordination with the UJA-Federation of New York.  UJA-Federation of New York is a philanthropic organization that has supported Jews all over the world since 1939.  Recently, they seek to specifically fund, support, and offer direct assistance to those impacted by the war in the Middle East.  

“Having students from Israel that were impacted on Oct. 7 share their stories with our students here in Port Washington and Schreiber brings an important sense of normalcy,” said Superintendent Dr. Michael Hynes.

The team was given a tour of the school, giving them a glimpse into the everyday routine of Schreiber students.  

The Hapoel Eshkol players’ moving speech was among the visit’s most touching moments.  The players gave their first-hand accounts of the traumatic events they experienced on Oct. 7, and for some, the irreversible effects of death and destruction.  The Israeli players’ stories touched the students who attended the event.  

“The basketball game against these players was not only a great time, but I learned a lot about their experiences and what they went through,” said sophomore Oren Shashoua.  

The event was an important first step toward promoting community involvement and cross-cultural understanding.  Hapoel Eshkol’s visit hopes to be the first of many similar exchanges.  Project 24 and Schreiber High School continue to look into ways to connect students on a cultural and educational level.  

“Meeting these kids was a really great experience, and I learned so much from it,” said sophomore Mason Zwerlein.