Tamar Hay

Sport Department Director
Tamar Hay

Age: 30

Residence: Tel-Aviv, Israel

Family: I was born in Israel. My mother’s family came to Israel from Europe and my father’s family came from Iraq.

Sport: Sport was always a part of my life but as part of my job at the Peres Center it became even more meaningful, taking the role of an educational peace-building tool and not only a competitive game.

Occupation: I assumed the role of Director of the Sport Department in August 2009 after joining the Peres Center in April 2007. In this position I oversee the development and implementation of all Sport Department activities and initiate new opportunities for local and international cooperation. In my previous role as Project Manager, I was responsible for coordinating all sport programs, managing local Israeli and Palestinian staff and developing project content. Prior to joining the Peres Center I worked as a research assistant at Tel Aviv University’s Evens Program in Mediation and Conflict Resolution. I hold a B.A. in Political Science from Tel Aviv University and am currently in the final stages of my M.A. in Public Policy. As an Israeli citizen, I also served 4 years as an officer in my Military service (IDF).

Politics & “the other side”: Just like many of the children (and adults) in our projects, I went through a process of meaningful change in views throughout my years of work with Palestinians. My first acquaintance with Palestinians was quiet negative. As a child growing up in Israel during the 1990’s, I experienced the wave of suicide bombings in Tel-Aviv at an early age. This built a lot of fear and hatred inside me. Towards my first meeting with Palestinians as an adult, I was certain they will not want to speak to me and I will feel scared. I was surprised to find out the exact opposite happened. The acquaintance made me see how much we actually have in common. Today, I only wish more people would be prone to see what is similar between us, before they see the differences, and choose a non-violent path towards meeting “the other”.