For those who follow the political twists and turns in Israel closely (as I know so many of you do), this past week has been, well, a bit dizzying. At the time of writing, it looks like we may witness on Sunday the confirmation of a new government headed by Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid. Whatever your assessment of the chances of this new ‘change’ government and whether it represents a departure to the current, we cannot lose sight of the damage that the recent nightmarish intercommunal violence in Israel has caused. Damage that is jeopardizing decades of work to build an equal and just society for Jews and Arabs in Israel.

That is why we are incredibly grateful for your recent donation in support of our Bridge the Divide campaign. At a moment the gaps between Israelis has never felt wider, you are helping us respond by investing in initiatives that foster a society and a future that is truly shared. And you should know that you are not alone. In the three weeks since we launched our campaign, over 155 supporters from the UK have donated helping us to raise so far £150,000. We have also seen similar strong levels of support in Israel and in other diaspora communities.

With this groundswell of support, NIF is able to increase our efforts in investing in a shared society, because we know that the only democratic future for Israel rests on Arab-Jewish partnership at every level. 

The 1 million shekel ‘Voices of Hope’ fund closed its call for proposals yesterday. 588 groups and initiatives in Israel’s mixed cities and beyond applied to the fund. This volume speaks to the depth and commitment of many, many Israelis to ensuring a better shared future.

The New Israel Fund have developed three primary strategies:

Launching a 1 million shekel fund to support new initiatives to promote and develop a shared society. 

Deepening our investments in the long-term work we have been doing for years to advance a shared society, supporting the intrepid work of our core shared society grantees. 

Ensuring that our emergency rapid response grants programme has the capacity to respond effectively and immediately to the critical and urgent needs arising from the current crisis.

We look forward to sharing this work and its impact over the coming weeks (or do please be in touch directly if you want more details now). We are proud that the New Israel Fund and our grantees have been on the front lines of the response.

Our vision for Israel is for a country that truly lives up to the founding promise of Israel’s Declaration of Independence. This will not come about simply because of a change in the political order. The work of defending the rights of Israel’s citizens and of striving to build a more just and equal society is the great task of NIF, our grantees, and Israeli civil society. It will remain so – just as vital, just as urgent – regardless of the composition of the next government.

We know we are up to the task and we truly appreciate you for providing your support to enable us to do so.

Thank you

Adam Ognall