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When they walk down the street, people don’t recognize them,
yet their work has improved the lives of every Israeli.

To mark Israel’s 70th anniversary, we are looking at the exciting work of five Israeli heroes that we at the New Israel Fund were privileged to support in their struggle. These are people who stood up to fight for their rights. They changed reality – for everybody in Israel.

Israelis – acting on their own or through civil society groups – have done a great deal to advance equality, justice and democracy in Israel. For almost 40 years, they have looked to NIF for help. Their achievements have improved the lives of everybody in the country.

We invite you to check out the maps and learn
about the impact of these struggles for equality!

Arab Society Trail

Supported by NIF

Arab Society Trail

Ein Hawd Village

Ein Hawd / 2005

Ein Hawd Village

Ein Hawd / 2005

Following the War of Independence, residents of the northern village of Ein Hawd were not permitted to return to their homes (which a few years later was transformed into the Ein Hod artists’ village), and consequently were forced to build a new village higher up the mountain. Israeli authorities refused to recognize the village, leaving the residents cut off from the water system, the electricity grid, and the road network.

In 1988, the Association of Forty was founded in the village, with the goal of bringing about recognition of the unrecognized Arab villages in the north. The Association was headed by Muhammad Alija and was based on the work of Jewish and Arab volunteers with the support of the New Israel Fund. The Association embarked on a 30-year long struggle, and in 2005, after a long campaign, the village finally won official recognition. In July 2006, the village was connected to the Israeli power grid, and is now a site that attracts visitors and tourists.

Photo: Maya Carmeli

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Historical Bedouin Village of Umm Batin

Umm Batin, Negev / 2005

Historical Bedouin Village of Umm Batin

Umm Batin, Negev / 2005

In 2005, the Bedouin Village of Umm Batin was granted official recognition by the State of Israel as part of a government resolution to establish several permanent Bedouin settlements. This recognition was due in part to the public struggle led by several organizations belonging to the NIF family, such as the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Adalah, the Negev Coexistence Forum, and others. In 2011, a zoning plan was authorized for the village, followed by approvals for the construction of two neighborhoods, a high school, an elementary school and an employment area. The Hebron stream, that runs through the center of the village and divides it, brings with it large amounts of waste. In 2003, the High Court ordered the state to build bridges for crossing the stream by foot or by car, in order to allow Umm Batin residents freedom of movement, to prevent health risks and drownings, and to allow Bedouin children to reach their schools safely. We invite you to come visit the historic Bedouin village of Umm Batin in the Negev, northeast of Beer Sheva and close to Omer.

ORT High School in Umm Batin. Photo: Michael Yakobson

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Women of Nazareth Against Violence

Anis Kardosh Street, Nazareth / 1992

Women of Nazareth Against Violence

Anis Kardosh Street, Nazareth / 1992

Feminist activist Aida Touma-Suleiman, now a Knesset Member on behalf of the Hadash party, founded in 1992, with the support of NIF, the NGO Women Against Violence. The goal was to combat violence against Arab women in Israel. This is the first organization to open shelters for battered women and a phone hotline for Arab victims of sexual assault. Later, the organization expanded its scope to include promoting the rights of Arab women in the public sphere as well as in the centers of political power, furthering employment for female Arab academics and raising awareness of a woman’s right to work. To date, Women Against Violence is considered that leading and central feminist organization operating within Arab society in Israel. The organization has also initiated and published research.

Nazareth women Photo: Nati Shochat / Flash 90

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Arab Representation in the Media Index

London & Kirschenbaum studio, Channel 10, Givatayim / 2016

Arab Representation in the Media Index

London & Kirschenbaum studio, Channel 10, Givatayim / 2016

For many years, the Israeli news media has either shown negative representations of Arab citizens or failed to show them at all. This situation has had an adverse effect on the fabric of relations between Jews and Arabs in the country. In order to contend with this reality, Sikkuy and the Seventh Eye, with the support of the New Israel Fund, initiated the Arab Media Representation Index. The project, launched in March 2016, was born out of the understanding that mass media has a powerful impact on the relations between the Jewish and Arab citizens in Israel. Mass media shapes the way in which Jewish and Arab populations perceive one another, and the media is itself a significant factor, capable of causing fierce tensions, or contributing to the creation of a joint, egalitarian society.

A summary of the 2017 Arab Media Representation Index in the Hebrew media indicates a significant increase in the representation of Arab citizens in current affairs and news programs both on television and on radio, in many parameters and tests, compared to previous years, primarily in the leading programs with the highest viewing ratings. The Index found that London and Kirschenbaum program is the leader in terms of Arab representation in the Hebrew media in 2017, with a double digit number of Arab interviewees.

Photo: Moshe Shay / Flash90

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How do you say GOAL! in Arabic?

Mabat Stadium, 52 Bar Yohai Street, Jerusalem / 2014

How do you say GOAL! in Arabic?

Mabat Stadium, 52 Bar Yohai Street, Jerusalem / 2014

The Team of Equals is a unique Jerusalem soccer club that brings together kids from 5th and 6th grade playing at Hapoel Katamon Club and kids from the Soccer School in Beit Safafa. Katamon is a Jewish neighborhood of Jerusalem, while Beit Safafa is a Palestinian neighborhood. Practice is conducted in Hebrew and Arabic, and the kids are bilingual in the language of soccer. Terms such as:  “pass”, “kick,” and “goalkeeper” are spoken in both languages by team members. The term “goal” needs no translation. This is the first group of its kind, putting the value of equality at the center of its activities. The team has been operating for four years, at the initiative and with the support of the New Israel Fund project entitled Kick It Out Israel. The team has two wonderful coaches: Amir Abukasis (Katamon) and Hassan Hussein (Beit Safafa).

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The High Court’s Kaadan Ruling

Katzir / 2000

The High Court’s Kaadan Ruling

Katzir / 2000

In the 1990s, Adel and Iman Kaadan sought to make their home in the village of Katzir, but were rejected by the town’s admissions committee. The reason? They are Arabs. Together with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, which is supported by the NIF, they petitioned the High Court. The Court ruled that the policy of leasing land solely to Jews constitutes prohibited discrimination, and further explained that precisely because Israel is a Jewish state, it must sanctify the value of equality.

In 2000, following the Court’s ruling, the Kaadan family resubmitted its application to Katzir’s admissions committee, which again refused to accept them. Another appeal to the High Court in August 2007 – more than 10 years after they began their struggle – led to victory: the Kaadan family received permission to build their home in the Katzir.

Photo: New Israel Fund Archive

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Atid Bamidbar

2 Nahal Zin Street, Yeruham / 1990

Atid Bamidbar

2 Nahal Zin Street, Yeruham / 1990

The Israeli desert breeds inspiring cooperation: a farm operated jointly by residents of Yeruham and the Bedouin village of Rahma, Jewish-Bedouin community tourism projects, and even a professional sewing course for women.

Atid Bamidbar (Future in the Desert) and Mirkam Azorei (Regional Fabric) group, comprised of residents of Yerucham and Rahma, partnered with New Israel Fund to establish the Social Entrepreneurship Incubator for neighboring Bedouin and Jewish communities. They now operate many joint programs and will soon open a pre-academic preparatory program.

Activities include joint get-togethers of Jews and Bedouins who meet in the Atid Bamidbar house for a symbolic breaking of the fast and a discussion. These events happen following the Jewish fast day of the 17th of Tamuz and during the Muslim Ramadan. In 2015, more than 22,000 people participated in programs operated by Atid Bamidbar.

Photo: Courtesy of Atid Bamidbar

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Signs in Arabic

Jerusalem / 2002

Signs in Arabic

Jerusalem / 2002

Why don’t all the municipal street signs also provide information in Arabic, which is, let’s not forget, an official language in Israel? In June 1999, Adalah and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, supported by the New Israel Fund, petitioned the High Court against the municipalities of Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Haifa, Ramle, Lod, Acre, and Nazareth Illit. The aim of the petition: Inclusion of text in the Arabic language in all the signs erected by the municipalities, since the absence of information in Arabic constitutes discrimination against members of the Arab-Palestinian minority residing in these cities. In February 2000, after hearing the arguments of all the parties, the court issued an injunction compelling these municipalities to make the change or explain why they would not. The exception was the Municipality of Acre, which agreed to implement the request in the petition, even before the court decision. In July 2002, the High Court made a definitive ruling that Arabic must be included!

Photo: Hanay

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Government Resolution 922 - Economic Development Plan for the Arab Society

Kafr Qasim / 2015

Government Resolution 922 - Economic Development Plan for the Arab Society

Kafr Qasim / 2015

Following the pressure brought to bear by many organizations belonging to the New Israel Fund family and Knesset members, at the end of 2015, Government Resolution No. 922 – Economic Development of the Arab Society for Years 2016-2020 – was adopted. The resolution calls for the allocation of a relative portion of the state budget to the Arab population, according to their size in the general population, and in some cases even beyond their relative size. For example, the resolution stated that the informal education budget will be allocated to Arab communities according to their percentage in the population. 25% of the budget for the construction of day care centers will be earmarked for Arab communities, 40% of the budget for additional public transport services, and more. Here’s an example of the impact: until this decision was implemented, there were no public buses in Kafr Qasim, an Arab town in central Israel with more than 20,000 residents.

The total budget allocations according to the government’s decision, over the five years of the program’s implementation, is estimated by the Ministry of Finance to total more than NIS 10 billion!

Photo: Moshe Shay / Flash90

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Sweeter than Honey Tours during the Ramadan Holiday

Umm al-Fahm / 2014

Sweeter than Honey Tours during the Ramadan Holiday

Umm al-Fahm / 2014

n Arab communities, the holy month of Ramadan is a time when days turn into nights and nights into days. A month in which the streets of Arab towns are teeming and crowded with people until the early hours of the night, with countless stalls offering candy scattered throughout the streets. Hospitality is one of the symbols of the month of Ramadan. With the support of the New Israel Fund, Sikkuy has over the past four years been organizing, as part of its Ramadan Nights project, a wide range of tours in Umm al-Fahm and other Arab villages throughout the country. The tours include visits to the homes of local residents, that open a window to the stories, the food, and the various traditions of this unique month. To book tours, click here.

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Promoting Bedouin Women’s Education

Sapir College / 1994

Promoting Bedouin Women’s Education

Sapir College / 1994

Alnuhud, the Association of Bedouin Women’s Education in the Negev, was founded in 1994 with the goal of promoting education in general, and higher education of Bedouin women and young women in the Negev in particular. In 1995, a single female Bedouin graduated from Ben Gurion University of the Negev. Thanks to Alnuhod, she was joined in 1998-2007 by another 150 female Bedouin university graduates! Since this growth in the number of educated women in the Negev began, the number of NGOs led by Bedouin women has also increased. The total number of Bedouin women in the Negev to graduate from institutions of higher education from 1998 to 2007 reached more than 700, many of them graduates of Sapir College. Alnuhod Association has awarded more than 440 scholarships to Bedouin students, and more than 130 graduates of the preparatory pre-academic program were accepted for higher education. Some of these women have already graduated and joined the work force in their community, while others went on to pursue advanced degrees.

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Preservation of the Bedouin Weaving Tradition by Women

Lakiya, Negev / 1991

Preservation of the Bedouin Weaving Tradition by Women

Lakiya, Negev / 1991

Come visit the Desert Embroidery Center in the Bedouin village of Lakiya located in the Negev, where Bedouin women weave exquisite carpets and fabrics, as part of a project designed to preserve their traditional weaving skills, empower them, and provide them with a livelihood. The carpets at Desert Embroidery are woven – in beautiful designs – on traditional ground-based looms, using pure sheep wool purchased from local shepherds. The Association for the Improvement of the Status of Women in Lakiya, which operates the project, is supported by the New Israel Fund, and was officially recognized as the first Bedouin organization in the Negev.

 

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The Triumph of the Bedouin Village

Al-Hawashla High School, Qasr Al-sir / 2005

The Triumph of the Bedouin Village

Al-Hawashla High School, Qasr Al-sir / 2005

With about 3,000 people the Qasr al-Sir village is west of Dimona on the Al-Hawashla tribe’s land. The village was recognized in 2005 after a long campaign by NIF family organizations including the Regional Council for Unrecognized Villages in the Negev, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), Adalah the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights, Negev Coexistence Forum, Rabbis for Human Rights, Physicians for Human Rights and more.

Even before it was recognized, a Mother and Child health clinic (Tipat Halav) was set up in the village following a court petition in 1997 by Adalah. In this way hundreds of women in the village were assured vital and accessible services and a situation was averted in which they did not have pregnancy checkups, guidance and vaccinations due to living far from a clinic and poor public transport.

The village has kindergartens, two elementary schools, and a high school in permanent buildings, which serve the children of the village and its region.

The Hasein Al-Hawashla High School is named for one of the founders of the village.

The campaign to improve the Bedouin education system continues, and among other things, the High Court of Justice recently instructed that the schools in Qasr al-Sir and other villages must have safe and clearly designated bus stops for the buses transporting children to prevent them from being injured in accidents when boarding and getting off buses.

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LGBTQ Trail

Supported by NIF

LGBTQ Trail

Avinof Frumer and his Battle for the HIV-AIDS Drugs Cocktail

Rose Garden, Jerusalem / 1997

Avinof Frumer and his Battle for the HIV-AIDS Drugs Cocktail

Rose Garden, Jerusalem / 1997

Avinof Frumer was born in Givatayim, a pleasant and self-confident boy. The process of coming out of the closet was relatively easy, and he was sure that he would lead a good and happy life. But his life was rudely disrupted at the age of 19, when he learned that he was HIV positive. From that moment on, the disease and coping with it, were his most important challenges. One of the challenges he faced was a lack of access to life-saving medications. In 1997, Frumer launched a struggle that included demonstrations (including a highly publicized demonstration in the Rose Garden in front of the Knesset), media interviews, delegations of HIV carriers to the Knesset, running an active AIDS lobby, graffiti on the walls and a class action suit filed on behalf of people living with the virus. Not only did he succeed, using clever tricks and a brilliant strategy, in ensuring that people with HIV would be entitled to receive the drug cocktail from the state, but it was thanks to him that Israel now has an official criteria of which medications would be available for the entire population!

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Hapoel Katamon Against Homophobia

Teddy Stadium, Jerusalem / 2015

Hapoel Katamon Against Homophobia

Teddy Stadium, Jerusalem / 2015

In April 2015, the Hapoel Katamon soccer team hosted the Maalot Tarshiha team at Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium, winning the match 3:1. During the celebrations by the winning team’s fans, an extraordinary event took place: the flags of the gay community were waved instead of the soccer team’s flags! On the team’s Facebook page, they posted: “In the midst of all the uproar yesterday at Teddy, you may have missed the improvements we made to the soccer flags on the court. As part of the team’s efforts to combat homophobia in soccer as well as in general, we replaced the stadium flags with gay pride flags with the team’s logo. This initiative by Hapoel Katamon, that won widespread public and media attention in Israel and around the world, is an additional step in a series of initiatives that the team has led, together with the New Israel Fund’s Kick It Out project, aimed at encouraging tolerance and battling homophobia.

Image: Chairman of Hapoel Katamon, Yaron Duak, awarding the gay pride flag from the match to the CEO of the Open House in Jerusalem

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The precedent-setting victory of Jonathan Danilovich and his partner

Ben Gurion Airport / 1989

The precedent-setting victory of Jonathan Danilovich and his partner

Ben Gurion Airport / 1989

Jonathan Danilovich, an El Al flight attendant, has been living with his partner since 1979. The airline denied his request to receive airline tickets for his spouse, although it was customary at El Al to provide tickets to common-law partners. In 1989, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, which operates with the support of the NIF, filed a lawsuit with the labor court against El Al on behalf of Jonathan Danilovitz. This was the first instance of a suit filed for equal rights for an LGBTQ couple! The action was also groundbreaking because it was filed three years before the Knesset amended the Equal Employment Opportunity Law to explicitly bar discrimination in the workplace due to sexual orientation.

Based on the amendment to the law, the court ruled that El Al’s policy constitutes sexual orientation discrimination and is therefore illegal. El Al appealed to the National Labor Court, and an expanded panel of seven justices rejected the appeal. El Al did not accept these rulings, and in 1994 appealed to the High Court, which also rejected El Al’s petition. In its ruling, which to this day is the most significant precedent on this subject, the High Court held by a majority opinion that El Al’s policy violates the right to equality and is illegitimate.

Photo: Moshe Shay / Flash90

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First Gay Pride Parade in Beer Sheva

Yitzhak Rager Boulevard, Beer Sheva / 2017

First Gay Pride Parade in Beer Sheva

Yitzhak Rager Boulevard, Beer Sheva / 2017

In June 2017, the Gay Pride House organized the first Gay Pride Parade in Beer Sheva, with the participation of 4,000 marchers. That same year, the city council decided to establish an urban community framework for the gay community in the city, recognizing that it is part of the fabric of the city’s communities, and to provide financial support.

A year earlier, in 2016, the Beer Sheva Municipality did not allocate any funding or assistance to the gay pride event. The representatives of the Gay Pride House submitted a request to hold the parade on part of Rager Boulevard, one of the city’s central streets, where marches and parades are often held. In response, objections were raised by the city’s chief rabbi, Yehuda Deri, and representatives of the Shas party on the city council. They all opposed to the parade being held on the city’s main street.

The police decided to divert the march to a side street. In response, the Gay Pride house in Beer Sheva, in collaboration with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, which is supported by the New Israel Fund, appealed to the High Court to order the Israel Police to allow the parade to be held on Rager Boulevard. In the hearing, held the day before the parade, the justices ruled that the parade would not march along the main street, but would be moved to a side road. In light of the High Court’s decision to transfer the march to a side street, the Gay Pride House announced that it was canceling the parade and holding a protest demonstration in its place. The demonstration in Beer Sheva was covered by all the television channels and national newspapers.

On June 28, 2018, the Gay Pride House will hold its second Gay Pride parade in Beer Sheva, that will march down Yitzhak Rager Boulevard, with the assistance of the New Israel Fund.

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The Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance

2 Hasorag Street, Jerusalem / 1997

The Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance

2 Hasorag Street, Jerusalem / 1997

Twenty years ago, thousands of years after the city of Jerusalem was founded, a small group of volunteers founded the Open House for Pride and Tolerance in Jerusalem. It has become the first, and nearly only, real home for members of the LGBTQ community, and those seeking a tolerant way of life in the holy city. It sponsors social activities and a clinic. In October 2000, the first gay pride flag was raised above the House, that operates with the support of the New Israel Fund, in the heart of the pedestrian mall. The House’s offices later moved to a larger space, in nearby Sorag Street. Since 2002, the House has been organizing Jerusalem’s vibrant Gay Pride March that has become a national symbol. The House is open every day, all week long. For special activities, please check the schedule on the website: https://www.joh.org.il/calendar

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Location of Shira Banki’s murder

Route of the Gay Pride March, Keren Hayesod Street, Jerusalem / 2015

Location of Shira Banki’s murder

Route of the Gay Pride March, Keren Hayesod Street, Jerusalem / 2015

Since 2002, the Jerusalem Open House, supported by the NIF, has been organizing the Gay Pride and Tolerance March in Jerusalem – one of the most significant and exciting events in the city. During the 2015 parade, 15-year-old Shira Banki was stabbed to death by an ultra-Orthodox extremist, Yishai Schlissel, less than a month after he had was released from a 10-year prison sentence for attempted murder during the 2005 march.

One year later, the march was attended by 25,000 people from all sectors of society, residents of Jerusalem, and 30 Knesset members. Marching under the banner “Here to Stay!” it was the biggest gay pride march ever held in the city. In addition, the Hapoel Katamon soccer team changed its name to “Hapoel Katamon Jerusalem – Shira” in memory of the murdered young woman.

Photo: Yossi Zimer

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Neimim VeNeimot – the LGBTQ Community Comes Out

Rabin Square, Tel Aviv / 1979

Neimim VeNeimot – the LGBTQ Community Comes Out

Rabin Square, Tel Aviv / 1979

One of the very first public events held by the gay and lesbian community in Israel was a demonstration in Tel Aviv’s Kings of Israel Square (later renamed Rabin Square) on 17 July 1979, the year the New Israel Fund was founded, by the Association for the Preservation of Individual Rights (which in subsequent years would be supported by NIF). The demonstration was attended by gay and lesbian Jews from all over the world. At the time, Israeli law still prohibited “sodomy,” and only a minority joined the call for equality. However, over the years, this small voice has grown and evolved into a powerful voice.

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Rainball Gay Soccer Team

Ramat Gan Stadium / 2012

Rainball Gay Soccer Team

Ramat Gan Stadium / 2012

A Jew, a Christian, and a Muslim walk onto the soccer field. Who will kick the ball? The Rainbow Soccer Team was founded six years ago to provide a supportive and unifying social framework for Israel’s LGBTQ community. Love of soccer is the unifying common denominator for over 100 members – Jews, Christians, and Muslims, with diverse gender identities belonging to the entire LGBTQ spectrum, who play together in friendly matches twice a week in club tournaments. In recent years, the team, with the support of NIF, the Israel Football Association, Hapoel Katamon and other organizations, has been active in promoting tolerance, supporting the LGBTQ community in Israel, and the struggle against homophobia.

Photo: Gilad Kvalarchik

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Wigstock Riots

Independence Park / 1998

Wigstock Riots

Independence Park / 1998

In 1995, hundreds of members of the LGBTQ community gathered in Tel Aviv for a street party to collect money for the Bella Doeget organization that works for AIDS awareness. This first event, known as the Wigstock Festival, was the cornerstone of what would eventually develop into the Gay Pride events in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem!

In 1998, more than 2,500 people participated in the event, which the police decided to disperse in the middle – something that caused the event to be  renamed as the “Wigstock Riots.” 200 of the participants (out of about 3,000), led by drag queens and transgender people, began to challenge the police and block streets, and this led to a violent face-to-face confrontation. The fact that some of the police officers wore rubber gloves triggered public outrage in Israel, and turned the event into a blatant symbol of the establishment’s homophobia.

At the Gay Pride Parade held just a month later, the marchers returned to the route of the Wigstock riot.

Photo: Ma’ariv Newspaper (from Wikipedia)

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Dana is the Winner!

Rabin Square (in which people happily jumped into the fountain) / 1998

Dana is the Winner!

Rabin Square (in which people happily jumped into the fountain) / 1998

Israel is a pioneer in numerous fields, and in 1998 it set a new precedent: for the first time ever in the annals of the Eurovision Song Contest, a transgender singer performed on the Eurovision stage. The singer was Dana International, who was chosen to represent Israel with the song “Diva”.

Dana won first place in the competition – in response to which members of the LGBTQ community and many others jumped into a fountain in Rabin Square. This was the third time that Israel won first place in the Eurovision competition. The victory constituted a national and international milestone in the recognition and legitimacy of LGBTQ community in general, and transgender people in particular.

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Mom + Mom Make 2

Ministry of the Interior, Tel Aviv / 2001

Mom + Mom Make 2

Ministry of the Interior, Tel Aviv / 2001

In 1999, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (represented by Attorney Hadas Tagari) submitted a petition to the High Court on behalf of Ruth, Nicole and Matan Brenner-Kadish against the Minister of the Interior. The petition was filed in response to the Interior Ministry’s refusal to register Nicole as Matan’s adoptive mother. In May 2000, the High Court accepted the petition and ordered the Interior Ministry to register Nicole as Matan’s second mother.

After the ruling was handed down, the Interior Minister requested another hearing. The President of the High Court accepted the request and ruled that an expanded panel of seven justices would hear the matter. Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry requested that the registration be suspended until a ruling was handed down in the additional hearing. However, Justice Aharon Barak rejected the request and ordered the Interior Ministry to register the adoptive mother without further delay. On July 2001, Nicole was registered as Matan’s second mother, and as far as the Interior Ministry is concerned, Matan has two mothers!

Pictured: Ruti and Nicole with their children. Photo: Aner Green

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Trail for Peace

Supported by NIF

Trail for Peace

She’s Breaking the Silence

Arlozorov Terminal, Jerusalem Central Bus Station (meeting point for tour) / 2004

She’s Breaking the Silence

Arlozorov Terminal, Jerusalem Central Bus Station (meeting point for tour) / 2004

Frima Bubis was born in an ultra-orthodox religious home, to newly religious parents. When she was still a child, she realized that she was less religious than her parents but was still very attached to Judaism. Her army service in the Civil Administration in Nablus changed her political outlook. She witnessed Jewish violence against the Palestinian population, which she perceived as contradicting the Jewish values on which she was raised and educated. This led to her desire to make change, and to make life in Israel better. Today, she guides tours of Hebron on behalf of Breaking the Silence, which operates with the support of the New Israel Fund. It is well worthwhile to meet her!

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Machsom Watch Women

Efraim Gate / 2001

Machsom Watch Women

Efraim Gate / 2001

Machsom Watch is an Israeli women’s movement that was established in 2001 with the support of the New Israel Fund. The movement opposes the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the denial of the rights of Palestinians to live and travel freely in their land.

The organization’s members conduct daily monitoring of IDF checkpoints and of Military Courts. They document in their reports what they witness first hand – with their own eyes and ears. In 2004, the organization was honored with the Emil Grunzweig Human Rights Award, awarded by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.

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Rana Choir

Jaffa / 2016

Rana Choir

Jaffa / 2016

Rana is a Jaffa-based choir composed of 20 Jewish, Muslim, and Christian women who through their voices express their shared fate and common hope for life and peace. The choir’s repertoire includes folk songs in Hebrew, in Arabic and other languages. The choir operates under the patronages of the Felicja Blumental Music Center, that seeks to discover and promote talented musicians in order to help them realize their full potential.

 

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Israeli – Palestinian Memorial Day Ceremony

Tmuna Theatre / 2006

Israeli – Palestinian Memorial Day Ceremony

Tmuna Theatre / 2006

The Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day Ceremony is a joint memorial event held on the eve of Memorial Day for Israel’s Fallen Soldiers. The event is organized by Combatants for Peace in cooperation with the Parents Circle – Family Forum, and in recent years it has been supported by the New Israel Fund. The event was held for the first time in 2006 at the Tmuna Theatre, at the initiative of the Yizkor movement. This year (2018), the ceremony was held for the 13th time at the Tel Aviv Convention Center and was attended by thousands of people.

Novelist David Grossman, winner of the Israel Prize for literature and a member of the Bereaved Families Forum, spoke at the 2018 ceremony. Grossman lost his son Uri during the Second Lebanon War, and his speech drew enthusiastic applause when he announced that he plans to donate half of the prize money to the Bereaved Families Forum and to the Eliflet organization, which cares for children of asylum seekers. The embrace between him and Miriam Peretz, another Israel Prize laureate, later that week demonstrated that the experience of being Israeli and of bereavement are stronger than any political controversy.

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Living in Harmony in Neve Shalom

Neve Shalom / 1972

Living in Harmony in Neve Shalom

Neve Shalom / 1972

Neve Shalom in Hebrew, or Wahat al-Salam in Arabic, is a unique cooperative community, located in the Latrun area, between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The community was established by Jews and Palestinian-Israelis in 1972, based on the vision of a community that will serve as a model of coexistence between the two peoples. Its name expresses the hope of community members to serve as an example and as a symbol of peace.

Neve Shalom stresses a life based on equality, with an equal number of Jewish and Arab residents, all of them volunteering in joint activities to promote understanding and peace between peoples. The New Israel Fund has supported the community for many years, and Shatil, the organization’s action arm, has provided consultancy services to the local School for Peace.

Photo: Miriam Alster / Flash90

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Human chain for good neighbours

Kafr Kara / 2014

Human chain for good neighbours

Kafr Kara / 2014

Imagine a human chain of Jews and Arabs in Wadi Ara holding hands and expressing a desire to live in peace with one another. A dream vision? No. This is a reality that was first realized in 2014, thanks to the Neighbors of Peace initiative, established by Amana Knana from Kafr Kara in Wadi Ara, and other activists, and which is supported by the New Israel Fund.

Photo: Redad Jabara

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Establishment of the First Egalitarian School

The bilingual school in Jerusalem / 1998

Establishment of the First Egalitarian School

The bilingual school in Jerusalem / 1998

Hand in Hand was founded in 1997 with the support of the New Israel Fund. Their goal is to promote and develop a shared society for Arabs and Jews. The curriculum in Hand in Hand schools is based on principles that reflect the two cultures and languages, without preferring one of them over the other, and on education for multi-cultural literacy as well as shared and equal citizenship. Hebrew and Arabic have equal status in the schools, where children learn together in both languages. In addition to the core studies required by law, all religious and cultural holidays and special days are marked in the schools. All the schools are officially recognized and supervised by the Ministry of Education.

Jewish children and Arab children are admitted from kindergarten to 12th grade. The schools accept Jewish and Arab students from all socio-economic strata , and acceptance is not dependent on the family’s economic status or on any tests or requirements.

Since 1998, Hand in Hand has established three schools: in Misgav, Jerusalem, and Kafr Kara, as well as bilingual kindergartens in Haifa and Jaffa. Today, graduates of the Jaffa kindergarten can continue on to two bilingual first grade classes opened in Jaffa for the first time. The latest addition, so far, to the Hand in Hand family is the new kindergarten within the Beit Berl campus, serving residents of the Sharon and the Southern Triangle. In November 2014, several classrooms in the bilingual school in Jerusalem were burned, and hate graffiti was spray-painted on the walls by Lahava activists.

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Emek Shaveh

City of David Site, Jerusalem / 2013

Emek Shaveh

City of David Site, Jerusalem / 2013

The archaeological tours conducted by Emek Shaveh in the village of Silwan and the City of David site reveal the cultural richness of the site, while illustrating the part that archeology plays in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as in the very fabric of village life. In the archaeological site, layers have been uncovered dating back to the very beginnings of the city of Jerusalem, so it is not a surprise that the site is the flash point of political friction in East Jerusalem. The tour is a walking tour, combining a visit to the ancient sites with a walk through the streets of the Silwan village. Emek Shaveh is an NGO whose focus is the place of archeology in Israeli society and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and which is operated with the support of the New Israel Fund.

Photo: Adi Tofik

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Nof Meshutaf for Galilee Young People

Nof Meshutaf Orchard / 2003

Nof Meshutaf for Galilee Young People

Nof Meshutaf Orchard / 2003

The Omri Foundation is an NGO that operates the Nof Meshutaf (Shared Landscape) social project that was launched in 2003, dedicated to the memory of the late Omri Goldin, a soldier who was killed in the bus bombing near the Meron Junction in August 2002. The Galilee is home to a diverse range of communities: 48% Muslim , 32% Jews, 13% Druze, and 7% Christian Arabs. The scarcity of government budgets, distance from the commercial center of the country, and the lack of solidarity between the various communities produces conditions that have, to date, prevented the realization of the promise inherent in the Galilee. The region’s young people face a shortage of opportunities, with some moving to the center of the country or emigrating overseas. Nof Meshutaf is a space that cultivates leaders that develop joint initiatives and regional partnerships which promote equality and partnership in the Galilee and throughout Israel. It is also simply a beautiful place to visit. You are all invited!

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The Voice of Peace

Abie Nathan Street, Herzliya / 1973

The Voice of Peace

Abie Nathan Street, Herzliya / 1973

Abie Nathan was a peace activist and an Israeli air force pilot. In 1969, Nathan purchased a ship, named it the Peace Ship, and anchored it outside of Tel Aviv. From 1973, the ship broadcast pirate radio transmissions and called for peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors. The station played contemporary music, much of which was not played on the established radio stations at the time, and thus gained great popularity. Nathan also harnessed the station for humanitarian activities, such as collecting donations for needy people in areas suffering from starvation. In October 1973, during the Yom Kippur War, Nathan ordered the ship to sail to Port Said, from where the station broadcast calls to stop the fighting. In 1978 he went on a hunger strike for more than a month, demanding and end to the settlements project. In 2011, a street was named after him in Herzliya. Abie Nathan was an enormous inspiration for many of Israel’s peace activists.

Voice of Peace ship. Photo: Moshe Shay/Flash90

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Spreading Light in Place of Terror

Muslim Cemetery on Mount Zion, Jerusalem / 2011

Spreading Light in Place of Terror

Muslim Cemetery on Mount Zion, Jerusalem / 2011

In response to “Price Tag” attacks by settlers against Palestinians and other hate crimes that have been mounting in recent years, the Tag Meir Forum was established, with the support of the New Israel Fund, to give expression to Israelis who believe in tolerance, in mutual respect, and in welcoming the neighbors and foreigners who live alongside us.

Tag Meir represents Israel at its best: its members support price tag victims, visit places that were attacked, aid in their rehabilitation, and conduct activities against racism and xenophobia.

Tag Meir promotes active resistance to violence and hatred, opposes the racism that erodes Israeli society, and presents an inclusive alternative.

 In the photo: Tag Meir activists clean and repair the Muslim cemetery on Mount Zion, which was desecrated by extremists. 

Photo: Yossi Zamir

 

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Changing the Route of the Separation Barrier in Tulkarm and Qalqiliya

Between Tulkarm and Qalqiliya / 2014

Changing the Route of the Separation Barrier in Tulkarm and Qalqiliya

Between Tulkarm and Qalqiliya / 2014

In 2005, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, which is supported by the New Israel Fund, filed a petition on behalf of the heads of six Palestinian villages located near the separation barrier: Jayyous, Falamia, Khirbet Jubara, Far’un, a-Raas and Kafr Zur. The reason: The route of the barrier and the “permits” policy, which the army implemented in the area to the west of the villages, severely violated the residents’ rights and, in particular, blocked their access to their farming lands, impacting their ability to cultivate their land and sell their produce.

Another problem generated by the barrier’s route was the creation of an enclave that was totally cut off from the West Bank, producing a new reality for the residents of some of the villages, who were now subject to a bureaucratic permit regime, and suffered from severe disruption of their freedom of movement. Anyone who was not a resident of one of the villages was not allowed to enter them unless he or she had a special permit. The barrier caused damage to the livelihood and daily lives of thousands of residents. In 2009, the High Court ruled that the route would be changed in order to reduce the impact on the residents. But it was only in 2014, five years after the Court’s ruling was handed down, that the security barrier was dismantled in the area and access to thousands of hectares of agricultural fields were returned to their owners!

Palestinian farmer in the field, West Bank. Photo: Naasar Ishtea / Flash90

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Peace Now’s Demonstration of 400,000

Kings of Israel Square (renamed Rabin Square), Tel Aviv / 1982

Peace Now’s Demonstration of 400,000

Kings of Israel Square (renamed Rabin Square), Tel Aviv / 1982

Operation Peace for the Galilee (The First Lebanon War), that began in the summer of 1982, initially enjoyed widespread public support in Israel. Following the prolonged fighting and the expansion of Operation Peace for the Galilee into an all-out war, public criticism of the war began to grow. Evidence of the massacre perpetrated by Christian Phalangists against the residents of the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps brought the opposition to the war to a new peak. A huge, 400,000-people-strong Peace Now demonstration was held in September of that year in Kings of Israel Square (later renamed Rabin Square). Peace Now called for the establishment of a State Commission of Inquiry, for the resignation of Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, and for the withdrawal of IDF forces from Beirut. Peace Now’s initiatives have been supported by the New Israel Fund in recent years.

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Mizrachi Trail

Supported by NIF

Mizrachi Trail

Establishment of the Kedma School and Preservation of Mizrahi Culture

5 Bar Yochai Street, Jerusalem / 1994

Establishment of the Kedma School and Preservation of Mizrahi Culture

5 Bar Yochai Street, Jerusalem / 1994

The Kedma school was founded in 1994 by a group of academics and educators who sought to initiate a revolution: to open a school that will enable children from a low socioeconomic background to study in their neighborhood, and complete high school with a matriculation degree – while offering multicultural education as an integral part of the curriculum. Members of the Mizrahi Democratic Rainbow Coalition, acting with the support of the NIF, were among the pioneers who raised the banner of Mizrahi culture and made it accessible to future generations. In 2015, Kedma School in Jerusalem was awarded the National Education Prize.

Image: Clara Yona, One of the founders of Kedma School

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אתר ״העוקץ״

דרום תל אביב / 2003

אתר ״העוקץ״

דרום תל אביב / 2003

לפני כ-15 שנה הוקם אתר ״העוקץ״ על ידי יוסי דהאן ואיציק ספורטא ששמו לעצמם למטרה לקדם צדק חברתי במדבר האינטרסים של טייקונים ופוליטיקאים, ולהאיר זוויות פחות מדוברות של החיים בישראל. מאז הפך ״העוקץ״ לבמה מקוונת למאות כותבים וכותבות, אקטיביסטיות ומומחים, שמציעים ומציעות את הידע, הניתוח והפרשנות הייחודית שלהם במגוון רחב של נושאים: סוגיות ומאבקים חברתיים, מזרחיוּת, פמיניזם, פוליטיקה, חינוך, כלכלה, היסטוריה, תרבות, שירה ועוד. עם הכותבים באתר במשך השנים נמנו בין השאר: שלי יחימוביץ’, חררדו לייבנר, גדי אלגזי, יוסי יונה, יהודה שנהב, יצחק ג’קי אדרי, אורלי בנימין, שלמה סבירסקי ואחרים. ״העוקץ״ מתפרסם גם בערבית, ולצד הפלסטינים אזרחי ישראל ופלסטין – קוראים בו גם גולשים וגולשות ממדינות ערב שונות.

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Pardes for Southern Tel Aviv

Kiryat Shalom, Tel Aviv / 2006

Pardes for Southern Tel Aviv

Kiryat Shalom, Tel Aviv / 2006

The Pardes is a community development organization based in south Tel Aviv. NIF seed-funded Pardes in 2006 to strengthen the local communities in the Kiryat Shalom and Shapira neighborhoods. Pardes runs an empowerment program for ultra-Orthodox women, which provides job training, offers employment services, and cares for older adults. Additionally, Pardes advocates for greater investment in public transportation and healthcare services in Kiryat Shalom

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My Heart in the East Coalition

Inbal Center / 2009

My Heart in the East Coalition

Inbal Center / 2009

The My Heart in the East Coalition advocates for equality in government funding for the arts and culture, with a focus on empowering and celebrating Mizrahi culture. By exposing discrimination against, and the underfunding of cultural projects related to, minority cultures in Israel, this organization promotes equality in the public sphere and a fair distribution of resources.

The My Heart at East Coalition is respected across partisan lines. Even the office of the right-wing Minister of Culture Miri Regev has acknowledged the important work of this NIF grantee.

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Public Housing Law

Demonstration plaza near the Israeli Knesset, Jerusalem / 1998

Public Housing Law

Demonstration plaza near the Israeli Knesset, Jerusalem / 1998

Thanks to the Public Housing Law of 1998, public housing tenants who are unable to purchase or rent apartments on the open market can purchase the apartments in which they live. The Mizrahi Democratic Rainbow, an organization supported by the New Israel Fund and Shatil, was a key advocate for this law. In 2018, the Knesset approved the extension of the Public Housing Law for an additional five years. Moving forward, the Public Housing Forum, which is supported by NIF, is running a camping to build new public housing.

Photo: from the NIF archive

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Gazelle Valley

Near the Katamonim neighborhood, Jerusalem / 2015

Gazelle Valley

Near the Katamonim neighborhood, Jerusalem / 2015

Located on the slopes of Jerusalem’s Katamonim neighborhood, the Gazelle Valley is an urban nature preserve, home to several dozen gazelles grazing peacefully in the park’s meadows. But this was not the original plan. In the late 1990s, the area was slated for a massive construction project, but local residents mobilized to protect the Gazelle Valley. With the help of organizations such as Adam Teva V’Din, the Mizrahi Democratic Rainbow, the Community Advocacy Association – all supported by the New Israel Fund and Shatil –  this remarkable coalition managed to freeze the construction. The coalition also got help from an unlikely source, as it submitted the official petition in the name of the gazelles!.

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Achoti - Fair Trade Shop

4 King Solomon St., Tel Aviv / 2000

Achoti - Fair Trade Shop

4 King Solomon St., Tel Aviv / 2000

The Achoti Movement, an NIF grantee founded by feminist Mizrahi activists, oversees the Fair Trade Shop, located in the heart of Tel Aviv. This unique store sells goods made by women from all over the country – household wares, works of art, original jewelry, and handcrafts. Most importantly, almost all of the profits go to the women themselves. Next time you visit Tel Aviv, make sure to visit!

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Land Distribution Decision by the High Court

Ga'ash Industrial Park / 2001

Land Distribution Decision by the High Court

Ga'ash Industrial Park / 2001

Why should only 3% of the population receive a gift from the state – at the expense of all the other citizens? Seven High Court justices unanimously overturned decisions by the Israel Land Administration regarding compensation to kibbutzim and moshavim for the sale of former farm land whose zoning designations were changed. The Mizrahi Democratic Rainbow challenged these decisions (which were originally made in 1995) as unjust, in that they would provide a small minority of landowners with a huge publicly-funded benefit worth tens of billions of Shekels, while causing damage to most of the country’s citizens and perpetuate discrimination against development towns and neighborhoods. The High Court agreed.

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Netanya’s Youth Speaks Out

Shikun Dora, Netanya / 2011

Netanya’s Youth Speaks Out

Shikun Dora, Netanya / 2011

In 2011, after the Knesset passed a law barring restaurants and nightclubs from discrimination based on ethnicity, Vardit Avidan, an attorney with T’mura: the Israeli Anti-Discrimination Legal Center, which is an NIF grantee, volunteered at the Shikun Dora Community & Sports Center in Netanya. She wanted to make sure that young Mizrahi people knew their rights and that they could fight discrimination against them. During one of these meetings at the community center, a teenager named Avidan realized that he and other young people were being discriminated against at entertainment venues in the area and that they were being denied entry because of their ethnicity. As a result, Vardit and Avidan worked together to collect evidence about several local venues and then filed compensation claims against them. Out of the 19 claims filed, they won 16.

Photo: Dina Shor / Flash90

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Feminist Trail

Supported by NIF

Feminist Trail

The Divorce (Get) Refusee who Broke the Conspiracy of Silence

Shaare Zedek Medical Center / 2016

The Divorce (Get) Refusee who Broke the Conspiracy of Silence

Shaare Zedek Medical Center / 2016

“Only the walls appreciate what you’re going through.” Shani Paluch was born and raised in Australia. During her studies, when she was still very young, she met the man who later became her husband and the father of her children. She fell in love with him, completed her studies, and immigrated to Israel. For many years, Dr. Paluch lived in two worlds: On the one hand, she was a successful and highly regarded doctor, who saved the lives of many women. She raised three children with her husband and acted as if everything was fine. Yet at the same time, only she knew the price that she was paying. There came a time when she realized that she had to leave her abusive husband and so she filed for divorce. From this point on, her life became even more miserable. She became a woman who was being refused a divorce, while battling all the powers that be.

“Show me a man who refuses to grant a divorce, and I’ll show you an abusive husband,” she posted on Facebook, during her long fight against the Rabbinical Court system. It was only after a difficult and almost impossible struggle that Dr. Paluch succeeded in obtaining a divorce, while giving hope to many other women in Israel who were also struggling for their independence!

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Secular and Religious Women Against the Exclusion of Women in Beit Shemesh

2 Yitzhak Rabin Road, Beit Shemesh / 2012

Secular and Religious Women Against the Exclusion of Women in Beit Shemesh

2 Yitzhak Rabin Road, Beit Shemesh / 2012

In January 2012, at the height of the campaign to keep secular and religious women out of some public spaces in the city of Beit Shemesh, 200 women residents of the city gathered for an especially creative form of protest – a flash-mob dancing to the sound of the song by Queen entitled “Don’t Stop Me Now!” The initiator of the anti-segregation protest was Miri Shalem, a resident of Beit Shemesh and a social activist who is currently the CEO of the Institute for Zionist Strategies and a recipient of the Yaffa London Yaari Award, which is awarded annually to leading women social activists by the Yaffa London Yaari Fund and the New Israel Fund.

“Beit Shemesh reached the headlines with stories of exclusion and segregation of women, through the use of separate sidewalks, or the story of Naama Margulies, a girl who was attacked by local men,” says Miri Shalem. “We wanted to sound a different voice, the voice of women who oppose religious exclusion in the city, women who love to live in Beit Shemesh, and do not constantly experience religious tension. We hope that this clip will succeed in explaining that Beit Shemesh has a strong and robust civil society. I’m not sure that it would have been possible in every city.”

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Election of Women to Religious Councils

Yeruham / 1988

Election of Women to Religious Councils

Yeruham / 1988

In 1988, the High Court ruled in the Shakdiel case, in response to a petition she filed together with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, that is supported by the New Israel Fund. The court ruled that women must not be discriminated against when it comes to the make up of religious councils that oversee government funding to local synagogues, cemeteries, and other religious institutions. Shakdiel became the first woman to serve on a religious council. More work remains to be done. In the entire history of the religious councils, only one woman was elected to serve as to chair a council. This was Smadar Gross, who served as the Chairperson of the Kfar Saba religious council, and whose term lasted only nine months. Yet in 2014, a woman was appointed to be a supervisor of a religious council: Leah Biton of Acre. And this is only the beginning.

Photo: Leah Shakdiel / Photo from YouTube

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Preservation of the Bedouin Weaving Tradition by Women

Lakiya, Negev / 1991

Preservation of the Bedouin Weaving Tradition by Women

Lakiya, Negev / 1991

Come visit the Desert Embroidery Center in the Bedouin village of Lakiya located in the Negev, where Bedouin women weave exquisite carpets and fabrics, as part of a project designed to preserve their traditional weaving skills, empower them, and provide them with a livelihood. The carpets at Desert Embroidery are woven – in beautiful designs – on traditional ground-based looms, using pure sheep wool purchased from local shepherds. The Association for the Improvement of the Status of Women in Lakiya, which operates the project, is supported by the New Israel Fund, and was officially recognized as the first Bedouin organization in the Negev.

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Women Cooking Up Business

Korazin Street, Nahlaot Jerusalem / 2011

Women Cooking Up Business

Korazin Street, Nahlaot Jerusalem / 2011

The Women Cooking Up Business project for the economic empowerment of women was established by the Achoti (Sister) Movement and the Kol Ha’isha (Women’s Voice) organization, that operate with the support of the New Israel Fund. The project offers women an opportunity to utilize their cooking skills and turn them into a source of income. We invite you to visit Rimon Ajami, a cook who lives in Nachlaot! To order meals and schedule a visit, call: 0506754367

Rimon Ajami cooking Photo: NIF archive

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Women of Nazareth Against Violence

Anis Kardosh Street, Nazareth / 1992

Women of Nazareth Against Violence

Anis Kardosh Street, Nazareth / 1992

Feminist activist Aida Touma-Suleiman, now a Knesset Member on behalf of the Hadash party, founded in 1992, with the support of NIF, the NGO Women Against Violence. The goal was to combat violence against Arab women in Israel. This is the first organization to open shelters for battered women and a phone hotline for Arab victims of sexual assault. Later, the organization expanded its scope to include promoting the rights of Arab women in the public sphere as well as in the centers of political power, furthering employment for female Arab academics and raising awareness of a woman’s right to work. To date, Women Against Violence is considered that leading and central feminist organization operating within Arab society in Israel. The organization has also initiated and published research.

Picture: Nazareth women, Nati Shochat / Flash 90

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The High Court Rules in Favor of Women Praying at the Western Wall

The Western Wall, Jerusalem / 2000

The High Court Rules in Favor of Women Praying at the Western Wall

The Western Wall, Jerusalem / 2000

The Western Wall is a Jewish place of worship. As such, shouldn’t every Jew, both male and female, be allowed to pray there? The Women of the Wall organization, which operates with the support of the New Israel Fund, fights for freedom of religion and for freedom of worship for Jewish women at the Western Wall, and views the struggle against the exclusion of women as key to its mission. The group fights for the right of women to pray in groups and out loud, to read from the Torah, to put on tefillin, and to wrap themselves in prayer shawls in the section known as the Women’s Section at the Western Wall.

In 2000, the High Court ruled that the women should be allowed to pray at the Western Wall. It criticized the actions of the committees acting against the women. The court ordered the government to “create appropriate arrangements and conditions in which the petitioners will be able to exercise their right to pray according to their traditions in the Western Wall plaza.”

Photo: Miriam Elster / Flash90

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Women's Soccer

Pardesiya / 2016

Women's Soccer

Pardesiya / 2016

Michal Ravitz Luria, a former player in the Israeli national team now manages the Women’s Division of the Hapoel Pardesiya soccer team for women and girls, where she tirelessly promotes women’s and girls’ soccer in Israel. “We have two girls’ teams and two women’s teams. The professional team is composed of women who come from all over the country: an Arab woman, a religious Jewish woman, mothers of three, students, even women from as far as the Jezreel Valley come to play,” says Ravitz Luria animatedly. “There is awareness among women and a real desire to play, but because of insufficient budgets, there are not many venues available to us.”

Women soccer players watch soccer matches at home with their families, and come to the fields to cheer their teams on. Studies show that when there are more women on the fields, there is less violence and racism and more tolerance. “Team sports teach tools for life,” Luria adds. “This is the most important thing for our country.” Come and watch a joint mothers and daughters match!

Photo: Redad Jabara

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Religious School for Feminist Education

Pelech School in Jerusalem / 1967

Religious School for Feminist Education

Pelech School in Jerusalem / 1967

The Pelech School was founded in 1967 by Rabbi Shalom Rosenblüth and his wife Penina, who were seeking a fitting school for their daughter. The Rosenblüths wanted a school that would provide an education suitable for the religious world, which would combine commitment to the world of Halakhah with a broad, enlightened and feminist education. After their departure, Prof. Alice Shalvi – founder of the Israel Women’s Network, an Israel Prize laureate, and one-time member of the board of directors of the New Israel Fund – took over the reins. She turned Pelech into a recognized experimental school.

Over the years, the Pelech has been a pioneering school: teaching girls Talmud as well as special programs in women’s studies, Yiddish, theater, and sculpturing – all of them at an enhanced level. To this day, Pelech specializes in the development of interdisciplinary programs in the humanities, and in the integration of religious studies with the arts. The students’ education is founded on the love of knowledge with the goal of broadening their horizons and enhancing their intellectual curiosity.

In the photo: Alice Shalvi, founder of the Pelech School

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Vicki Knafo and the Single Mothers Protest

Mitzpe Ramon / 2003

Vicki Knafo and the Single Mothers Protest

Mitzpe Ramon / 2003

On July 2, 2003, following Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s decision to drastically cut the welfare budget, including the already small allowances for single mothers, Vicki Knafo took an Israeli flag and began marching from her home in Mitzpeh Ramon to the Finance Ministry in Jerusalem.

Hundreds of citizens, including other single mothers, joined the 205-kilometer-long march by this determined single mother, who was accompanied by Shatil activists and other organizations supported by the NIF. The entire country followed the march and was inspired by it. Suddenly, the despair of a silenced population of more than 150,000 single-parent families reached the headlines and touched the heart of Israel.

Photo: Yossi Zamir / Flash 90

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The Prevention of Sexual Harassment Law

Knesset, Jerusalem / 1998

The Prevention of Sexual Harassment Law

Knesset, Jerusalem / 1998

At the end of the 1980s, under the Equal Employment Opportunities Law, the term “sexual harassment” was introduced for the first time into Israel’s book of laws. Yet it was only a decade later, in 1997, following the publication of an article by feminist activist and researcher Orit Kamir, that the struggle to enact a separate law for the prevention sexual harassment made headway.

In 1993, MK Yael Dayan, in parallel to the ongoing activities of women’s organizations that were supported by the New Israel Fund, led a campaign in the Knesset that revealed increased concern for the problem of sexual harassment in Israel. According to the police, in 95% of the cases, the people suffering from harassed were women. Five years later, their joint efforts bore fruit, and the Prevention of Sexual Harassment Law was passed.

Photo of Yael Dayan. Photo: Moshe Shay / Flash 90

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Amana Knana for Women of the Villages

Kafr Kara / 2004

Amana Knana for Women of the Villages

Kafr Kara / 2004

Awareness for You was founded by Amana Knana in 2004, with the support of the NIF and in collaboration with other women from Kafr Kara, with the goal of advancing and improving the lives of Arab women in Kafr Kara and the Wadi Ara region, through action at the community, family, and individual levels. The organization also participated, along with others, in the establishment of the Green Carpet organization, which works to unite Jewish and Arab business owners and to promote tourism, educational, and economic initiatives in the Wadi Ara area.

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Very Best to the Very Top / Women Flying High

Technion, Haifa / 1995

Very Best to the Very Top / Women Flying High

Technion, Haifa / 1995

“Honeybunch, have you ever seen a man knitting socks?” President Ezer Weizmann asked Alice Miller. “Have you ever seen a female surgeon or orchestra conductor? Women cannot withstand the pressure required of combat pilots.”

The President of Israel was, of course, wrong. It all began in 1994, when Alice Miller was studying aeronautics at the Technion before her army service. When the IDF did not accept her into the pilots’ training course only because she was a woman, she petitioned the High Court, in conjunction with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and the Women’s Lobby, operating with the support of the NIF.

What began in the dormitories at the Technion ended with landmark decision: The High Court ordered the IDF to give women the same rights it offered men. Since then, 33 female aircrew members have completed the course, and now serve as pilots and navigators in Israeli the air force!

Alice Miller at the High Court Photo: Shlomi Ben Ami

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About us

The New Israel Fund protects and advances democracy and equality for all Israelis. We are a partnership of Israelis and supporters of Israel worldwide, dedicated to a vision of Israel as both the Jewish homeland and a shared society at peace with itself and its neighbors.

NIF has provided more than $300 million to more than 900 cutting-edge organizations since our inception in 1979. NIF works on many issues that contribute to a more just, democratic and equal Israel, including promoting a shared society and combating racism; supporting the Arab sector inside Israel; safeguarding human rights and democratic infrastructure; advancing social and economic justice and supporting religious freedom. Over the 40 years of its existence, the New Israel Fund has improved the fabric of life in Israel in a wide range of areas – thanks to the activists and civic organizations that the NIF supports.

The New Israel Fund is also at the forefront of social change through its operative arm Shatil, founded by the NIF, that supports and advises thousands of organizations and projects, collaborating with them to realize their vision of a better Israel.

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