Fathers and Sons on the Field
Established by the Joint Distribution Committee, Fathers and Sons on the field is a successful nationwide model for improving relationships between fathers and sons in some of Israel’s most vulnerable communities. The father-son pairs meet for weekly team practice and matches, guided by a professional soccer coach and a program coordinator, with fathers working on their parenting skills in separate group sessions with a social worker. Group outings and competitions serve to reinforce the father-son connection. Groups operate through a variety of frameworks, including parent-child centers, residential facilities for children and youth at risk, schools and the local municipalities. The program serves a wide range of children and parents from different sectors of Israeli society, including Jewish-Israelis, Arab-Israelis, Ethiopian-Israelis and new immigrants from South America and France. The Fathers and Sons on the field program is currently run across the country from Kiriyat Shemona in the north to Kiriyat Gat in the south.