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CONTACT: Elisheva Goldberg
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New Israel Fund Responds to COVID-19 with Strategy to Make Israel a More “Just, Democratic, and Equal Society”

5 May 2020

NEW YORK, NY. The New Israel Fund (NIF) today announced its Crisis Action Plan, a set of strategies to help all people in Israel weather the coronavirus crisis and work to ensure that the country emerges a more just, democratic, and equal society.

NIF brought together its worldwide leadership with grantees in Israel around a shared mission: in this moment of crisis, use the organization’s collective resources to help make things better. Together, they created a three-part Crisis Action Plan that defines the way forward. The plan outlines how to help the most marginalized communities, defend Israel’s democratic institutions, and provide for the most critical needs of its civil society. With this plan, the New Israel Fund will not radically change its 2020 grantmaking commitments. Instead, it will bring its 40 years of experience in funding the most critical work of civil society in Israel to help all Israelis move through this time of crisis and to a better future. NIF will be holding a series of open-to-the press webinars in the coming weeks and months to educate NIF supporters about how civil society is mobilizing now to help all Israelis.

“This is the work the New Israel Fund was built for,” said NIF CEO Daniel Sokatch, “People have always come to NIF as the place where they can support people in Israel who are standing up for what’s right. In a crisis, equality and democracy must not be an afterthought. Every single person’s wellbeing — no matter their race, sex, or what language they speak — matters. We hope all those who love and support a more democratic and more equal Israel will join us.”

NIF’s Crisis Action Plan uses three central strategies. First, the New Israel Fund is marshalling all of its available resources to ensure that everyone in Israel – especially the most marginalized and vulnerable communities – has access to government information and services to get well and stay well. Second, it is supporting lawyers, civil servants, and activists who are defending the democratic institutions and civil liberties all people living in Israel and under Israeli control need every day. Finally, it is working to help civil society avoid being crushed by the economic and logistical burdens of this crisis, adapt their work to this moment, and plan for the day after.

Israel has not had a functioning government in more than a year, and its prime minister is attempting to use the pandemic as cover to grab power and dismantle the foundations of Israeli democracy, including a plan to annex parts of the West Bank. The New Israel Fund has a strategy to face these challenges and help Israel live up to its promise of equality and democracy during this pandemic.

To register for the following programs please contact NIF Media Director Elisheva Goldberg at [email protected].

MAY 6, 2020 — 9am Pacific // 12pm Eastern
Equality and Democracy in a time of COVID: A conversation about how civil society is mobilizing around the threat of annexation and defending democracy during COVID-19.

The recent coalition deal between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz gives Trump’s annexation plan a start date. This new government was formed in a crisis – and it aims to exploit the COVID-19 crisis to annex parts of the West Bank and make the occupation permanent. Join us for a conversation with human rights attorney Michael Sfard, Michal Sella (Shatil Center for Policy Change), and Rula Daood (Omdim Beyachad – Standing Together).

MAY 18, 2020 — TIME TBD
Equality and Democracy in the Time of COVID: A conversation about the impact this crisis is having on women across Israel and what civil society is doing to make things better.

What has been the specific impact of the COVID crisis on women in Israel? From spikes in domestic violence to single-parenting and working, the impact on women as already been huge. And women from more marginalized groups are at even greater risk. We will be discussing these issues and what groups are doing to stand up for all women throughout Israeli society during this time.

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