The Nathan Cummings Foundation is a multigenerational family foundation, rooted in the Jewish value of social justice. Our grantmaking in Israel, like our work in the United States, creates a more just, vibrant, sustainable, and democratic society. For more than 31 years, we have invested in movements, organizations, and individuals that support democracy in Israel.
Central to our deep support and longstanding commitment to this work is our vision of a just and lasting political agreement between the Israeli government and the Palestinians that would end the ongoing Israeli military occupation of Palestinian territories, provide for safety and security for Israelis and Palestinians, build a national homeland for both the Jewish and Palestinian people, and advance a more peaceful future.
Like many societies around the world, Israeli society faces a growing threat from far-right populism rooted in ethnic supremacy that aims to overturn fundamental democratic norms and reverse progress toward a more just and inclusive society. This movement has steadily removed protections for the rights of minorities, undercut freedom of speech, and undermined the vision of an Israeli democracy that would “uphold the full social and political equality of all inhabitants,” as stated in the Israeli Declaration of Independence. At the same time, pro-democracy movements have struggled to be truly representative and accountable to the diversity of the Israeli public and, in particular, to Arab, Mizrahi Jewish, Ethiopian, Russian immigrant, and Haredi communities.
As an organization that cares deeply about the future of Israelis and Palestinians, we remain hopeful about the promise of multiethnic pro-democracy and justice movements in Israel/Palestine to capture hearts, minds and radical imagination, to shift the dominant mindsets and narratives from scarcity to abundance, from conflict to shared belonging, and from cynicism to hope.
The Nathan Cummings Foundation’s grantmaking strategies in Israel supports innovative ideas and programs that:
- Supporting Israel’s pro-democracy civil society organizations and social movements that are fortifying Israel’s democratic institutions and advancing values of equality and solidarity across difference;
- Transform the prevailing worldview in Israel from “I win, you lose” to one of “Shared Belonging” across all identities through innovative arts, culture, storytelling, and religious strategies; and
- Deepen relationships between Israeli and US change-makers that advance multiethnic pro-democracy movements in both countries.
NCF advances these strategies primarily through our strategic and operational partnership with the New Israel Fund. The New Israel Fund is a leading advocate for democratic values with a long and proven track record of building the coalitions and empowering the activists that drive meaningful social change in Israel. The majority of our grant funds are committed to this partnership. Therefore, due to the limited opportunities for additional grantmaking, we are not accepting new proposals for funding at this time for our Israel portfolio.