News & Media Articles

4 November 2010 E-Newsletter

04 November 2010 By New Israel Fund


Daniel Sokatch named to 'Forward 50'

Last week, NIF CEO Daniel Sokatch was named one of the Forward newspaper’s “Forward 50,” an annual list of the fifty leading Jewish decision-makers. This is his fourth appearance on the list, having also received the honor in 2002, 2005 and 2008.

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NIF logo

Rabin Memorial Rally Galvanizes Concern for the Future of Israeli Democracy

There was an infectious energy Saturday night as 70,000 Israelis gathered in Tel Aviv on the 15th anniversary of Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination. Hundreds of Israelis posed with stickers across their mouths under a large "Don't Remain Silent – A Democratic Camp is Arising" banner at the southern entrance to Rabin Square. The enthusiasm to learn more about NIF’s campaign for freedom of speech and conscience reflected their concern for the ongoing threats to Israeli democracy.

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NIF Supports Major Protest against Yeshiva Students Law

More than 10,000 Israelis marched through Jerusalem on Monday night to protest the proposed Yeshiva Students Law that would provide significant benefits to ultra-religious students that are not available to secular, university students.  The march was organized by the National Students Union, which received consultancy assistance from SHATIL, and other student organizations and groups.

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Scales of Justice

NIF Brings Israel’s First Ethiopian Immigrant Soccer Club to Europe’s Anti-Racism Action Week

NIF’s campaign against racism in Israeli soccer kicked off Action Week, marked in 42 countries across Europe, by arranging several unique events last month. NIF brought the teenage boys of Bnei Ichalel Rehovot, Israel’s first soccer club founded by Israel’s Ethiopian immigrant community, to Ashdod.

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NGOs, Academics and the Poor Demand an End to Poverty

A unique forum of NGOs, people living below the poverty line, academics and representatives of the Jerusalem Municipality called on Israel to launch a strategic five year plan to reduce poverty at the second International Day for the Eradication of Poverty at the Knesset on October 19th.  The day was marked in Israel for the second year in a row as a result of NIF-funded and SHATIL-led advocacy efforts by the Forum, whose aim is to advance policies that will reduce poverty and increase public attention and support for anti-poverty measures.

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Stuff You Should Know About!

Philadelphia event featuring Rachel Liel, NIF Israel Executive Director. Tuesday, November 9, 7:00-9:00PM.
Join the NIF Philadelphia Regional Council for a presentation and discussion: “Loving Israel in Challenging Times”.  The event will be held in Center City at Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, LLP, 123 S. Broad Street, 28th Floor (The Justice Roberts Room). Admission is free but reservations are requested. RSVP to Elan Jones • 1.888.988.3863. Coffee and dessert will be provided.

New NIF Fellowship!
Do you want to be part of the efforts to advance democracy, equality and justice in Israel?  NIF Ma'ase Olam, launching for the first time in September 2011, is a 10-month service learning program in communities in the social periphery of Israel.  The Application is open to young Jewish adults age 21-28 from North America.  The program includes 4-5 monthly seminars in the US prior to departure.  The application process will begin in November, 2010.  Click here to learn more.

NIF co-sponsors the Rabbis for Human Rights North America Conference, Dec 5-7 in NYC
Join RHR-NA, NIF and other partners at Human Rights Under Fire: A Jewish Call to Action , a conference on Judaism and human rights, featuring Peter Beinart, Naomi Chazan, Iain Levine and others. In addition, NIF president, Naomi Chazan, will be honored at RHR’s Courage - Voice - Vision: The Raphael Lemkin Human Rights Awards,alongside Aryeh Neier (Open Society Institute) on December 5.


J Street Conference 2011.  February 26-March 1
In 2009, 1500 Jewish community leaders, activists, rabbis, policy shapers and students converged on Washington, DC for 3 days and made history at the first-ever J Street Conference.  Together we will make history again in 2011 with our largest-ever gathering of pro-Israel pro-peace activists. 

Come to the J Street Conference to learn, debate, advocate and discuss issues related to Israel, the Jewish community, US-Israel relations, the conflict, and Israeli-Palestinian partnership.  Speakers will include members of Congress, and the Administration, members of Knesset, Jewish community leadership, diplomats, journalists, and activists from the region and the US.  For more details, and to register go to:  Special rates are available to students and people under 30.  Financial aid is also available. Discount is also available for NIF supporters, just use discount code LOC20.

Do Not Stand Idly By: A Jewish Community Pledge to Save Lives

As a leading supporter of LGBT rights in Israel, NIF encourages our supporters to sign a pledge against intolerance and in support of LGBT teens in the US.  Click here to read more.

“As members of a tradition that sees each person as created in the divine image, we respond with anguish and outrage at the spate of suicides brought on by homophobic bullying and intolerance.  We hereby commit to ending homophobic bullying or harassment of any kind in our synagogues, schools, organizations, and communities.  As a signatory, I pledge to speak out when I witness anyone being demeaned for their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. I commit myself to do whatever I can to ensure that each and every person in my community is treated with dignity and respect…”

Video from NIF Grantee the African Refugee Development Center

Click here to watch a moving six-minute video on the plight of African refugees living in Israel.

Thursday, October 21, 2010
Mothering Under the Lens: Examining the National Budget of Israel with the Adva Center
Ellington’s Music & Café, Toronto

At an intimate meeting in Toronto, Yael Hasson and Valeria Seigelshifer of NIF grantee the Adva Centre discussed their gender-focused analysis of Israel's national budget, showing how the role of women is viewed and how this affects the status of women in Israel.  Their research demonstrated the devalued status of mothers in Israel and explored ways in which policies can be changed to promote greater gender equality.  Ms. Hasson and Ms. Sigelshifer shared the history of the Adva Centre, a non-partisan Israeli policy analysis center, their achievements and long-standing history as a ressource for policy-makers and other civil society organizations in Israel.

Guardians of Democracy 2010

The 16th Annual Guardian of Democracy Dinner in San Francisco was NIF’s most successful dinner to date, raising over a quarter of a million dollars and bringing together a record number of attendees—over 460 in all, including 100 young activists in their twenties and thirties. A number of NIF veterans (including at least one founder of our organization) reported that it was, quite simply, the best NIF fundraising dinner ever. Our audience was the most diverse we’ve ever welcomed, including Jews of all persuasions, two tables of Christian friends, a powerful LGBT contingent, and people from virtually every walk of Bay Area life.

The evening’s program was extraordinarily powerful, building in intensity as the event progressed (notably, the room remained full and rapt until the final words were spoken). Click here to view videos of the entire speaking program.

A Loss of One of Our Own

The New Israel Fund expresses its deep condolences at the passing of Professor Edna Ullman Margalit, an NIF International Council member.  Edna formerly served as NIF's Board Vice President and as Chair of flagship NIF grantee the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.  As a Professor of Philosophy at the Hebrew University, Edna brought with her not only deep social commitment to NIF's goals and the promotion of Israeli society in general, but also a rare intellectual depth.

We are gravely saddened by Edna's passing and the loss of a fellow advocate, and strengthen the hands of her husband, Avishay Margalit, and her children in this difficult time.