In Israel, the New Israel Fund supports a range of organisations right across society’s spectrum.
In particular, issues of social and economic justice are incredibly important for the full integration of all inhabitants into society. Today, more than one-in-three children live below the poverty line, and despite recording strong economic growth over the past few years, the gap between Israel’s richest and poorest is of the the highest in the OECD. Many organisations provide tzedakah (charity) to the chronically underprivileged sectors of Israeli society, but only the New Israel Fund works on the root causes of poverty – by building and strengthening social justice organisations the length and breadth of Israel – working on issues like universal health care, providing a voice for towns and villages outside the urban centre, and on programs with single mums.
Protecting the environment is also crucial in Israel, given its small size and dependence on relatively few natural resources. Shatil, NIF’s action arm, coordinates between the environmental and social organisations comprising the Forum for Responsible Planning, presenting a united front opposed to massive construction with potential negative ramifications on open space and spatial and social justice. Programs worked on by Shatil helped participants gain professional training on developing coalition strategies, promoting environmental agendas and influencing policymakers.