say yes to a better israel
New Israel Fund Report 2009
New Israel Fund is the leading organization committed to equality and democracy for all Israelis.
Dear Friends, even as the global economic crisis is battering Israel’s civil society, NIF, Shatil and our family of grantees are proud to report significant progress to you, our donors and friends. Today, with your help, we are expanding efforts to increase opportunities for Arabs and Jews to live together in Israel’s mixed cities. We are organizing coalitions of long-time residents and new Israelis, secular and religious, social activists and businesspeople to reject extremism and ultra-nationalism. We are working overtime to assist Israel’s most critically-needed organizations survive the economic crisis so that they, in turn, can assist the underprivileged and marginalized who are most at risk. And we are defending Israeli democracy from the mindset that there is only one way to be “pro-Israel.”
Of course, NIF is not unaffected by the decrease in philanthropic dollars available in these difficult times. Consequently, we decided some months ago not to invest in a full-fledged annual report this year. Instead, we have prepared this midyear report, which provides current financial information and an update about some of our achievements on important issues of civil rights, social justice, and religious pluralism. Please join with the New Israel Fund to say yes to a better Israel. We know this is a difficult year for many people, but if you are in a position to increase your contribution, and even better to recruit your friends and family members to the New Israel Fund family, we will be especially grateful for your efforts. We’re counting on you to help us make a difference. Sincerely, Naomi Chazan Larry Garber Eliezer Yaari
NEW ISRAEL FUND REPORT 2009
NIF Mission: Our 30th Year the new israel fund (nif) is the leading organization advancing democracy and equality for all Israelis. We believe that Israel can live up to its founders’ vision of a state that ensures complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants, without regard to religion, race, gender or national identity. Widely credited with building Israel’s progressive civil society from scratch, we have provided over $200 million to more than 800 cutting-edge organizations since our inception. We fight inequality, injustice and extremism because we understand that justice is the precondition for a successful democracy — and the only lasting road to peace. The New Israel Fund’s founders wanted to connect with Israel in a way that reflected their progressive values, and thousands of Israelis and Diaspora Jews have joined with us for that reason. Our supporters love Israel, and see it clearly as striving for an ideal not yet attained. Visit www.nif.org to learn more, and to join the growing community of progressive supporters of Israel who think for themselves about Israel’s future. 4
nif is at philanthropy’s cutting
civil and human rights
edge thanks in large part to Shatil, the New Israel Fund’s Initiative for Social Change. NIF founded Shatil in 1982 to complement its grant-making and provide NIF grantees and other social change organizations with hands-on assistance, training, resources and workshops on various aspects of nonprofit management. Shatil employs more than 100 ethnically diverse professionals, support staff and interns, with offices in Jerusalem, Haifa, Be’er Sheva, Lod, Baqa Algharbiya and Rosh Pinah, serving nearly 1,400 organizations. Shatil has gained international respect for its innovative work and official UN recognition as an NGO advancing issues of interest to the UN. Shatil’s work brings together organizations in large coalitions to accomplish what no single group can achieve on its own. It also carries out special projects to foster citizen action on issues and among population groups neglected by other institutions. Today, Shatil takes the initiative in spearheading national advocacy and emergency campaigns.
After a Supreme Court petition by Palestinian residents and Bimkom — Planners for Planning Rights, the Israeli government decided to re-route the planned Security Barrier southeast of Jerusalem. Under the rejected plan, some 1,000 acres of Palestinian land would have been placed on the Israeli side of the Fence, making it inaccessible to Palestinian villagers. Following the 2007 protests by Follow-Up Committee for Arab Education, the Education Ministry began implementing a NIS 1.1 billion plan to build nearly 10,000 new classrooms in Israeli Arab schools by 2012.
justice is the precondition for a successful democracy – and the only lasting road to peace.
women’s rights An amendment to the Spouses Property Law will put an end to a husband’s ability to demand all the couple’s assets before agreeing to a divorce. The International Coalition for Agunah Rights formulated and lobbied for the new policy.
religious pluralism The Center for Women’s Justice appealed to Israel’s High Court against the Rabbinical Court of Appeals decision to nullify thousands of Orthodox conversions performed by the Israeli government’s Conversion Authority. In the wake of the annulment controversy, NIF worked to expand liberal Orthodox organizations and empower coalitions working against religious coercion and extremism.
environment Israel’s green movement, including NIF/Green Environment Fund grantees, scored a major victory with the passage of the Clean Air Law, which sets strict emission standards and procedures for monitoring air quality.
For current coverage of NIF’s activities and accomplishments, please visit our website, www.nif.org and sign up to receive our weekly e-newsletter.
NEW ISRAEL FUND REPORT 2009
Economic Crisis the global economic crisis is
Defending Democracy israel’s democracy is vibrant and spirited, but sustaining it takes hard work and commitment from both progressive Israelis and their supporters around the world. This year saw the formation of a coalition government that includes extremist, ultra-nationalist parties who call for loyalty oaths for Arab citizens and the potential denationalization of at least a portion of Israel’s Arab population. Last winter’s Gaza war created an atmosphere in which dissent was repressed, the press was prevented access to the war zone, and post-war investigations compromised or rejected. Israel’s High Court, the last line of defense for human and civil rights, is still at risk of the politicization of its critically-
needed judicial independence. The inclusion of religious parties in the governing coalition continues the severe infringement of religious and personal freedom for the vast majority of Israelis. No one organization can tackle these threats alone, and that is why the New Israel Fund is so necessary. The coalitions we build, the organizations we empower, the activists we train, and the spectrum of skills and views we represent guarantee democracy in a still-young nation without a Constitution or Bill of Rights. From promoting transparency in Israel’s byzantine budget process to providing innovative civics education in Israeli schools, the NIF commitment to democratic values in action is demonstrated by 30 years of significant achievement.
hitting Israel’s most disadvantaged communities hard. Since Israel privatized many social programs more than a decade ago, NGOs have taken a larger role in providing a social safety net for the most vulnerable population groups in Israel. But those NGOs, too, are at risk — including the 100 or so organizations currently supported by the New Israel Fund. At the onset of the crisis last fall, NIF presented an action plan to the Knesset Finance Committee, outlining the need for government assistance to civil society. Among other measures, the plan called for the establishment of a $60 million emergency fund to award grants and bridging loans to organizations facing difficulties. In February, the government approved many measures suggested by the NIF plan.
nif works on the root causes of poverty – giving a voice to the voiceless.
Additionally, putting its 30 years of experience to work, NIF/Shatil began an immediate response effort to ensure that our organizations will survive the risk of contraction or even closure. Between Shatil’s consulting and training, and emergency funding and infrastructure assistance from NIF, many organizations have received the assistance they need to stay afloat in a challenging environment. So at a time of increasing unemployment, social justice organizations are playing watchdog on a right-wing government, ensuring that benefits are not reduced when they are most needed. After hatemongers incited tension in Israeli Arab cities, NIF, its partners and programs brought messages of co-existence and mutual respect. And with the political left in disarray, progressive civil society remains the most important voice advocating for justice and equality for all Israelis.
NEW ISRAEL FUND REPORT 2009
Joint Living the 2008 yom kippur riots in akko were a wakeup call for everyone concerned about Jewish-Arab relations within Israel. In one of Israel’s five mixed Jewish-Arab cities, the Akko riots reflected the strained relations between the two peoples throughout the country. An emphasis on joint living and what this means in theory and practice is now a top priority for the New Israel Fund. Rising tides of separatism in both Jewish and Arab communities further threaten Israel’s future as a multicultural and democratic society. According to a 2008 poll, 76% of Israeli Jews expressed support for Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s plan to “transfer” areas heavily populated by Israeli Arabs to a future Palestinian state. The war in Gaza further exacerbated tensions between the communities.
Since 2003, NIF/Shatil’s widely acclaimed Mixed Cities Project has been active in promoting equality in Israel’s mixed cities. As the only major organization with a significant focus and presence in all of Israel’s mixed cities, NIF/Shatil knows that tackling these societal divides are imperative to the health of Israeli democracy. Since its establishment, the Project has successfully frozen home demolition orders, established neighborhood residential forums promoting housing and education rights, and lobbied for fair allotment of public funding and services for all residents. Another joint living issue is addressed by NIF’s Kick it Out Israel program, which has helped reduce anti-Arab outbursts, and punish offenders, in Israel’s soccer stadiums. And in areas with large Arab and Bedouin populations, including the Triangle and Be’er Sheva in the Negev, Shatil’s offices are the ‘address’ for empowering community residents to work for their legal, social and economic rights.
civil, human and economic rights for israeli arabs is an issue crucial to the long-term survival of the state
Vision. For a better Israel Values. for social justice Impact. Because you can make a difference support NIF.
nif board of directors
NEW ISRAEL FUND and SIGNING ANEW COMBINED STATEMENTS OF ACTIVITIES AND CHANGE IN NET ASSETS
For the year ended December 31, 2008 with summarized financial information for 2007
REVENUE Contributions: General support Donor‑advised Investment income (loss) Program revenue In‑kind contributions Other revenue Net assets released from donor restrictions Total revenue EXPENSES Program Services: Grants and Projects: Grants to Israel Not‑For‑Profit Organizations Grants to New Israel Fund Projects
2008 Temporarily Permanently Restricted Restricted
$14,722,580 9,987,597 (456,583) 156,965 63,025 295,502
$ 9,723,831 – (2,378,435) – – –
$50,000 – – – – –
Total $24,496,411 9,987,597 (2,835,018) 156,965 63,025 295,502
VICE PRESIDENT IN ISRAEL
Change in net assets before other item
Net assets at beginning of year
NET ASSETS AT END OF YEAR
Total grants and projects Grant Management Educational Activities Total program services Supporting Services: Management and General Fundraising Total supporting services
OTHER ITEM Transfer of assets Change in net assets
PROGRAM AND SUPPORT SERVICES EXPENDITURES $28,076,990 Grants and Projects $1,730,174 Grant Management $1,905,583 Educational Activities $1,839,739 Management and General $2,230,240 Fundraising $35,782,726 Total Expenditures The financial information presented is based on information contained in the audited financial statements which are available at www.nif.org/financials
Total $19,478,102 10,556,819 1,409,930 144,553 54,088 106,110
Susan Liss VICE PRESIDENT IN NORTH AMERICA
Stephen Gunther TREASURER
Peter Shapiro SECRETARY
Yossi Beinart Yifat Bitton Zeev Bregman Deborah Bussel Jonathan J. Cohen Peter Edelman Paul Egerman Nabila Espanioly Franklin Fisher Itzik Galnoor Larry Garber Martin Indyk Amal Jamal Noam Lautman Harriet Mouchly-Weiss Lisa Orlick-Salka Sarah Ozacky-Lazar Nicholas Saphir Gerry Sarnat Daniel Segal Joan Shapiro Mary Ann Stein
for more financial information and for a list of nif donors, visit www.nif.org
nif international council Michel Abitbol Ismail Abu Saad Karen Adler Elah Alkalay Arieh Arnon Eliyahu Bareket Joshua Bar-Lev Mordechai “Morale” Bar-On Oz Benamram Mindy Berman Gabby Blum Sara Cannon Alan Cohen Carolyn Cohen Yehudah Cohn Rachel Cowan James Cummings Ellen Dahrendorf Jerome Davidson Avner De-Shalit Reuben Dori Isser Dubinsky Sara Ehrman Akiva Eldar Lawrence Englander Rami Entin Uzi Even Sidra Ezrahi Leonard “Leibel” Fein Shelley Fischel Lois Frank Eleanor Friedman Aviva Futorian Barry Gaberman Lily Galili Linda Gallanter Sanford (Sandy) Gallanter Joan Garson Ruth Gavison Judith Gelman Benny Gidron David Goldberg Mark Goldberg Amiram Goldblum Bruce Golderger Frances Goldman Phyllis Goldman Sally Gottesman Barbara S. Green Jeffrey Green Sherri Greenbach
Liz Greenstein Lois Gunther Richard Gunther Tova Halbertal Yisca Harani Gilad Harish Dorothy Harman Shlomo Hasson Shira Herzog Nehama Hillman Michael Hirschhorn Amb. Martin Indyk (Chair) Haim Izraeli June Jacobs Richard (Rick) Jacobs Michael Kariyani Judith Karp Yadin Kaufman Leslie Kimerling Linda Klein Sara Klein Jonathan Klein Ofra Kochavi Zeidman Mordecai Kremnitzer Luis Lainer Betsy Landis Donald Landis Terry Lenzner Shelley Levine Geoffrey Lewis David Libai Judith Lichtman Jan Liff Robert “Bud” Lifton Bryna Linett Pierre Loeb Jonathan Lopatin Ellen Malcolm J. Rolando (Roly) Matalon Sami Michael Cindy Miller Dale Mnookin Robert Mnookin Jacob Ner David Raquel H. Newman Louis Newman Craig Newmark Bonnie Orlin Israela Oron Ruth Ottolenghi Aaron Panken
Kathleen Peratis Gabbi Peretz Yoram Peri Alon Piltz Stuart Pollak Paula Rackoff Frances Raday Claude Rakovsky Irwin Rosenblum Noreen Sablotsky Adene Sacks Moshe Safdie Bettylu Saltzman David Saperstein Lela Sarnat Talia Sasson Uri Scharf Harriet Schley Nancy Schwartz Sternoff Carole Segal Amnon Sella Hannan Serphos Alla Shainskaja Alice Shalvi Shimon Shamir Aliza Shenhar Ruth Sheshinski Varda Shiffer Jonathan Shimshoni Joel Siegel Alan Solomont Prudence Steiner Simone Susskind Alfred (Fred) Tauber Ingrid Tauber Bonnie Tenenbaum Gordon Tucker Edna Ullmann-Margalit David Umansky Agnes Varis Frank Vogl Al Vorspan Michael Walzer Sharona Izraeli Watemberg Butch Weaver Ami Weinstein Vincent Worms Dan Yakir Alex Yoffe Carole Zabar Dina Zisserman
NIF MID-YEAR REPORT 2009
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2009 Mid-Year Report