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Social Venture Fund

About SVF

Challenge and Response

JFNA is committed to a secure and just Israel. Inequalities between Arabs and Jews in Israel limit Israel from realizing the aspirations of social and political equality set forth in its Declaration of Independence.

Israeli Arabs and Jews experience significantly inequitable rates of quality of life across the board - from poverty and unemployment to health outcomes and education levels. Addressing the needs of Israel's 1.5 million Arab citizens is of strategic importance and a matter of urgency not only for the sake of Israel's future security and ability to thrive, but for Jews in North America and around the world. There is great untapped potential in the Arab sector and significant benefits to economic and social integration that will create a more secure and just society. This is a time of great urgency and opportunity for the future of Jewish-Arab relations in Israel. The North American Jewish community can play a critical role in addressing the challenges that lay ahead.

In response, each year, the SVF brings together 20 members comprising federations, foundations and individual philanthropists to make strategic, financial investments in non-profit groups that focus on social change, and promote equality and a shared society in Israel. Operating as a funding collective, to date, the SVF has allocated more than $5 million since its inception towards programs in the areas of education and economic development, with a particular focus on women's empowerment and capacity building.

Capitalizing on its track record as the convener of the North American Jewish community, the JFNA created this initiative with a grant from its own endowment fund in order to encourage supplemental giving to address critical issues of concern to the Jewish people. The SVF works to complement activities of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues (IATF).

Vision and Mission

The SVF is committed to a State of Israel which is based on the values of freedom, justice and peace, which guarantees social and political equality to all, and in which the benefits of economic development are shared by all inhabitants of the country - all as envisioned in the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel. We see an Israel which provides equal opportunities and fair access to public resources and in which every individual is part of an inclusive society with a positive, shared future.

The SVF aims to leverage the collective resources of its members and stakeholders by supporting strategic initiatives in Israel that will:

  •  Build mutual respect and understanding between Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel;
  •  Increase opportunities for Israel's Arab citizens to share equally in the social,  educational, and economic life of the country;
  • Promote structural and institutional reforms that support the vision of Israel as a shared society that benefits all of its citizens.

Leadership

Stuart Brown and Alisa Doctoroff, Co-Chairs
Adina Dubin and Joelle Steefel, Education Committee Co-Chairs
Bob Gordon, Economic Development Committee Chair
Sarah Silver and Bob Gordon, Emerging Issues Committee Co-Chairs
Carol Smokler, Founding Chair
Gail Zucker, Director
Joseph C. Imberman, Associate Vice President, PG&E
Rochelle Ben-Dov, Talya Levine and Lee Perlman, JFNA Israel Office