The Social Justice Fellowships were founded by Leibel Fein, considered by many (including NIF’s CEO Daniel Sokatch in his moving tribute upon Leibel’s passing) “father of the Jewish social justice movement.” Leibel was truly an inspiration to many and a one-man incubator of many ideas that have now become commonplace in the progressive Jewish world. Yet the initial impetus for the founding of the fellowships was a personal tragedy: the sudden death of his daughter Nomi Fein at the age of 30. It is characteristic of Leibel that he reacted to his daughter’s passing with the impulse to launch the fellowship and inspire others to social justice.
Additional Social Justice Fellowships were created to honor the life and memory of Rabbi Richard J. Israel and Jay E. Orlin. NIF-Canada has also sponsored fellows although there will not be a Canadian fellow in 2019-2020.
About the New Israel Fund and Shatil
The New Israel Fund (NIF) was established in 1979 to strengthen democracy and promote social justice in Israel, and is today Israel’s foremost social-change institution. Specifically, it works to advance the following objectives: Fighting for civil and human rights; Promoting religious tolerance and pluralism; Closing the social and economic gaps in Israeli society; and Protecting Israel’s environment.
Since its founding, NIF has granted more than $300 million to more than 900 Israeli non-profit organizations. But NIF is far more than a grant maker; NIF is a unique working and philanthropic partnership of North Americans, Israelis, and Europeans, providing more than 1,300 Israeli non-profit organizations with financial and technical support each year. Read more about NIF
In 1982, NIF established Shatil, the New Israel Fund’s Empowerment and Training Center for Social Change Organizations in Israel. Shatil builds organizational capacity of NIF grantees and similar organizations by providing training, consultation, coalition-building assistance, and other services. Read more about Shatil