By Rachel Liel, Executive Director in Israel
On Sunday, I went down to Soroka hospital in Be’er Sheva and met with families of Bedouin Israelis whose children have been injured by rocket attacks. I saw children coping with injuries they could not comprehend. I saw young parents comforting their kids.
‘Revenge won’t bring back our boys’, read the banner above the rally called by Tag Meir, Light Tag, in Jerusalem yesterday. ‘This gathering brings me hope’
Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg (senior rabbi of Masorti UK)
I know you are worried about what's going on in Israel. I am too.On Tuesday, Israel buried three teenagers who were kidnapped and murdered. It was a devastating act perpetuated by extremists determined to shed innocent blood and to provoke further conflict.
I came away from journalist Ari Shavit’s talk last week hearing his challenge to both Israelis and Diaspora Jews, to ensure that Israel remains a Jewish and Democratic state. As part of NIF's commitment to being at the forefront of civil and social justice in Israel we have recently concluded a year of strategic thinking in regard to the next stage of our journey.
On 12 March, three female Knesset members joined the service held by the Women of the Wall at the Kotel. For the first time in many months, no arrests were made.
New Israel Fund UK strongly protests the detention of two young British women this morning, along with two others, following their participation in a prayer service at the Kotel organised by Women of the Wall.
I know that, like me, you will be desperately worried about the escalating situation in Israel and Gaza and many of you will be deeply concerned about friends and family.
Message from CEO, NIF International, Daniel Sokatch. We all are watching the developments in Israel and in Gaza with tremendous concern and worry. Click for full message.
NIF Chief Executive, Adam Ognall, wrote a Comment piece in the Jewish Chronicle on “price tag” incidents in Israel following the Erev Rosh HaShana BBC Panorama programme on this subject.
With the incidence of such attacks increasing, he focusses both on the threat they pose to Israel and Judaism as well as the peaceful and democratic response from Israeli civil society. Read the full article here.
‘We are very pleased that Oscar success helps highlight the issues facing the children of refugees living in Israel. New Israel Fund offers our congratulations to the Bialik-Rogozin school and the many other organisations in Israel who we support that are helping to ensure these children from Darfur and other war-torn regions are able to stay safely in Israel. As President Shimon Peres has said, their success brings joy to Israel.”
Thank you for your ongoing support in helping maintain Israel as an open, egalitarian and just society.
2010 was a record fund raising year for NIF UK. As a result we were able to continue to provide for the many Israeli organisations that depend on us. It was a year with many significant successes. Despite the many pressures and issues facing NIF and its grantees we continued to work to help Israelis to help themselves to create a better civil society and to tackle discrimination, examples of which we feature in this newsletter and on the website.
We can all take pride in these successes, which were achieved despite the unprecedented attacks on NIF and its grantees in Israel and on supporters throughout the Diaspora. The pressures on NIF and its grantees will continue and 2011 will bring with it many new challenges including the fight for women’s rights; elimination of unequal treatment of Israel’s Arab minority; and the continued struggle for religious pluralism. We also expect that the Knesset enquiries into the funding and activities of NGOs will become more vindictive.
We will continue to promote open discourse and democratic debate as the way to strengthen Israel, challenging those who mistakenly believe this strengthening is achieved by unquestioning loyalty.
Your support for NIF UK was also a clear comment on the work of Ellen Goldberg, who leaves us after four years to return to her family in Jerusalem. Those of you who have enjoyed Ellen’s dedication and deft management of the organisation will join us in being sorry to see her go and we wish her much success and happiness in her new career. Fortunately we are able to welcome Adam Ognall as the new CEO.
We need your financial support, but just as importantly we need your ongoing encouragement for those Israelis who are fighting to ensure that Israel remains true to its own democratic values as set out in the Declaration of Independence. Please do keep in touch with our programme and join us at some of the many interesting events planned for 2011.
Registered Charity Number 1060081. New Israel Fund is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales, No: 3296825, Registered Office: 25/26 Enford Street, London W1H 1DW