Campaign to build Israeli baseball stadium takes off

JNF campaign to baseball stadium in Beit Shemesh receivess boost following Israeli team's surprising performance in World Baseball Classic.


Nati Shohat/Flash 90

Members of Team Israel participated in the ground breaking for the complex in Beit Shemesh, a city located near Jerusalem with a large ex-pat American population. Most of the team roster was American Jewish players with major and minor league experience who came in December with their families to visit Israel and meet Israeli fans before representing the country in the Classic.

It is one of several baseball fields being built in Israel through the Jewish National Fund’s Project Baseball.

Following Team Israel’s victories in the first round of the World Baseball Classic and its win in the first game of the second round, people around the world have donated to the Beit Shemesh field and stadium project through a GoFundMe crowd funding campaign.

The city of Beit Shemesh provided the Israel Association of Baseball with the land for the complex, which will include a regulation-size baseball field for adult play, and two smaller fields for youth baseball, batting cages, dugouts, lights and spectator stands.

The Israel Association of Baseball, founded in 1986 by a group of expatriate baseball enthusiasts living in Israel with the goal of promoting and teaching the game of baseball in Israel, has been renting local soccer fields for games and practices. It has about 1,000 participants throughout the country from Little League to adult.