Social and Economic Justice

Advancing Equality for All Israelis

The New Israel Fund (NIF) helps Israel live up to its founders' vision of a state that ensures complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants. Our aim is to advance liberal democracy, including freedom of speech and minority rights, and to fight inequality, injustice, and extremism that diminish Israel.

From Israel’s first rape crisis centers, to the passage of the law banning torture in civilian interrogations, NIF- funded organizations have driven positive social change and furthered justice and equality. Widely credited with building Israeli progressive civil society, we have provided over $250 million to more than 850 organizations since our inception in 1979. And we are more than a funder; NIF is at philanthropy’s cutting edge thanks in large part to our action arm Shatil, the New Israel Fund Initiative for Social Change. Today, NIF is a leading advocate for democratic values, builds coalitions, empowers activists and often takes the initiative in setting the public agenda.

NIF is based on a simple idea: individuals who care about Israel and believe in progressive values can join together to work for an Israel in which everyone is treated with dignity, for an Israel in which a shared society can truly take root, for an Israel in which Jewish life is inclusive in every respect. NIF supporters love Israel and help correct its flaws.

Children of Migrant Families to Receive Legal Status in Israel

By New Israel Fund

Following a long struggle by NIF grantees the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants and Israeli Children, the Minister of Interior announced that 221 children of migrant workers will receive legal status to stay in Israel. Aged 8-23, most of these children were born in Israel and they all study or studied in the Israeli educational system.

In August 2010, the government decided to grant legal status to migrant children who met the following conditions: their parents entered the country legally; they were educated in Israeli schools; they had been in the country for at least five consecutive years; and they spoke Hebrew.

Following this decision, the Interior Ministry received 700 applications for residency permits. The ministry approved around 350 requests and turned down about 100. The rest were left in limbo. When a family's request for legal status was rejected, the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants and Israeli Children appealed the decision. "In my decision I took into account the major delay in dealing with the applications of the children who have grown up here and are, in fact, Israeli," said Minister Saar.

Rotem Ilan of Israeli Children said: "Ever since the government's 2010 decision, these children have lived in continuous uncertainty and trepidation. Now, after a four year struggle, they are finally legal residents in the country they were born into, which has become their only home."

Galit Torpor, aged 20, whose parents came from Ghana and who will receive residency as a result of the decision, said: "I'm really glad that this struggle is over. I go around smiling! For children like me, aged 16 and above, this can be really significant. We need an identity card to do many things in our lives and when we don't have it, it's very frustrating."

The Hotline for Refugees and Migrants and Israeli Children will now begin the process of helping the families obtain all the documents the Ministry of Interior requires in order to grant legal status.