Baseball Association Pitches in at Tel Aviv School With Migrant Students

Special program launched at Bialik Rogozin, whose 1,200 pupils are primarily of Asian and African origin.

Nate Fish

The Israel Association of Baseball has launched a baseball program at the Bialik Rogozin School in south Tel Aviv. The school is attended predominantly by children of migrant workers from Asia and Africa who live in the neighborhood.

Bialik Rogozin is a unique school with a special learning environment. The pupils come from dozens of countries and speak different languages. Many have traveled to Israel on foot and some have lost parents and siblings on the way. But thanks to a committed staff and creative approach to education, the school is widely recognized as a great success despite the challenges the children face. The school houses some 1,200 students.

“We are very excited to add baseball to the list of activities we offer the kids,” says Eli Nechama, principal of Bialik Rogozin.

Ophir Katz, a professional educator and a player on Israel’s national team, will run the baseball program at Rogozin. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to teach the kids about baseball and give them an athletic opportunity they otherwise would not have,” said Katz.

The program was established in memory of Rabbi Paul Laderman, whose grandson is a keen baseball player in Tel Aviv.

“My father was a loving humanitarian all his life, so this project is the perfect fit,” said his son, Zev Laderman. “He loved baseball and was very proud that his grandson played baseball in Israel among the diverse communities here. In his memory, we are helping to spread baseball to all communities in Israel.”