Rosh Hashanah is a time to reflect on the year that has passed and to turn an eye towards the year ahead. As we reflect on the challenges and achievements of the past year, we at New Israel Fund are looking ahead to the future and supporting a generation of change.
The generation of change is not limited to the young and youthful. We believe that every generation has a role to play in building a better Israel for those who come after them.
Everyone has the ability to effect real social change, and progress can and must be made now.
Here are some of our organisations who are striving to make changes for future generations in Israel:
Through the Team of Equals we have brought together more than 100 boys from the Jewish Katamon and Arab Beit Safafa neighbourhoods of Jerusalem to play football. The team’s children live in adjoining neighbourhoods but would never have met if it were not for this project. In a recent meeting between the team and Knesset members, one of the Arab boys asked why Jews and Arabs have to live in such hatred and suffer from the conflict when the boys on the team get along so well. The team is creating a generation of young Jews and Arabs who will grow up to be active members of a shared society.
The Russian-speaking community in Israel (17% of the country’s Jewish population) has grown and consolidated over the years, yet it has not fully secured equal social and economic rights. Generation 1.5, those who were either born in Israel or arrived at a young age, represent an opportunity for the community to progress. Morashtenu recently brought together Russian-speaking Israelis to identify and map the needs of their community and to plan strategies for dealing with these needs. Morashtenu are creating a generation of activists who can turn their ideas and dreams into reality.
In Israel today, many Ethiopian women lack the skills and employment prospects to support themselves financially. Through the Ehete Centre we have enabled hundreds of these women to find jobs, start small businesses, and sell handcrafted products. The Ehete Centre has not only given them self-confidence and financial stability, but it has also allowed them to retain, cherish and share their rich heritage and culture. In turn, this has created a generation of women who are becoming role models for other Israeli-Ethiopian women, helping them become productive, contributing members of Israel’s society.