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.SVF Fund

Remembering Phyllis Bernstein (z”l)

Shapiro Prize 2018 winnerThe Social Venture Fund for Jewish-Arab Equality and Shared Society (SVF) is a philanthropic collaborative that brings together individuals, foundations, and federations who support an equal and inclusive shared society in Israel for the benefit of all of its citizens.

The Declaration of Independence for the State of Israel provides that the State will “foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; …it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex.” There are currently 1.8 million Arab citizens of Israel who represent approximately 20% of the population. For too many years, the State of Israel has not lived up to the Declaration of Independence in terms of how it treats these Israelis.

We support Israeli NGOs that promote economic integration and improved educational opportunities for Arab citizens of Israel and that support the institutional foundations of an equal and inclusive shared society. Working together through SVF allows members to learn from each other and from leading experts in the field, and to have greater impact than they could have by acting individually. We take seriously the “venture” part of our name and are willing to take risks when funding innovative new projects. Most SVF members provide financial support to Israeli NGOs doing work in this area in addition to grants made through SVF and believe that their participation in SVF enables them to be more effective in grantmaking related to this issue.

SVF works very closely with the Inter-Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues, both to keep us up to date on this complex and constantly-changing issue and to continually expand SVF connections to new communities and philanthropists in the U.S. and Israel.

Information about the three focus areas for grantmaking, as well as specific projects supported by SVF, can be found under “Issue Areas”.

SVF was created in 2008 under the auspices of the Jewish Federations of North America, and since then it has made grants totaling more than $7 million to organizations in Israel. In July 2016, SVF became part of Jewish Funders Network.