Game-worn, signed jerseys help Equalize playing field in Israel

The Equalizer combines education and empowerment values to help strengthen relations and increase equal opportunities.

Israeli basketball player Tamir Blatt signing his jersey (photo credit: The Equalizer/Courtesy)
Israeli basketball player Tamir Blatt signing his jersey
(photo credit: The Equalizer/Courtesy)

For the first time in Israel, game-used jerseys that were worn by the Philadelphia 76ers players in the playoffs this season, were sold at an auction this week as part of the fundraising campaign of The Equalizer non-profit.

The ongoing auction is held in the social media of The Equalizer non-profit organization and includes sport equipment and clothing items of soccer and basketball players from Israel and abroad. So far more than 10 items were sold, and a new record was set as Embiid’s jersey was sold for 5,800 NIS.

In the near future of the campaign, the jerseys of Omri Casspi, Tamir Blatt, Munas Dabbur, Shon Weissman and more will be put up for auction.

The Equalizer combines education and empowerment values to help strengthen relations and increase equal opportunities between different parts of Israel society.

The work is being done through five main programs operating in schools and community centers across Israel: The Equalizer, Boatot, 48ers, Special Goals and Safe Swimmers.

 Picture of Joel Embiid's and James Harden jerseys (credit: The Equalizer/Courtesy) Picture of Joel Embiid's and James Harden jerseys (credit: The Equalizer/Courtesy)

In 2022, over 7,500 children and youth participated in The Equalizer in more than 100 municipalities and local authorities.

The Equalizer is an Israeli non-profit organization, which operates in forms of teams in schools, combining education and empowerment values and strengthening relations. The organization is active in Israel social- periphery areas among under-privileged communities, promoting several goals, including equal opportunities for children and youth, development, and social mobility and reconciliation between different parts of Israel society. The work is being done through 5 main programs operating in schools and community centers across Israel: The Equalizer, Boatot, 48ers, Special Goals and Safe swimmers. In 2022, over 7,500 children and youth participated in The Equalizer in more than 100 municipalities and local authorities.

"We started the campaign two years ago after COVID-19 crisis, when we tried to find a creative way to solve the fundraising challenge," explained Liran Gerassi, CEO & Founder of The Equalizer. "Then, we first met new donors, men and women who never donated to any organization but opened their hearts to us. Not just 'collectors' or only football lovers, but anyone who believes in the importance and impact of education and sports on the future of the next generation."

The Philadelphia 76ers have been significant partners since the inception of the 48ers program, in which the non-profit runs basketball teams in schools on the social periphery of Israel. As part of activities, and in addition to basketball training and tournaments, the participants also undergo activities to instill values, team-building activities, volunteer in their communities, get to know the country and Israeli society and more.

Sixers Managing Partner, Mr. Josh Harris, was the founder and still is the main supporter of the program, which next year is planned to consist of more than 40 teams, across Israel.