NIF considers the encroaching religious extremism and the threatened status of women in the public sphere an area in need of urgent attention. Moreover, we have identified a window of opportunity for significant progress arising from the increased public awareness, and palpable dismay, about these issues.
We devote significant resources to the issue, utilizing the tools of NGO empowerment through grant-making and capacity building, public advocacy and outreach to constituencies on both sides of the ocean to encourage action on these issues.
Our short term goal is to counter the destructive influences that threaten the State of Israel’s democracy and the status of women. Our long term goal is to uphold the fundamental democratic principles guaranteed in Israel’s Declaration of Independence.
NIF’s grantees working hard on these issues include:
The 12th of Heshvan Forum -- promoting religious and social tolerance and teaching respect for the country’s institutions, symbols, and leadership.
Brit Chosech Legaresh (Banish the Darkness - a coalition of 16 Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and secular organizations) -- fighting racism and incitement in Jewish Israeli society, particularly as espoused by radical rabbis and other religious figures.
Hiddush -- providing timely information on religious freedom in Israel.
Israel Religious Action Center -- working to promote religious freedom, social justice, civil rights, and government accountability; IRAC is a key player in the campaign to end gender segregation in public places.
Kolech: Religious Women’s Forum -- the only organization exclusively dedicated to promoting a feminist agenda within a religious context.
Masorti (Conservative) Movement -- spearheading the fights against gender segregated public bus lines, turning the Western Wall into an ultra-Orthodox synagogue, and the law granting special privileges to yeshiva students.
Mavoi Satum (Dead End) -- the leading Israeli organization advocating for a permanent solution for agunot and mesuravot get (women denied a religious divorce).
Memizrach Shemesh -- using the Sephardic and Mizrachi religious traditions to train social activists and foster leadership among Israelis committed to the Jewish values of solidarity and justice.
Ne’emenei Torah v’Avodah -- advocating for the transfer of authority over religious services from the state to local authorities, and producing and distributing educational materials for young religious students on a variety of matters to combat religious extremism and the exclusion of women from within Orthodoxy.
Yisrael Hofshit (Be Free Israel) -- building a movement to engage young people to take action on issues such as freedom of choice in marriage, gender equality and religious pluralism.
Yerushalmim -- a coalition working to keep the city of Jerusalem pluralistic and inclusive.