Giving people the chance to co-exist
Runners Without Borders harnesses the positive power of sport to bring together Jews and Arabs, rebuilding the lost trust between these communities, and providing a platform for renewed dialogue.
Runners Without Borders was founded in 2014 by Jerusalem-based athletes, in response to a wave of violence that engulfed the city at the time. We aim to encourage tolerance and dialogue between Jewish and Arab communities in Israel, using sports as a medium. We use professional running to create a shared space for training and practice, empowering participants’ self confidence and developing their leadership skills, in order to train them to become change agents in their communities.
Our 2 main projects are
Some of our activities:
Youth delegations abroad
Each year, we send a delegation from our youth group to represent Jerusalem at international races abroad: in Milan, Berlin and London. This is the first example of teenagers from east and west Jerusalem representing the city together as a source of shared pride.
Participation in the Jerusalem Marathon
Since 2015, Runners Without Bordershas sent a delegation of runners from our groups to participate in the Jerusalem Marathon. We also help make the Marathon accessible to people who would not otherwise participate in it – this picture shows the sports group of al Umariya Club from East Jerusalem participating in the Jerusalem Marathon for the first time (in 2017).
The Runners Without Borders youth group
In the past 4 years, we have brought together over 120 youths from east and west Jerusalem who would not have met in any other way. Our group creates deep connections between the teenagers, which lead to border-crossing encounters that now take place beyond the group’s activities.
The Runners Without Borders Jewish-Arab Race in 2018
In the five years since we started our activities, we managed to bring together 1,300 people from east and west Jerusalem who would not have met in any other way, including teenagers, women and men. The race creates deep connections between participants, which lead to border-crossing encounters that now take place outside of our activities.