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Ford Foundation and New Israel Fund announce $20 Million Fund For Grant Making In Israel

6 September 2007

NEW YORK / JERUSALEM, 6 September 2007 – The Ford Foundation today announced a $20 million grant to extend its partnership with the New Israel Fund to support civil society, human rights and social justice organizations in Israel.

The partnership was launched in 2003 with an initial Ford grant of $20 million.

“We are proud to renew our partnership with the New Israel Fund to support people working on social justice issues,” said Susan V. Berresford, president of the Ford Foundation. “This grant is in keeping with the foundation’s worldwide program to promote democratic values and will help secure peace and equality for all citizens.”

Under the auspices of the New Israel Fund, the Ford Israel Fund was established in October 2003 and has provided grants to more than 40 organizations working to promote civil society, human rights, and peace.  The fund’s strategy of providing large, multi-year grants to NGOs complements that of the New Israel Fund, which often provides smaller sums for specific project support.  The Ford Israel Fund is guided by an advisory board of Israeli civil society leaders, and directed by Dr. Aaron Back, a former Ford Foundation program officer for Israel.

“The New Israel Fund is intensely gratified by the renewal of our partnership with the Ford Foundation,” said Peter Edelman, Chair of the New Israel Fund.  “Our combined expertise and shared commitment to the values of social justice has had a tremendous impact on Israeli civil society.”

This latest grant builds on a long history of Ford Foundation funding in Israel. With total grants of more than $70 million since 1948, Ford has supported the advancement of science and technical research, civil and human rights, social justice, Arab-Israeli relations, and regional conflict resolution efforts.

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The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than 50 years it has been a resource for innovative people and institutions worldwide, guided by its goals of strengthening democratic values, reducing poverty and injustice, promoting international cooperation and advancing human achievement.  With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and Russia.

The New Israel Fund is the leading organization advancing democratic change within Israel.  Founded in 1979, NIF has granted over $200 million to more than 800 organizations in Israel dedicated to promoting equality and social justice for all Israelis.  Through an integrated strategy of grant-making, technical assistance and coalition-building, NIF nurtures and develops grassroots organizations that have become the leaders of Israeli civil society.  NIF has its administrative headquarters in Washington, DC and bases its grant-making and capacity-building operations in Jerusalem.

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