Inter Miami CF announced today it has selected Jose Benchimol and his organization Sholem Corazón Valiente as the recipient of the Club’s 2020 MLS Community MVP Award presented by Wells Fargo, honoring their outstanding work with young athletes in South Florida as well as their humanitarian efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sholem Corazón Valiente was named after Benchimol’s younger son, Sholem Benchimol Z’L, who tragically lost his life during a biking accident in April 2020. The nonprofit's mission is to promote athletic and emotional intelligence development in teens while staying true to the values Sholem stood for - pride, confidence, companionship and resilience.
“Our ownership group was touched by Sholem’s story and his courage to stand up for his beliefs while playing the sport he loved,” said Inter Miami CF’s VP of Community Engagement Chris Allan. “We encourage Sholem Corazón Valiente to continue their efforts in providing equal opportunities for young athletes in South Florida in their son’s name and congratulate them for their efforts.”
Sholem, nicknamed ‘Corazón Valiente’ (brave heart in Spanish) by his coach and teammates at Scheck Hillel Community School, was a talented young soccer player who idolized David Beckham, a co-owner of Inter Miami. A natural leader at just 17 years old, Sholem proudly wore his kippah on the pitch in honor of his Jewish faith.
Among Sholem Corazón Valiente’s many impactful programs this year was the creation of the Beitar Jerusalem Soccer Academy, the first soccer academy in the U.S. that will respect Shabbat. This academy gives young Jewish athletes the opportunity to develop their athletic skills while practicing their religion in a safe place.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Benchimol family also organized food drives both locally and abroad and launched virtual programming for youth soccer players through Sholem Corazón Valiente. The organization also provided grants to students who want to make an impact in the world as well as distributed food and basic necessities to over 120 impoverished families in Guatemala.
Presented by Wells Fargo and the league’s charitable arm MLS WORKS, the Community MVP program recognizes and awards fans in all 26 clubs for making a positive impact in the community. The recipients equally share a $26,000 donation to support a not-profit organization and also receive a customized adidas MLS jersey and an MLS adidas 2020 NATIVO XXV Official Match Ball.
For more information about Sholem Corazon Valiente, visit www.sholemcorazonvaliente.com.