Success Stories

Civil and Human Rights

Campaign for Democracy

NIF’s social media campaign: “We Will not Remain Silent” is reaching out to new target audiences, especially students and young adults in support of human rights and democracy. Established in mid-2010, the campaign has already drawn 5,000 members, close to 1 million views and over 25,000 talkbacks. It is proving successful as a means to mobilize thousands of activists for demonstrations, such as the rally in Tel Aviv on the anniversary of Rabin's assassination, the International Human Rights Day march in Tel Aviv, and the "Interrogate Me Too!" rally.

Children's Rights

A successful campaign by NIF grantees, including Hotline for Migrant Workers, resulted in the government deciding not to expel some 800 children of foreign migrants and their families for the time being. NIF Grantees continue to orchestrate public pressure to let 400 Hebrew-speaking children, who are under the threat of deportation, stay legally in Israel.

Defending Democracy

Over the past year, NIF and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) has been leading lobbying, legal and public advocacy efforts to combat anti-democratic legislation and policies. Thanks to steady and professional advocacy work led by SHATIL’s Centre for Policy Change and NIF grantees we are gaining some successes.

In July, a proposed parliamentary enquiry into human rights organizations was defeated. Yet, we already know of an additional 25 bills that will enquire significant resources to combat effectively. NIF and its grantees will continue to lead the struggle against those bills, through public campaigning, lobby work and litigation.

Protecting Women’s Rights

The International Coalition for Aguna Rights, an NIF grantee, has stepped up its campaign to protect Jewish women from recalcitrant men who refuse to provide their wives with a get (writ of divorce) as required by the Rabbinical Courts that control Israeli family law for religious and secular Jewish women alike. The Coalition works to ensure the rights of women by promoting prenuptial agreements as a preventive measure to the current situation which leaves thousands of women trapped in bad or abusive marriages.

Social and Economic Justice

Affordable Housing

NIF grantees scored a series of important successes that will ensure access to affordable housing for Israelis with limited financial means. Affordable housing projects are now planned for Tel Aviv, Ashdod, Ra’anana and Jerusalem. These achievements are due to the work of the Coalition for Affordable Housing, comprised of NGOs including NIF grantees Bimkom: Planners for Planning Rights, Association for Distributive Justice, Community Advocacy: Genesis Israel, ACRI and SHATIL.

Employment Rights

NIF grantees are in the forefront of promoting labour rights  for all in Israel. The Workers’ Hotline, has begun a successful  strategy of civil enforcement, targeting employers? financial  interests to encourage them to respect workers? rights. Thanks to Kav LaOved – Worker’s Hotline, Tel Aviv Municipality has committed to providing employment rights to cleaners. All future tenders will contain clauses which will ensure contractors are committed to pay employees and employees of subcontractors their full salary and entitlements.

Empowering those with Learning Difficulties

SHATIL, NIF’s capacity building arm, has helped immigrant parents of children with learning disabilities to become better equipped to identify and handle problems. In collaboration with the Ministry of Education, SHATIL published and distributed thousands of copies of a Russian-language booklet, the first of its kind ‘Learning Disabilities: Information for Parents’. In addition, six SHATIL initiated Amharic language radio programmes on learning disabilities reached more than 90% of Ethiopian immigrant households, resulting in a torrent of calls requesting support.

Success stories

Read our annual report 2011

 

Religious Pluralism and Tolerance

Freedom of Choice

On Tu B’Av, NIF help celebrate the public Jewish marriage of Inna Zyskind and Pavel Kogan. Inna and Pavel are amongst approximately 300,000 Israelis who are tagged with the insulting ‘Psuley Hitun’ (forbidden to marry) which means they cannot marry religiously and legally in Israel even though the pay taxes, serve in the army etc. The ceremony in Tel Aviv was the centrepiece of the third Tu B’Av, Festival of Love that was organised by Havaya (which supports secular Jewish life cycle ceremonies) and Fishka (a young Russian speakers’ community)

Gender Equality in Public Spaces

NIF is addressing the phenomena of increasing gender and ethnic segregation in public spaces. In a court case led by NIF grantee, Israel Religious Action Centre, on behalf of orthodox women, the Supreme Court ruled that forced gender segregation on public buses is illegal. In another case, NIF grantee Noar Kahalacha has successfully campaigned to raise public awareness about discrimination against Mizrahi girls and provided assistance to Mizrahi families whose children have been rejected by ultra- Orthodox schools based on their ethnicity.

Government to Fund Non-Orthodox Rabbis

In a major breakthrough in the campaign for religious pluralism, the Israeli government has agreed to finance the salaries of some Reform and Conservative rabbis.  The decision followed a petition to Israel's Supreme Court by NIF grantee Israel Religious Action Centre (IRAC) asking the State to fund the salary of Reform Rabbi Miri Gold.   

Shared Society

Building Cross-Community Coalitions to Tackle Racism

A forum to combat racism in the name of Judaism. NIF has also supported the establishment of the Anti Racism Coalition, which unites diverse Jewish and Arab groups – including Ethiopian and Russian speaking immigrants, Mizrachim, Arabs, Bedouins and mixed families - in a joint public struggle against racism. Supporting broad based coalition remains a key priority for NIF.

 

Ensuring Equal Opportunity in Education

And a leadership course was held for parents, activists and administrators. In addition, thanks to the relentless work of our grantees The Follow-up Committee and Dirasat – Arab Centre for Law and Policy, the Arab education budget was increased by NIS 37 million for extra instructional hours and a plan was approved to build 500 new classrooms.

 

Kick Racism Out of Football

In 2003 NIF launched its ‘Kick it Out’ project. It has succeeded in fighting racism in football and promoting tolerance and inclusiveness in Israeli society. Kick It Out has successfully reduced offensive language and violence at matches. The campaign observed that there has been a 175% increase of educational activities by the clubs themselves over the past two years, and a 32% increase in fans condemning the racist behaviour of their fellow fans. It has also brought hundreds of Jewish and Arab children to play together at NIF-sponsored regional tournaments. This year, we are focusing our efforts on celebrating the clubs and fans that have done most to tackle racism.

Environment

Clear Air

Owing to the efforts of NIF grantee Israel Union of Environmental Defence Israel’s Clean Air Law came into effect on January 1, 2011. The law, which IUED formulated and lobbied for, sets strict emission standards, regulates procedures for monitoring air quality, and ensures public access to results and information. Most importantly, the law stipulates heavy fines for polluters. Tel Aviv is the third most polluted city in the European and Mediterranean region, and 1,100 people die annually in the Greater Tel Aviv region as a result of air pollution. IUED is supported by NIF through the Green Environment Fund.

Communities Recovering from the Carmel Fire

Following the Carmel Forest fire the worst natural disaster in Israel’s history, NIF began mobilising support. In addition to providing emergency grants to communities, NIF and its environmental groups began mapping emergency and long-term recovery needs and addressing the consequences of the fire and prevention. NIF also worked to ensure equal allocation of resources for all victims in the area – Jews, Arabs, Druze and others.

Environmental Education

Thousands of children around the country, Arab, Jewish, secular, religious and ultra-orthodox learn about sustainable living and protecting their environment. Since its modest beginnings with 9 schools in 1998, NIF grantee Green Network has grown to be a presence in more than 200 schools in all sectors of society. Here we see the students of the Arab town of Tira selling the produce from the garden they planted and cultivated in a neglected plot next to their school. Jewish and Arab children participate in joint projects to protect their shared open spaces and water resources.

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