The New Israel Fund of Canada is based on a simple idea: People like you and me who care about Israel can join together, make strategic investments in social change, and help Israel to be a free and open society.
In 2019, you and nearly a thousand other Canadians like you funded 15 incredible projects in Israel, advancing equality, pluralism, and a better future. Each of these 15 projects offered us inspiring stories of success — too many to share in one email.
So here are just eight of our top achievements this year:
1. Anti-Kahanist Petition — Victory!
This year, we were thrust into unprecedented political turmoil. Israel’s democracy has come under threat — and this will continue into 2020. Thanks to New Israel Fund civil society organizations and allies like you around the world — we succeeded in keeping Kahanists out of the Knesset with a petition signed by 15,000 Israelis and close to 10,000 signatories around the world.
2. Over 3,000 Patients Got Free Medical Care with Physicians for Human Rights-Israel
Volunteer doctors, nurses, and even specialists in alternative medicine run Physicians for Human Right-Israel’s mobile clinic which helps statusless residents of Israel, the West Bank, and in Gaza get the medical attention they need — at no cost. This year, 3,446 patients received medical care. Check out this video on the amazing work Physicians for Human Rights-Israel does.
(Learn more about PHRI’s Chair, Dr. Mushira Aboo Dia, one of our featured defenders of democracy.)
3. Forty-One Women Freed From “Chained” Marriages
Mavoi Satum has successfully freed 41 women from “chained” marriages this year! Israeli law gives any secular man the ability to file for divorce in religious courts where women have no right to divorce. With every single woman who is able to move on with her life, a victory is won.
4. Nearly 2,000 Israelis Learn About Palestinian Rights in East Jerusalem
This year, Ir Amim took 1,890 Israelis on 84 tours of East Jerusalem to learn about inequality, forcible evictions, and planning policies. These tours are just one piece of the research, education, and advocacy work that Ir Amim does — with the vision of Palestinian residents being able to live equal lives to Jewish residents on the western side of the city.
(Learn more about Ir Amim’s Aviv Tatarsky, one of our four featured defenders of democracy.)
5. Precedent-Setting: High School Opened in Unrecognized Bedouin Village
Bimkom – Planners for Planning Rights’ painstaking efforts paid off this year. In the Bedouin villiage of al-Zarnuk in the Negev, we helped reach a precedent-setting achievement: this unrecognized village opened their first high school in September! There is also a second village on the brink of recognition — Bimkom will continue their slow but steady work towards equality and services for every unrecognized village in the Negev.
6. First Canadian Cohort Completes Naomi Chazan Fellowship
Earlier this year, our first cohort of Naomi Chazan Fellows completed their year of volunteerism with us with much success. These activists in their 20s and 30s from Canada joined others from the UK, the US, and Australia and represent a new generation of Jewish leaders’ commitment to social justice in Israel. Our Canadian fellows reached thousands of people via events, photo exhibitions, speaking engagements, and articles online. We are so proud of them — and for the second cohort that started this past July!
(Learn more about the Naomi Chazan Fellowship.)
7. Sixty Percent Increase in Arab Representation on Israeli TV News
This year, our project with Sikkuy has increased the number of Arab experts interviewed on Israel’s leading television news programs by 60%! Year after year through this project, the nearly 20% of Israeli citizens who are Palestinian see more of themselves on Israeli news – a vital step for an Israel in which every citizen feels part of society.
8. Twenty-Eight Emergency Solidarity Visits to Victims of Hate Crimes
Tag Meir has become renowned for its immediate response to hate crimes, sending delegations to the victims of these attacks within forty-eight hours. This year, Tag Meir conducted twenty-eight of these emergency solidarity visits — along with community events to raise awareness about racism and violence in Israel.
(Learn more about Tag Meir’s Tamar, one of our four featured defenders of democracy)
And there are so many more stories to share…
These accomplishments are only possible because of the generosity of hundreds of our supporters here in Canada. Together, we are working with Israelis to grow an Israel that exemplifies democracy, equality, pluralism, and shared society.