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About Us [GEF Partners ]

In 2001 the New Israel Fund, the Dorot Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies joined together to bring new
attention and resources to the campaign to preserve and protect the environment of
Israel and the health of its people. This unique funding consortium - known as the
Green Environment Fund (GEF) - enabled the partners to research, devise, and
implement a joint strategy, in conjunction with Israel's leading environmental
organizations and researchers, to address pressing environmental issues in Israel.

Each of the consortium partners brings to the table experience and expertise in
general grant making and in environmental grantmaking, in particular.

After the initial 3 year pilot phase, the Dorot Foundation's funding priorities in
Israel shifted and, as a result, the foundation elected not to continue funding the
enviroment in Israel. During the years additional funders joined this unique partnership which now includes:


The NEW ISRAEL FUND (NIF) works to strengthen democracy and promote social
justice in Israel. The Fund, a unique working and philanthropic partnership of North
Americans, Israelis, and Europeans, is today Israel's foremost social-change
institution, providing hundreds of Israeli non-profit organizations with financial and
technical support each year. Since its founding in 1979, NIF has granted over $120
million to more than 700 Israeli non-profit organizations that work in three areas:

  • safeguarding civil and human rights,
  • promoting religious tolerance and pluralism, and
  • closing the social and economic gaps in Israeli society.

NIF believes that all people deserve a sustainable environment as part of their civil
and human rights. To minimize the gaps between segments of Israeli society, Israel
needs broad public awareness of its environmental problems, a commitment to a
safe and healthy environment, vigorous public policy advocacy, strict enforcement of
regulations, and a strategically driven environmental movement led by experienced
professionals. NIF supports these efforts as a member of the environmental
consortium through GEF.

The consortium also works with SHATIL - NIF's training center for social change
organizations, to provide services that increase environmental organizations'
effectiveness at fulfilling their mission. In addition, SHATIL's Environmental Justice
Program supports the organizing and advocacy efforts of Israel's most
disadvantaged citizens, who now bear the brunt of toxic emissions, air and water
pollution, and the loss of valuable green open spaces in their neighborhoods and

The Nathan Cummings Foundation is rooted in the Jewish tradition and committed
to democratic values and social justice, including fairness, diversity, and community.
The foundation seeks to build a socially and economically just society that values and protects the
ecological balance for future generations; promotes humane health care; and fosters
arts and culture that enriches communities.

Although the environmental movement has achieved many successes, the public still
bears most of the cost of environmental degradation. Legislation in the United States
of America has been effective to a point, yet laws are not comprehensive enough to
deal with the overall threats to the environment and their impact on health. Often
specific corporate and other institutional interests, rather than environmental needs,
prevail in environmental policies.

This is true for NCF's environmental work in Israel, as well, which began about 10
years ago. Without sufficient countervailing forces, the increase in private-interest
influence on decision-makers and public policy can lead to the undermining of the
environment. The Environment Program's accountability approach therefore seeks
to address the root causes of environmental degradation. Funding priority is given to
projects with the potential of having state, multi-state, or national impacts within the
United States and Israel.

The Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies (ACBP) in Israel pursues its
mission on unifying the Jewish people and improving the quality of life in Israel by
supporting a range of nationwide projects and community-based ventures in five

Peoplehood - Programs that strengthen the bonds of common history,
heritage and culture between Jews around the world and in Israel. Special
emphasis is placed on creating meaningful encounters between Israeli and
Diaspora youth

Project Involvement - The Foundation's flagship education intervention
program that enhances early and primary education in Israel by adding hours and course
options to the school day and by empowering principals, parents and teachers to work
together in choosing and implementing innovative curricula.

Cooperation and Coexistence - People-to-people programs that build
a foundation for Middle East peace based on direct cooperation between Israelis and
Palestinians, whether in social and cultural fields or in academic research.

Environment - Initiatives to protect Israel's natural resources by
improving the quality and breadth of community-based environmental activism and public

Culture - Special events and performances that serve as a bridge for
Israelis from various backgrounds, particularly those without regular access to cultural
programs, such as the elderly, soldiers and residents in the periphery.