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The Abraham Fund (North American Director)

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The Abraham Fund

Founded in 1989 by philanthropist Alan Silfka (1929-2011), The Abraham Fund Initiatives (TAFI) works to promote coexistence and equality among Israel’s Jewish and Arab-Palestinian citizens. Named after the common ancestor of both Jews and Arabs, The Abraham Fund Initiatives is a nonprofit organization, headquartered in Israel, which conducts large-scale initiatives including advocacy and public education to achieve a prosperous, secure, inclusive and just Israeli society. By providing egalitarian, culturally-sensitive and accessible services to the Arab citizens by governmental agencies, civil society organizations and the business sector, the organization also seeks to integrate Arab elected and professional leadership in the decision-making processes.

Now close to the end of its third decade, TAFI is focused on those public policy and institutional changes required in order to create an inclusive and just Israeli society. This going-forward strategy – described as "advocacy through action" – is based on an understanding that TAFI's program initiatives serve as working models rather than ends.
The board and leadership of TAFI reflect the mission of the organization in both makeup and operation. The board of directors includes Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs, UK, and American supporters. An Israeli Jew and an Israeli Arab serve as co-CEOs of the organization. An Israeli and American, both entrepreneurs, serve as co-chairs of the international board.

PROGRAMS

To achieve its objectives, the organization operates the following main initiatives:

Equality & Access to Services

Provides egalitarian, culturally sensitive and accessible services to the Arab citizens by governmental agencies, civil society organizations and the business sector. It seeks to integrate the Arab elected and professional leadership in decision-making processes, change the prevailing service perception of the police, emergency and rescue bodies, and develop a civil discourse among those bodies as service providers for the Arab community.

Education for a Shared Society

Promotes and institutionalizes the instruction of the Arabic language and culture in Hebrew speaking schools while enriching Hebrew language and culture instruction in Arab schools. With an emphasis on spoken language, this program seeks to deepen the social contact between students and teachers of Hebrew and Arab schools through face-to-face encounters and cultural activities.

Leadership, Activism & Opportunity

- Leadership Training

Encourages the political involvement of Arab citizens, especially women and young adults, and seeks to strengthen the status of Arab society in Israel. This program seeks to change the public’s attitudes towards the legitimacy of Arab citizens of Israel acting and influencing decision-making circles in Israel.

- Employment and Social Skills Program

This program promotes the full and egalitarian integration of young Arabs in the workforce. By developing employment and leadership skills among disengaged young adults in the Arab community this program also creates a youth culture that believes in the importance of integration and taking an active part in society, employment, education and social involvement.

- Community Volunteering

of the program advances community volunteering with the goal of reaching an agreed-upon outline to motivate young Arabs to take their place in the general society, as well as in employment and higher education.

Advocacy and Government Relations

Through advocacy, media, research, conferences and publications The Abraham Fund Initiatives promotes the subject of majority-minority relations as a central issue on the public agenda. By delegitimizing policies of discrimination of the Arab population; and legitimizing the integration of the Arab community in the public sphere and decision-making processes. It positions the organization as an issue leader for Jewish-Arab integration and equality.

For more information on all of the details of the above programs, please visit the website of the Abraham Fund Initiatives at www.abrahamfund.org.