Event: Asylum Seekers in Israel and Canada: A Comparative Case Study


Maureen Silcoff, Barrister & Solicitor, Silcoff Shacter
Dr. Tally Kritzman-Amir, Visiting Fellow at Harvard University Law School

Wednesday, June 6, 6:00 – 8 p.m.
Hosted by Gowling WLG, 1 Toronto Place, 100 King West Street.

Buy your tickets below!

Why would the Canadian government absorb asylum seekers from a fellow OECD country that itself accepts none?

For over a decade, asylum seekers from African conflict zones have found a fragile haven in Israel, despite the Israeli government’s refusal to review their asylum applications. Last month, Prime Minister Netanyahu announced – then abruptly cancelled – a deal with the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) to absorb some asylum seekers and send others to western countries like Canada.

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Pledge: I won’t give up on Israel’s asylum seekers

For the past 10 years, the New Israel Fund of Canada and the global NIF family have been fighting for a just solution for Israel’s 38,000 asylum seekers. Despite Netanyahu’s recent cancellation of a promising resolution, we’re not giving up. 

Take this pledge with us and join other Canadian Jews who won’t give up either.

Over the coming months, we’ll work together to educate our fellow Canadians, advocate to the Israeli government, and support the Israelis leading the efforts in Israel.

Take the pledge:

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We’re Hiring!

Development and Operations Associate

The New Israel Fund of Canada (NIFC) works to strengthen democracy and promote social justice in Israel. NIFC supports a network of non-governmental organizations in Israel that defend civil and human rights, promote Jewish–Arab equality and coexistence, advance the status of women, foster tolerance and pluralism, bridge social and economic gaps, and encourage government accountability.

This full-time position is part of a creative team at the heart of NIFC’s efforts across the country.

Working closely with the Executive Director, as well as other staff and lay leaders, this person is central to the smooth operations of finances, fundraising, communications, and events. This person should have a passion for social justice issues in Israel and a desire to impact the Canadian Jewish community.

Location: Toronto

Start Date: Immediately

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Apply to our year-long Naomi Chazan Fellowship

Applications are now open for a brand new fellowship in Canada!

Deadline: Sunday, May 6, 2018, spaces limited

Apply to the Naomi Chazan Fellowship: a year-long program that begins with subsidized, ten-day study tour in Israel from July 9 – 18, 2018. Join two dozen changemakers in their 20s and 30s from Canada, the UK, Australia, and the US in an immersive experience to explore social issues in Israel and the Occupied Territories. Return home and then work to engage Canadian Jewry on these issues, take part in leadership seminars, and become part of a global network of young Jewish progressives.

The Naomi Chazan Fellowship will be entering its fourth year – and now Canadians in their 20s and 30s can participate!

The Fellowship is subsidized by generous donors in the NIFC community. If selected, participants pay or raise $450 to cover the study tour, seminars, and their projects. (We are also accepting limited seats for participants who wish to join only the study tour. See page for details.)

For more details, check out the full program description, and/or contact Leah Breslow at leah@nifcan.org


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Our Statement on Netanyahu’s Recent Cancellation of UN Deal on Asylum Seekers 

The New Israel Fund of Canada is proud of our work defending refugee rights in Israel. Together with hundreds of Canadian Jews who have joined in efforts with Israeli activists, we are working to protect the rights Canadians and Israelis cherish.
Canadians donated thousands of dollars towards emergency needs of Israeli NGOs opposing the cruel deportation plan that would have sent up to 37,000 people to countries where they would have faced serious risks to their safety and lives. This would have happened without Israel even reviewing their asylum applications. In response, the New Israel Fund of Canada brought together Canadian rabbis to join nearly 1,000 Jewish clergy around the world in signing a letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu.

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Read About Asylum Seekers Facing Deportation from Israel


There are about 38,000 asylum seekers in Israel, mainly from Sudan and Eritrea. In January, 2018, the Israeli government advanced plans to deport the thousands who had not yet succeeded in applying for asylum status or who had applied but were rejected.

In April, Prime Minister Netanyahu announced a deal with the United Nations to grant temporary asylum to around 16,000 asylum seekers and to send the rest to Western countries – including Canada – prepared to accept them, rather than to dangerous places like Uganda and Rwanda.

Just hours after signing the historic deal, Netanyahu caved to right-wing pressure and suspended its implementation.

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Our Top 10 Accomplishments in 2017

Introducing Ben Murane, Executive Director

I am honoured to be the new Executive Director of the New Israel Fund of Canada.

NIFC has an exciting history of creating positive change in Israel and here in Canada. After just one month on the job, I am inspired by the Israelis we’ve supported for over 30 years, and by the impact they’ve had on Israeli society. Continue reading

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Shared Society: 2017 Success Story

Palestinian Landowners Are Allowed to Access Their Land

Palestinians who have land in the West Bank do not have free access to their land, are harassed by settlers, and have their produce stolen or destroyed. And the army does too little too late to protect them. Continue reading

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Social Justice: 2017 Success Story

Basic Human Dignity Is Upheld for Asylum Seekers in Holot

Prisons and detention centres in Israel are severely overcrowded, robbing people of basic human dignity. In the Holot Detention Centre in the Negev, which houses some 3,300 African asylum seekers, there is serious overcrowding, and a ban on bringing personal belonging into the centre. Continue reading

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Women’s Rights: 2017 Success Story

Groundbreaking Court Ruling Advances Women’s Rights

The Israeli Declaration of Independence assures equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants, irrespective of religion, race, or gender. And yet, women in Israel are still treated as second-class citizens, facing discriminatory practices and laws that limit their power and voice. Continue reading

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