In an unprecedented year the NIF Australia community stayed connected and strong. More than 2,000 people attended our events and we supported 23 organisations in Israel, ensuring our impact was more profound than ever.

The work of the New Israel Fund has always been guided by our shared values – democracy, equality and social justice.

Photo of Ilana Snyder

Faced with a global pandemic and ensuing political instability, we have been reminded that at its core our work is about one thing more than any other: connecting our community of supporters here in Australia with the activists, advocates and allies in Israel to meet the challenges of the day, together.

Whether defending democracy in the shadow of the coronavirus, standing up for the most vulnerable or opposing plans to annex parts of the West Bank, the New Israel Fund will be here to stand strong for our values both for today and the future.

That’s the kind of work that you will read about in this annual review.

Thanks for all your support.

Dr Ilana Snyder
President, New Israel Fund Australia

28 Events. 2,000+ People

From former prime minister Kevin Rudd and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman to the creator and star of Shtisel speaking with a Haredi activist about the real issues facing her community, the events hosted by NIF Australia brought us together to learn and share, even when the Covid-19 pandemic kept us physically apart.

$3.5 Million in Grants

NIF Australia crossed a landmark in 2020 – more than $3.5 million in funding to Israeli civil society organisations, all working to uphold the values of Israel’s Declaration of Independence. The impact we’ve had is a testament to the strength of the community we’ve built together.

Emergency Covid-19 Support

In mid-March we responded to the developing crisis in Israel – and the way it was particularly affecting refugees, people seeking asylum and other statusless people – by sending emergency grants to provide crucial healthcare and distribute food aid packages.

Responding to the Public Health Emergency

As the Covid-19 pandemic spread around the world, it affected each of us in profound ways. The virus has revealed inequities and vulnerabilities in all of the societies it has affected, including in Israel.

The New Israel Fund’s task during this public health emergency has been to see the big picture and line up all of the resources we can in order to help all Israelis make it through this crisis.

Throughout 2020, NIF’s funding pivoted to respond to these challenges.

We funded a number of emergency needs:

  • Through Assaf, we distributed food, toiletries and other essential goods to refugees and people seeking asylum, many of whom have lost their jobs as restaurants, cafes and hotels have furloughed staff.
  • Through Physicians for Human Rights and the Hotline for Refugees, we made additional legal, psychological and social work resources available to people seeking asylum who are living in a new reality of lockdown and isolation.

We also supported our existing grantees to pursue cases to address inequalities and issues brought to the surface by the pandemic.

In addition to NIF Australia’s support, NIF donors around the world provided more than $500,000 in emergency funding to 32 organisations to help those hit hardest by the pandemic.

Rallying the Australian Jewish Community Against Annexation

As the Netanyahu government began discussing formal annexation of the West Bank, NIF’s was the most significant voice in the Australian Jewish community expressing opposition to the plan.

Throughout May and June we:

Prime Ministers, Pulitzer Prize Winners, Israel Prize Winners and More

More than 2,000 people enjoyed our digital events throughout 2020.

NIF became known as the go-to organisation for engaging and thought-provoking content, covering issues as diverse as the breakthrough normalisation deals between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, insights into the Israeli TV show Shtisel, and exclusive conversations with leading feminist politicians.

Click through to the playlist of our events on YouTube to hear insights from Kevin Rudd, Merav Michaeli, Tanya Plibersek, Thomas Friedman and more.

Masks
Stepping in to Support Pensioners

Our flagship grantee, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, was inundated with phone calls soon after Israel’s first lockdown began.

One call which came through highlighted that 40,000 pensioners could no longer receive their social security benefits, making it impossible to pay rent and buy food and medications.

Following ACRI’s intervention, the postmaster general mailed out credit cards to at-risk groups, ensuring they could survive through lockdown.

Combating violence
Combating Gender Inequality and Violence Against Women

Throughout the year, amidst some of the most challenging social and economic circumstances to ever face Israelis, NIF continued to ensure the status of women was front and centre.

Our funding for the Eritrean Women’s Community Center ensured vocational training in the asylum seeker community to promote independence and help community members get ahead in a difficult environment.

The Israel Religious Action Center continues to oppose the segregation and humiliation of women, including on public transport and on airplanes, while the Israel Women Network’s dedicated hotline for workplace issues has continued to provide both compensation to women who have experienced discrimination, as well as a deterrent for other employers.

We have also continued to support Women Against Violence to provide assistance for Palestinian women in Israel's north in the form of rape crisis centres and domestic violence support.

In Australia, NIF Australia is a proud signatory of NCJW’s #MakeSpaceForHer pledge, and has strict policies to ensure gender balance on our governing board and in the speakers we promote during our events, and is committed to funding projects in Israel through a gender lens to combat the rise of sexual violence and promote education and training for women.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg
A Beautiful Message from RBG

For many of us, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg z”l represented a shining light for the values we cherish: equality, fairness, and justice for all.

Her passing, on the eve of Rosh Hashana, amid such a turbulent year, was a truly sad moment.

Soon afterwards, though, NIF was informed that Justice Ginsberg had been honored by the National Constitution Center, and that she had decided to contribute to NIF as "among the institutions and organisations that meant the most to her."

NIF was humbled and inspired by her incredibly touching gesture of support. Our commitment is to do our best to honor her memory, her legacy, and her belief in NIF by working, every day, for equality and democracy in Israel.

Our Grants in 2020

NIF Australia distributed $460,440 in grants to registered Israeli not-for-profit organisations, fulfilling our mission to promote freedom, equality and pluralism in Israel. Since 2011, we have distributed $3,741,992 to grantees like the ones below.

Organisation

Amount

Adalah
Conducts litigation by and for Arab citizens of Israel to ensure the rights of this community. Read more »
$20,000
African Refugee Development Center
Providing humanitarian aid, supplies and daily necessities to people seeking asylum and refugees during the Covid-19 crisis. Read more »
$200
ASSAF
Providing humanitarian aid, supplies and daily necessities to people seeking asylum and refugees during the Covid-19 crisis. Read more »
$17,938
Association for Civil Rights in Israel – East Jerusalem/occupied Palestinian territories project
Fighting poverty and struggling for equal access to education for Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem and the occupied Palestinian territories. Read more »
$47,000
Association of Ethiopian Jews
One of Israel's leading organisations promoting equality and justice for Ethiopian Israelis, they run critical legal cases, provide education and employment training and much more. Read more »
$12,000
Ba'asher Telchi
Supporting Haredi women through separation and divorce by providing legal counselling, emotional and community support and financial management assistance for thousands of individuals. Read more »
$25,000
Bimkom
Spatial and town planning expertise inside Israel and in Area C of the West Bank to ensure Palestinian villages aren't denied electricity, water and education resources by the Israeli government. Read more »
$23,080
Bizchut
Combating cases of discrimination felt by people with a disability in Israel. Read more »
$12,000
Eritrean Women's Community Center
Empowers people seeking asylum by providing education and employment training, maximising their success by providing babysitting services so clients can work and study and distributes food and humanitarian aid to the community. Read more »
$10,000
Gisha - Center for the Legal Protection of Freedom of Movement
A unique approach helping residents of Gaza travel for crucial medical care, education and professional advancement. Read more »
$27,000
HaMoked
Providing free legal aid to Palestinians in the occupied territories to access their rights in a wide range of areas, including freedom of movement, residency and social rights, the right to family life and property, and protections for minors in detention. Read more »
$1,000

Organisation

Amount

Hand in Hand
A network of schools in Israel building shared society, demonstrating an important model of inclusion and partnership for Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel. Read more »
$57,590
Hotline for Refugees and Migrants
Protects people seeking asylum, refugees, migrant workers and victims of human trafficking in Israel, ensuring they aren't deported or detained unfairly, and have access to basic government services. We provided additional funds in 2020 to cope with an influx in demand for the crisis intervention centre in light of the Covid-19 crisis Read more »
$35,334
Israel Religious Action Centre (IRAC)
Defending religious freedom and pluralism, and ensuring equal treatment of all streams of Judaism. Read more »
$12,825
Machsom Watch
Monitors IDF checkpoints and provides assistance to Palestinians to navigate the military's complex visa bureaucracy and gain access to education, employment and healthcare. Read more »
$10,000
Physicians for Human Rights
Medical care for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza through clinics and visits, bringing expertise otherwise not found in the occupied Palestinian territories, and running an open clinic for migrant workers and refugees inside Israel. We provided additional funds to PHR in March 2020 to cope with changed requirements in light of the Covid-19 crisis. Read more »
$38,333
Regional Council of Unrecognised Villages
In 1997, the Regional Council of Unrecognised Villages (RCUV) was established to help leaders of unrecognised villages work in a unified and collaborative way toward achieving recognition for these villages and assistance for their residents. This project mobilises unrecognised villages’ residents to advance recognition of villages and respond to urgent needs of displaced residents. Read more »
$38,333
Tmura
Taking action on behalf of victims of racism, ensuring a real penalty is exacted for discriminatory behaviour in the workplace and by government institutions. Read more »
$25,640
Women Against Violence (Nazareth)
Providing assistance for Palestinian women in Israel's north in the form of rape crisis centres, domestic violence support and more. Read more »
$10,000
Yesh Din
Seeks to protect human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories by conducting legal advocacy and protecting Palestinians against violence from settlers. Read more »
$20,000

Financial Statements

Comprehensive Income Statement

Revenue 2019 2018
Donations $854,254 $646,015
Other revenue $88,473 $65,791
Interest $8,434 $10,767
Total $942,727 $711,806
Expenses 2019 2018
Grants to Israel $407,250 $379,416
Education and engagement $64,456 $38,945
Naomi Chazan Fellowship $55,755 $36,162
Fundraising and administration expenses $13,656 $18,495
Communications $22,435 $3,405
Administration, audit and legal, and other expenses $9,515 $26,629
Employee benefits expense $188,644 $157,345
Other expenses $37,763 $39,150
Total $799,474 $699,547
Surplus $151,687 $23,026

Our Expenses

Expense breakdown

Balance Sheet

Assets 2019 2018
Current Assets $737,092 $585,475
Total Assets $737,092 $585,475
Liabilities 2019 2018
Current liabilities $54,145 $54,215
Total liabilities $54,145 $54,215
Net assets $682,947 $531,260
Equity 2019 2018
Retained surplus $682,947 $531,260
Total equity $682,947 $531,260