10 THINGS WE WON'T HAVE TO CHANGE IN 2017

Photo credit: Nana B Agyei

2016 was a year to remember! Our joint efforts enabled us to leave a positive social footprint in a wide array of issues including education, economic justice, gender equality, shared society and environmental sustainability. We were even nominated as one of the top 10 most influential entities in Israel by TheMarker Magazine. Take a moment to reflect on all of what we’ve done together this year.

 

2016 in Numbers

In 2016, 20,000 new people joined ANU, reaching a total of 95,000 members. 36,400 people signed petitions, sent out emails, participated in ANU’s events and met with decision makers. We worked with over 120 organizations through coalitions and partnerships. Our members ran 90 impactful local and national campaigns on our digital activism platform that led governmental reforms and changed regulations. We influenced the public debate as the issues were elevated in 320 media items

ANU’s most effective digital activism tool was its mass-email campaign. Click here to learn more about how it works

1. 15,000 workers won’t have to worry about their occupational stability 

After 4 years of intensive work, joint efforts led to the absorption of 15,000 contract workers as permanent employees with full benefits. The majority of them work in the health industry and as social workers. This decision dramatically improves the workers quality of life and that of their families. The Coalition for Direct Employment, which ANU is a partner in, organized demonstrations, ran campaigns, held meetings with decision makers, elevated the issue to the media and the public discourse, performed research and advocated for laws that promote better employment terms. This is a vital step towards a fair and more just economy that will reduce the unfortunate phenomenon of ‘poor workers’. There are still, however, over 600,000 more contract workers in Israel.

In 2017 we will be busy empowering and cultivating leadership groups of contract workers across Israel, providing them with the tools to change their reality. In addition, the Coalition for Direct Employment will work to implement direct employment in Local Authorities, Universities and in the private sector.

Student Union – Ben Gurion University, Student Union – Wingate, Student Union – Tel Aviv University, Israel Association for Ethiopian Jews, Ma’an Workers Association, Itach Maaki, Fair Employment for Teachers, HaMishmar HaHevrati, ACRI, The Operating Organization for People with Disabilities, Senior Staff Association at Tel Aviv University, Parents Organization for the Education System in Jerusalem, College Foreign Teachers Organization, The Forum for Direct Employment in Tel Aviv University, The Rising Voice, The National Union of Israeli Students, Educational Forum Jerusalem, Dizengoff Center Management Company, Tebeka, Koach La Ovdim – Democratic Workers’ Organization, The Open Knesset, Our Heritage – The Charter for Democracy, Social Workers for the Future of Social Services in Israel, Shatil, Kav LaOved, Tevel Betsedek, Amota – The Social Workers Chamber of Privatized Social Workers, For the Future of Social Workers in Israel, Centurion and The Histadrut.

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2. Public Summer camps will no longer be unaffordable for thousands of families in 57 towns

The majority of parents struggle to find affordable frameworks for their children while they work during the summer. In response, this May, ANU partnered with the National Forum of Kindergarten Parent’s Association to campaign for a reduction in summer camp prices across Israel. Within 48 hours, over 5,000 concerned parents joined our mass e-mail campaign targeting Members of Knesset and Ministers. The issue made a big media buzz, raising an important debate on how the cost of summer camps are directly linked to the high cost of living crisis and the burden on the working class. According to Channel 2, Israel hasn’t witnessed a more powerful campaign since the social justice protest 5 years ago (watch the full TV segment here).  A couple of days later, private camp owners announced that they will reduce their prices for their summer camps and within a week the government announced that they will significantly reduce the prices by 300-400 NIS in 57 cities, towns and local authorities across Israel so that every parent can make sure their child has a safe place to be during the summer vacation.

In 2017, we will continue to take action and ensure that prices remain affordable. 

The Kindergarten Parents Association

The National Parents Association

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3. Principals in Jewish schools won’t have to look so hard for excellent English, math and science teachers

To further our efforts towards a shared society in Israel, we partnered with Merchavim in a joint campaign aimed to dramatically increase the number of Arab English, Math and Science teachers in Jewish schools across Israel. As part of this campaign, we created media segments, online ads, monitored job seeking ads, contacted various educational networks and teacher training institutes. We located and matched talented Arab teachers with school principals. The results of our intense work were incredible - we quadrupled the number of Arab teachers hired through Merchavim’s program, and a total of 270 teachers were hired in Jewish schools by September 2016.

In 2017, we intend to continue increasing the number of teachers hired, create a discourse among teachers and principals around the issue of hiring Arab teachers and work intensively to encourage more teachers to apply.

Merchavim

Social Venture Fund for Jewish-Arab Equality and Shared Society

The Ministry of Education

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4. The Tender Years Presumption law will no longer go unnoticed by decision-makers

The Tender Years Presumption Law — which gives near-automatic custodial rights to the mother for children under the age of six — is under threat of being cancelled without an alternative solution that guarantees the wellbeing of children. This places children in a very vulnerable situation and subject to divorce wars. We partnered with over 10 organizations and foundations on a campaign to prevent the cancellation of this law without an alternative solution. The campaign focused mainly on raising awareness on the importance of ensuring the wellbeing of the children, and preventing the law’s cancellation. Over 70 experts signed a letter written to the Minister of Justice, we held a conference in the Knesset on the topic and tens of mothers participated in protests. Our joint efforts led to an elevated public debate and over 40 articles were published throughout the campaign period, which influenced the voters in the committee to vote in their favor.  

Through this campaign we’ve learned that there is a need to emphasize on enforcing the ‘gender lens’ in social campaigns and elevate current networks and communities working with ANU.

In 2017, we will continue to consolidate the Forum of Women Activists. This network will be based on solidarity, cooperation and diversity, while leveraging each other’s strengths to become more visible and influential.

Dafna Foundation

Yedid

Liba – For the Sake of Divorce Kids

Mena Center – Rishon Lezion

Rackman Center

The Female Voice

Women’s Lobby

Itach Maaki

Wizo

Naamat

Emuna

Legal Clinics IDC

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5. The Israeli public will no longer be held captive by the banks

ANU helped consolidate the coalition for transparency and efficiency in the banking system which consists of over 30 activists, economists, businesspeople, students and academics. The coalition aims to encourage competition in the banking sector and reduce the cost of living for Israel’s middle class. Throughout 2016, we took an active part in the Strum Committee, which advises the government on regulation in the banking sector and aims to increase competition. We succeeded in elevating this issue to the media and public debate. Hundreds of citizens took action – participating in meetings, sending emails and signing petition. The coalition also formed strategic partnerships with decision makers within the government and external experts. Our suggestions were adopted in the Strum Committee’s final official document and in a new bill that passed the first vote. Our efforts ensured the voices of civil society were heard and the public’s interest was at heart. Both opposition and coalition members voted in favor. Our main recommendations included lowering credit card fees, separating the credit card companies from the banks, encouraging more entities to join the competition and holding bank leaders legally accountable if they break the law instead of fining them.

In 2017, we will work to ensure the bill passes in the two final votes, ensure all measurements are taken to increase competition and transparency in the banking system and we will file appeals to Israel’s Supreme Court of Justice. 

Financial Justice

Lobby 99

Israel 2050

We are the People

Hamishmar

Israel Yekara

Hadar Hamatzav

Asakim Group

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6. Millions of small fish and corals won’t be destroyed in 2017

The Society for the Protection of Nature ran a mass email campaign with ANU to ensure that the Ministry of Agriculture enforce the new fishing regulations approved by the Economic Committee. These new regulations will prevent harmful fishing tactics, protect a third of Israel’s seas from fishing, and assign nature reserves in the Mediterranean Sea, to allow fish, corals and natural reefs to recover and thrive. Our community didn’t stay silent and almost 1540 concerned citizens took action and sent emails to key figures in the Ministry of Agriculture, ensuring their voices were heard. The public pressure created over the years of work by the SPNI was amplified, and influenced the Minister’s decision to allocate the needed 2.5 Million NIS to implement the reform.

In 2017, ANU will establish a wide coalition that will draft a joint strategic campaign plan to protect the Mediterranean Sea and elevate the issue to the public discourse. 

The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel

Nature and Parks Authority

 

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7. The public will no longer stay silent when politicians play with their public resources

The voices of civil society were heard in the campaign pushing for a fair natural gas deal. Tens of thousands of citizens participated in demonstrations, and meetings with decision makers and opinion leaders. This contributed to Israel’s Supreme Court ruling to change an important clause in the offshore-gas deal. ANU was a friend of the court in the appeal to Israel’s High Court of Justice, which acknowledged the significant role civil society played in their ruling against the deal. This change ultimately benefits the general public in Israel and its economy. Over 15 partners and hundreds of activists took part in this campaign and continue to work towards increased governmental transparency, economic justice and civic engagement.

In 2017, we intend to build upon this grassroots movement and continue to increase public participation and civic engagement through online and offline activities.  

Israel Energy Forum

Hamishmar

The Organization for a Sustainable Economy

Megama Yeruka

The Movement for Quality Government in Israel

Green Now

The Legal Forum for Israel

Hadar Hamatzav

Zalul

Concerned Citizens

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8. 80,000 low income families won’t have to wait 3 months to find out if they are entitled to subsidized funding for daycares

In December 2015, ANU launched the Coalition for Early Childhood Education which works with hundreds of parents, educators and concerned individuals to promote a government decision to regulate early childhood care (birth to three). We work to ensure a high quality, regulated and subsidized framework for early care and education. This campaign has received a lot of media attention, several articles were published in leading media outlets, and coalition members were interviewed and participated in leading conferences. During the summer of 2016, the Minister of Welfare agreed to reform the subsidy application process for low income families, which significantly reduced the paperwork and the response rate from three months to just three days. For 80,000 parents who apply annually, this decision is dramatic. In addition, the Ministry has committed to building 216 new day cares in two years and to improve the working conditions of caregivers across Israel.

In 2017, we will ensure the commitments are implemented, establish a committee to map the challenges for building educational frameworks in the Arab society, work for improved working conditions for caregivers and improve supervision and standards. 

Members of the Steering Committee: Efrata College, Beterem, Freedom Women, Labor and Employment Lawyer, Altufula Center, Israel Association of Community Centers – Ashkelon, Koach La Ovdim – Democratic Workers’ Organization, Former Council Member in Raanana and initiated the program “A City With No Age”, Parent’s Lobby – Tel Aviv, Taf Miriam, Beit Yaakov, Law Student – Sapir College, Owner of a Number Daycare Centers – Haifa and Education Expert.

Members of the Coalition: hundreds of concerned parents and educational framework organizations.

Supporter: The Bernard Van Leer Foundation.

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9. Israeli high school students won’t be limited in their civics education curriculum    

Civic studies should ideally provide students with a safe and inclusive space to explore and form their civic identity. Unfortunately, over this past year, the educational curriculum for civic studies has undergone significant changes, steering away from a "Jewish and Democratic state" discourse to a "Jewish and National state" while weakening our democratic values. The new textbook and its glossary approved by the Ministry of Education presented many inaccuracies and a misrepresented version of Israel’s minority groups. In response, ANU established the Coalition for Democracy in Education, composed of over 25 organizations, academics, educators and civil society leaders. The coalition works to establish a shared civic identity for all sectors of Israeli society and to restore the balance to civic studies. Together, we were able to create a widespread momentum placing civic and democracy studies in the spotlight. The coalition filed appeals to the Israel’s High Court of Justice, thousands of parents signed petitions, sent emails to decision makers, met with experts, MKs and decision makers and elevated the issue to the public debate. In response, the Ministry of Education agreed to make changes to the text book, which is taught in schools across Israel. In addition, Israel’s supreme court of justice demanded to stop the use of the glossary of terms.

In 2017, we will work to create translated and alternative learning material for Arab students, enforce an open dialogue for democracy and stop injustices. 

The Department for Public Policy - Hebrew University, Ofakin Afak, I’m a Citizen, Israel Hofsheet – Be Free, Givat Haviva, ACRI, The Center for Democratic Education, The Civic Studies Academic Forum, The Secular Forum, The Conservative Movement, IMPJ, Abraham Fund, Yesodot, the Monitoring Committee for Arab Education, Kol Israel Haverim, Adam Seminary, Civics Teachers Council, Shatil, Ogen, Oranim College, Hetzog College, National Student and Youth Council, Oz Shalom, Pardes Center for Value Education, Shaar LeAdam, The National Parents Association, The New Israel Fund, Lautman Foundation, School Principals and hundreds of concerned students, teachers and parents across Israel

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10. Hundreds of marginalized voices will no longer be absent from the mainstream media

ANU acknowledges the importance of increasing the presence of marginalized voices in the media. As part of our Women’s Media Center, we held media workshops for over 40 women experts in various fields. In May 2016, ANU established A-List which was built upon the success of the WMCI. A-List is an online braintrust of over 200 Arab experts in various fields, from high-tech, to arts, business and medicine to be used by the mainstream media. The project aims to significantly increase the presence and influence of Arab citizens in Israel’s media and public debate, for a more inclusive and tolerant society. In just a few months since its launch, A-List has proven to be an effective tool to change attitudes and encourage journalists and media professionals to reach out to more Arab sources on an ongoing basis. According to the Diversity Index developed by the organization ‘Sikkuy’, since launching this initiative, Arab representation in the media increased by over 100%! A-List is also being used on an ongoing basis by the academia and the corporate sector when looking for experts, board members, speakers or employees. 

In 2017, considering our recent success, we will work to strengthen the capacity of hundreds of women and Arab experts offering media training workshops and one-on-one support. We will brand A-List as a hub for excellence and expertize within the Arab community, and encourage experts to continue to engage with the Hebrew mainstream media. ANU will explore ways to replicate this project for additional communities such as Haredim. 

A-List Partners and Supporters

Sikkuy

Fohs Foundation

Rayne Trust

WMCI Supporters 

TOWF

JWFNY

 

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ADDITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS

This year ANU and its partners launched Out of Place - an innovative film incubator that inspires and catalyzes social change, tolerance and inclusion through the power of documentary films. This year, 20 filmmakers from Israel and Germany produced 10 short documentary films. Each film was awarded a production grant by the Gesher Multicultural Film Fund. Films will premiere at Israeli and German film festivals next year. ANU held a seminar for the Out of Place filmmakers that included lectures from Doron Tsabari, a distinguished filmmaker, as well as Nicole Hod, our Deputy Director, Yoni Blasbalg, our Campaign and Portal manager, and Heila Myara, our resources development coordinator. Click here for our digital album.

This summer we were lucky to recruit Heli Mishael to participate in our community development internship program. Heli, who is pursuing her Master's degree in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, brought us best practices from Dr. Marshall Ganz on storytelling as a mean for community organizing and motivating people to take action. Heli held 8 inspiring workshops with over 60 activists, community leaders and nonprofit professionals.

We opened a promotional booth and held a lecture at the First Conference of Social Activists, organized by the Berl Katznelson Fund. We spoke in front of 400 influencers and opinion leaders, including activists, media professionals, community leaders, academics, nonprofit professionals and youth leaders (high school and university students) on tools and methods for social change ad about ANU.

We received recognition for our work as TheMarker Magazine ranked ANU, as the 10th most influential entity in Israel out of 100 people/entities. We were happy to share the 10th spot with important partners such Financial Justice, Lobby 99, Israel 2050, Hadar Hamatzav, HaSadna and Maas. 

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שתפו -