Our Focus Areas

The New Israel Fund Australia Foundation is a leading organisation committed to social justice, human rights and democracy in Israel. We work with Israelis experiencing poverty, discrimination and injustice to create a more inclusive, tolerant and equal society.

Based on the vision of the country’s founders, we work towards an Israel that is “based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel… [and] complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex.”

Working with the New Israel Fund, which has been empowering civil society in Israel for more than 40 years, NIF Australia makes real, positive changes to the lives of everyday Israelis. Since its inception, the New Israel Fund has used donations from Jewish communities in the US, England, Canada and elsewhere to provide over $200 million to more than 800 social justice and human rights organisations. Since our founding in 2011, NIF Australia has raised more than $2.5 million for this important work.

our focus areas
  • Access to water, electricity and education for Bedouin communities in the Negev

    Al Hukok

    Established just a few years ago, Al Hukok is the first legal centre run by Bedouin in the Negev. It focuses exclusively on that community’s unique needs.

    More than 100,000 Negev Bedouin live in ‘unrecognised villages’, where they don’t have access to running water and electricity, and are under the constant threat of home demolitions by the Israeli government.

    1. Al Hukok has also set up the first Bedouin legal counselling service for victims of Israel’s house demolition policy. In 2016 alone, nearly 1,200 homes were demolished by the government, giving Al Hukok’s work particular importance for hundreds of families across the Negev.
    2. The organisation’s lawyers provide personalised representation for the community meaning Bedouin can now seek help inside their community as they work towards government recognition of their villages.
    3. Working with the Dar al-Qalam school, Al Hukok brought a petition to the Ministry of Education to prevent overcrowding. Currently more than 1,900 students attend the school, which has capacity to fit only 600.
  • Ensuring access to water, health services and education for Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem

    Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) – East Jerusalem project

    Israel’s oldest civil rights organisation, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), uses strategic litigation to petition Israeli courts and acts as a liaison with government bodies on behalf of marginalised communities to reduce poverty and inequality.

    Since Israel captured East Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War, the city, while politically united, has suffered from entrenched inequality between West Jerusalem’s mostly Jewish population, and the mostly Palestinian population living in the city’s East.

    1. ACRI’s focus is improving health, education and access to basic services for East Jerusalem’s 320,000 Palestinians.
    2. After an ACRI petition, the High Court instructed Israel to provide classrooms for 50,000 Palestinian school children. Although more than 2,000 new classrooms are needed, just 44 were added last year. Monitoring of this case is ongoing.
    3. Almost half of residents aren’t properly connected to the water and sewage grid, leaving residents either unable to access water, or at risk of being cut off. An ACRI petition has so far ended a severe water crisis in four Palestinian neighbourhoods in the city.
  • Taking action on behalf of Israelis from Mizrahi, Russian, Ethiopian and Arab communities who have experienced racism

    Israel Racism Crisis Centre

    Two of Israel’s leading social justice organisations – the Israel Religious Action Centre (IRAC) of the Reform Movement, and the Coalition Against Racism – have come together to launch this important new initiative.

    Currently in its formative stages, the Racism Crisis Centre will scale up to work with more than 200 individual cases each month.

    1. Working mainly with Mizrahi, Russian, Ethiopian and Arab communities in Israel, the Centre supports victims of racism, whether they’ve been discriminated against at work, in trying to rent an apartment, or by the police.
    2. Run by a staff experienced in case management and litigation, the Centre ensures that successful legal action is taken against the perpetrators.
    3. Cases handed by the Centre also serve as wider precedents in the efforts to have racism stamped out across Israel. This is achieved by highlighting cases in Israeli media and having public officials call out racism.
  • Spearheading litigation that challenges racism and inequality, and empowering the next generation of Ethiopian Israelis

    Tebeka

    Founded by Israel’s first Ethiopian lawyers and professionals, Tebeka, which means “Advocate for Justice” in Amharic, the organisation is the largest and most successful service for Israel’s Ethiopian community of 140,000 people.

    For a community that has been transformed by immigration to an advanced technological society, this often includes workshops on handling basic bureaucratic tasks, negotiating labour contracts, and their basic rights.

    1. Tebeka serves more than 1,000 clients each year at clinics in cities including Rishon Lezion, Netanya and Petach Tikva. It plans to open further clinics in Haifa and Jerusalem in the coming years.
    2. Tebeka’s educational activities within schools and absorption and community centres informs students, young adults, parents and community elders about how to improve their economic and employment prospects.
    3. By leading litigation across Israel’s justice system, Tebeka has won hard-fought cases that challenge discrimination and racism experienced by the Ethiopian community.
  • Support and legal assistance for refugees and people seeking asylum

    Hotline for Refugees and Migrants

    The Hotline is Israel’s leading organisation promoting the rights of refugees, people seeking asylum, migrant workers and victims of human trafficking.

    With more than 40,000 people seeking asylum in Israel, having fled oppressive regimes in Africa, Hotline staff and volunteers have spent the last 15 years visiting detention centres, running a walk-in legal clinic and bringing some of Israel’s most important precedent-setting litigation before the courts.

    1. In the last year, the Hotline has welcomed more than 1,000 refugees, people seeking asylum and migrant workers into its walk-in clinic, providing an important service for a community that often struggles to integrate because of legal, language and economic challenges.
    2. The Hotline has also intervened directly on behalf of 70 individuals in legal cases before Israel’s court system. One case resulted in the first refugee status being granted to a survivor of the genocide in Darfur. Mutasim Ali, who has been living in Israel for almost a decade, is one of the refugee community’s leaders.The case not only gave him legal certainty and protection, but also sets a precedent for other survivors.
  • Taking action with Israelis from Mizrahi, Russian, Ethiopian and Arab communities who have experienced racism

    Tmura

    One of Israel’s most creative civil society organisations, Tmura, has pioneered the use of tort law to achieve significant wins for individuals who have experienced discrimination.

    By using tort law, Tmura exerts maximum pressure on governments and business to behave in a fair and equal way. So far, 100% of their cases have been successful.

    1. At any given time, Tmura handles about a dozen cases on behalf of marginalised women, Mizrahi Jews, and Ethiopians who have experienced racism or discrimination.
    2. In one case, a suit brought in collaboration with the Justice Ministry and the Equal Employment Commission, Tmura sued an aged care facility on behalf of a Palestinian-Israeli occupational therapist.
    3. Tmura also focuses on representing women who have experienced domestic violence, in particular, economic abuse and sexual assault. They achieved a sector-wide precedent by forcing a large bank to change its policies to ensure women aren’t unfairly forced to pay debts their husband incurred.
    4. Tmura also provides workshops and training for women who live in public housing to educate them on their rights.