Joyce Eisenberg-Keefer and Mel Keefer
Joyce Eisenberg-Keefer’s support for programs across the spectrum of those we run is truly remarkable. As a true friend she has always responded to whatever need the ITC has presented to her, and whether sponsoring the “Eisenberg Israel Open” for several years, which in its time was the “Jewel of the Crown” of competitive tennis in Israel or establishing the “Eisenberg Jerusalem Challenger” or the “Eisenberg Circuit” Futures and Satellite tournaments for players trying to break into the ranks, Joyce has always been there for us.
Joyce’s involvement is not limited only to sponsoring competitive tennis. She also supports our efforts to weave our core values of strength, self-reliance and excellence into generation after generation of Israeli children. The Ben B. and Joyce E. Eisenberg Israel Tennis Center in Jerusalem endowed by Joyce has special significance due to its location in the capital city of Israel. The center provides a variety of special programs including those encouraging coexistence, helping children at risk, supporting mentally and physically challenged children and assisting new immigrant Ethiopians.
Joyce is a philanthropist who engages in a partnership with every organization she supports, becoming involved with the programs and the children whom she benefits. It is not difficult to understand the enthusiasm and joy that Joyce demonstrates when she visits Israel with her husband, Mel Keefer, as she interacts with the children in programs she supports.
The Ben B. and Joyce E. Eisenberg Foundation, ITC’s single largest donor, has donated over $14 million since Joyce became involved with the ITC. Joyce also likes to make sure that others join with her in her philanthropic efforts and has generously offered to match donations raised at events throughout the years. Her latest “match” came in June of 2011, when she matched all donations at the Los Angeles Tennis Exhibition held at the home of Martha and Bruce Karsh.
It is a very long distance from Joyce’s home in Los Angeles to a needy child in Ofakim, or a child at risk from Ashkelon, or talented tennis player from Kiryat Shmona. Joyce succeeds in bridging this gap by enabling us to provide opportunities for each and every child to develop and to become a champion on and off the court. We salute her for everything she does and look forward to many more years of partnership with her, teaching the children of Israel the game of life through tennis, thus building a better and stronger society in Israel.