The Ford Foundation will not renew funding for non-governmental organizations in Israel after the current grant round ends in 2013, citing changing priorities, not politics, as the reason behind its decision.
The Ford Israel Fund has begun notifying grantees that they won’t get more money after the $20 million kitty runs out. The fund has provided grants in three fields: advancing civil and human rights, fostering equality for Arabs in Israel, and promoting Israeli-Palestinian peace.
The foundation, ranked the second largest in the United States, launched its Israeli program in 2003 under a partnership with the New Israel Fund, which provides an on-the-ground presence and administers the grants.
NIF’s CEO confirmed the donor’s decision.
“This was not a surprise for us,” said Daniel Sokatch. “There is a compliment here for the civil society sector in Israel. This is a sign that they no longer need this kind of support and can stand on their own feet.”
However, with money from the Ford Foundation not coming in, Israeli NGOs will be forced to find new ways to fund programs in an environment that has grown increasingly hostile to groups focused on human rights, The Jewish Daily Forward notes.
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