A recent Shatil workshop gave us an opportunity to reflect on 2021, a year in which we faced challenge after challenge on the national stage, but during which Shatil also expanded its outreach, responded rapidly to sudden crises, and enriched its human resources. Last year also capped nearly four decades of Shatil’s work. Throughout 2022, we will be commemorating Shatil’s 40th anniversary, celebrating 40 years of empowering Israeli civil society and diverse agents of social change. For now, though, we are delighted to share several of Shatil’s many achievements in 2021:
Shatil provided 5,775 hours of consulting to some 190 organizations in 2021. Shatil also trained over 1,800 activists through dozens of courses and workshops, peer learning groups, online and hybrid trainings, webinars, and conferences.
Following the swearing in of Israel’s new governing coalition in June 2021, we mobilized to advance cooperation with the new government and Knesset, identifying opportunities for new progressive policies across NIF’s issue areas. Within weeks of the inauguration, Shatil held a two-day seminar on government advocacy and the new state budget. Senior public officials and leading civil society figures delivered expert lectures. After the government’s approval of a new five-year plan for Palestinian society in Israel (GR 550), we held an additional in-person seminar in Haifa, focused on Palestinian civil society and its relationship to the new government.
Following concerted advocacy with the new government by the Shatil-led Citizens Forum for the Promotion of Health in the Galilee, Physicians for Human Rights Israel, and other partners, Shatil led a concerted advocacy effort that secured the NIS 650 million (over $200 million) needed to implement the 2019 Arab Health Plan to improve health outcomes in the Palestinian-Israeli sector.
Over the last year, we strengthened our efforts to develop a stronger Palestinian civil society in Israel. We ran programs designed to bolster organizations’ human resources and operational capabilities, providing direct consulting to 31 organizations and conducting seven training sessions in Arabic for some 150 participants. We also developed a unique program to help Palestinian-led NGOs access government resources, including grants, subsidies, and tax deductions.
This investment in Palestinian civil society reflects our vision of a shared society as that is truly egalitarian, just, and fair. Against the backdrop of last May’s crisis, the country was stunned, especially residents of mixed cities. In the early days of the crisis, we urgently convened a broad forum of organizations that met several times to consult and coordinate activities. We also convened a smaller group of organizations working to bolster the legitimacy of Jewish-Arab political partnership and the participation of Palestinian citizens of Israel in decision-making.
Trends in digital work and communications that gathered steam in 2020 following the outbreak of COVID-19 reached new heights in 2021. Shatil positioned itself to leverage these trends and has emerged as a leader in digital content provision for social change organizations, providing tools and knowledge to thousands of people last year.
Alongside our work to address pressing social needs, Shatil launched several new projects that aim to encourage collaborative, innovative thinking and action, providing a vision and essential tools for the next chapter in progressive social change in Israel. We established a Masorti Voices Fellowship for traditional, primarily Mizrahi activists seeking to apply a religious-traditional discourse to progressive issues such as gender equality, shared society, and democracy. We began AIM (Adaptive Innovative Management), our flagship management training, which connects the directors of our camp’s leading organizations in an innovative program focused on skills and leadership development. We also partnered with the Heschel Center for Sustainability to encourage social change organizations to incorporate climate justice into their work and planning.
We are excited to continue to share the latest news about Shatil’s work and partnerships, reflecting both on what 40 years of Shatil activity has meant to so many different Israelis – and what it will mean in the future. Stay tuned!