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.

Reducing Women's Economic Dependence

By New Israel Fund

Following a long struggle by NIF grantee Itach-Maki (Women Lawyers for Social Justice), the ministerial committee passed a law which will reduce women's financial reliance on their husbands.

According to the law, which was promoted by MKs Dr. Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid) and Dov Khenin (Hadash), social welfare payments will now be transferred to a couple's shared account instead of to the man's account. The hope is that this will increase the economic independence of vulnerable women, and will be particularly vital in the case of abusive relationships.

Itach-Maki Director Keren Shemesh-Perlmutter said: "Economic violence against women is a major problem that hasn't been sufficiently confronted on a legal level. This change creates a precedent, and we hope that in the coming years there will be more advances in the field."

Itach-Maki aims to create social change by using the law to address the needs and rights of women from the social, economic, and geographic periphery of Israel.

Photo Credit: "Mother and Daughter" by Flickr user Brighter Than Sunshine (Arjun Karkhanis).