Israeli tennis (illustration)
Israeli tennis (illustration) Uri Lenz/Flash 90

The national Pesach tennis tournament of the Israel Tennis Centers (ITC) is to be held from April 14 to 21, and during the event the very first annual Anna & Michael Kahan Family tennis scholarship will be presented to the top female and male player.

The prize of 100,000 shekels (over $26,000) each will be awarded on April 18 at the ITC-Ramat Hasharon, in an attempt to further stimulate the growth of tennis in the Jewish state at the tournament for under-18 athletes.

Michael Kahan, an 84-year-old Holocaust survivor living in New York, established the scholarship so as to develop the next generation of Israeli tennis players to an international level.

At the scholarship award ceremony Adam Fishman will represent Kahan as his trustee, and ITC's CEO Ari Strasberg will also take part.

"As a survivor and an ardent Zionist, Mr. Kahan wants to leave this legacy to Israel and sees great importance in the promotion of young Israeli players, creating national pride," said Straberg.

"We are delighted he has chosen the Israel Tennis Centers to fulfill his vision."

Kahan, born in Hungary, was saved at the start of World War II and escaped the genocidal Nazi regime, emigrating to the US. He met his wife Anna, who also was a Holocaust survivor from Hungary, while working in the garment industry.

Kahan's grandchildren played college tennis at the University of Connecticut and Duke, and in light of his great love for Israel, Kahan decided to establish the scholarship to help young players develop and represent Israel on the world scene.