Between 2005 and 2007, Israel produced more millionaires per capita than any other country, although the rate has since slowed. Israel now has 5,900 people with at least $1 million in liquid financial assets.
While this is a testament to Israel’s economic growth over the past decade, the fruits of this growth have not been equally shared amongst the country’s rapidly growing population. In this same period, basic social arrangements were undermined, leaving behind Israel’s most vulnerable communities.
Did you know?
Poverty in Israel is more widespread than in any of the 32 OECD countries. Almost one in five Israelis (20%) lives in poverty on the OECD benchmark measure: they live in households with income less than half of the national median. With almost half of all children starting primary school belonging to these groups, there is an urgent need to tackle the causes of this poverty and urban decay.
In addition, there is demonstrated discrimination along ethnic lines with respect to Arab Israelis, Ethiopians, Mizrahim and other groups. Indeed, they as well as the disabled and elderly Holocaust survivors often have great difficulty accessing the services that they need.
Many organizations provide charity to the chronically underprivileged sectors of Israeli society. But New Israel Fund of Canada (NIFC) focuses on the root causes of poverty and injustice by giving a voice to the voiceless and by building and strengthening social justice organizations that focus on the societal issues that perpetuate the cycle of poverty.
From the Galil to the Negev, and from urban centers to isolated development towns, we are assisting single parents, the elderly, new immigrants, and women to make their case, and improve their status.
Our 2016 Social and Economic Justice projects include:
Shatil: Leadership for Shared Society
Shatil: Leadership Networks for Shared Society
Shaharit: Nurturing Community Leadership in Common Cause
Memizrach Shemesh: Democratic Leadership Training froma Mizrachi Perspective
Shatil: Capacity Building for Refugee Organizations
Shatil: Training and Workshops
Capacity Building for Shatil
Adva Center: Public Education for Social & Economic Rights
Achoti: Economic Advancement Programs for Marginalized women in Israel
Our work makes a difference.
Now in its fourth cycle, the Integrated Leadership Training in the Field of Disabilities course is held in partnership with Shatil and the David Yellin Teacher’s College. The course brings together physically, emotionally, or mentally disabled people and special education students, training them to become activists. This year, five participants are working on an initiative called “To see the Person,” aimed at getting employers to see an individual job applicant beyond his or her disability. They plan to accomplish this through a documentary film to be produced by Sapir College film students.
Shatil’s participants of the Leadership of Shared Society program have supported each other through the crisis of this past summer. Even though they were on recess, the participants remained in close touch, recruiting each other to participate in joint Jewish-Arab activities such as a communal meal to break the fast for Ramadan and the 17th of Tammuz, with many more meetings planned. This spontaneous cooperation and initiative-taking demonstrates the importance of cultivating and equipping new leaders for change.