Vulnerable Populations
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The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) launched the Social Venture Fund for Jewish-Arab Equality and Shared Society (SVF) in 2007 to strengthen and coordinate the Jewish community's efforts to address the unmet needs of Israel's Arab citizens. The SVF makes strategic, financial investments in non-profit groups in Israel that focus on social change and promote equality and coexistence.

Operating as a funding collective, the SVF raises and allocates financial support for programs in the areas of education and economic development, with a particular focus on women's empowerment and capacity building.

Challenge and Response
The JFNA is committed to a secure and just Israel. Inequalities between Arabs and Jews in Israel are staggering, limiting 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. 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 raised more than $3.5 million since its inception and allocated $3 million towards programs in the areas of education and economic development, with a particular focus on women's empowerment and capacity building.

Vission and Misson
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.

Grant Making
The Social Venture Fund for Jewish-Arab Equality and Shared Society focuses its grant-making on projects that address issues of equality and shared society within the areas of education and economic development. There is also an interest in incorporating components of capacity building and women's empowerment.

The SVF will be accepting proposals by invitation only for the 2012 funding cycle.

Fund Leadership
Stuart Brown and Alisa Doctoroff, Co-Chairs
Adina Dubin and Joelle Steefel, Education Committee Co-Chairs
Moe Feldman, Economic Development Committee Chair
Carol Smokler, Founding Chair
Gail Zucker, Director
Joseph C. Imberman, Associate Vice President, PG&E
Maya Kroitoru, JFNA Israel Office
Lee Perlman, JFNA Israel Office