Jason Leonard OBE, Michael Freeman, Joel Stransky
Huge thanks go to His Excellency, Ambassador Mark Regev, Israeli Ambassador to the UK who hosted a reception to promote this important project at his residence in London.
The Atlas Foundation Rugby Champion for our work in Israel, Joel Stransky kindly attended, alongside Atlas Chairman Jason Leonard OBE.
Both Rugby Legends are Rugby World Cup winners, Joel at the famous 1995 championship in South Africa attended by Nelson Mandela, the first international championship after the end of apartheid; Jason at the 2003 championship in Australia when England won in the dying seconds with a drop goal by Jonny Wilkinson.
Joel played his international rugby for South Africa but has a Jewish father and Captained the South African team in the Maccabiah Games in Israel. Having lived through aparthied, and been part of the reconciliation effort that was so effective in rugby, he is a passionate supporter of this project that works to strengthen co-existence in Israel.
Jason played for England but has an Irish father and could have qualified to play for Ireland. In Ireland, rugby is a unified sport and he knows through his playing career and his family and friends in the country, how important this unified team has been to the peace and reconciliation effort on the 'Emerald Isle'
The reception was attended by existing supporters, and new supporters. While their gifts have been from UK sources directly to Atlas, rather than via GlobalGiving, the fund remains available for US funders to support. Each $1,500 supports a new school in Israel and we have 24 new schools identified for which funding is sought.