When the Raanana bowling club was opened in 1979 by the Mayor of Raanana, the English speaking community in and around that city was delighted. They saw it as a place where they could become involved in some sort of sporting activity, something they were used to from their countries of origin. Another important attraction was the fact that most bowlers at that time were immigrants from English speaking countries and therefore the social aspect was also very important. In other words, a home from home.

But that was 35 years ago. Today the bowling scene in Israel is very different. There are 8 clubs around the country. English is no longer the main language spoken and most office-bearers are Hebrew speakers, many of them Sabras.

And the Raanana bowling club is no different. Although you can still hear English spoken, all the young players are Hebrew speakers and it’s a delight to hear Hebrew spoken at both national and social competitions and games.

In October 2015, Israel will for the first time be hosting the 10th European Bowling Championship which will be held at the Raanana and Ramat Gan bowling clubs. Participating countries include England, Scotland, Spain, Portugal, The Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Turkey and others. This is the first lawn bowls international event ever to be held in Israel and is a great achievement. The current President of World Bowls, Zvika Hadar, (a Sabra) and a longtime member of the Raanana bowling club, says: “It is a milestone. I’m proud to be part of bringing delegates from 16 European countries to play bowls in Israel.”

The Raanana club has recently launched a program to enroll new members. Coaching is free, with special membership offers for new members. And there is also no better way to improve your spoken Hebrew.

For details contact: Itzik Waxman: 052 396 4765 or Zvika Hadar: 052 243 2832 

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Lola Katz

Lola (Krain) Katz was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and schooled at Johannesburg Girls High, Banarto Park. She has a B.A. Degree (1960 - Witwatersrand University, South Africa), a Teaching Dip...

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