The Abraham Fund Initiatives
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The Abraham Fund Initiatives is a non-profit organization based in Jerusalem, New York City and London. Named for the common ancestor of both Jews and Arabs, it is dedicated to advancing coexistence, equality and cooperation between Israel's Jewish and Arab citizens. According to its mission statement, "The Abraham Fund works toward a prosperous, secure and just society by promoting policies based on innovative social models, conducting large-scale initiatives, advocacy and public education."
Founded in 1989 by the late Alan B. Slifka and the late Dr. Eugene Weiner, the Abraham Fund was one of the first nonprofit organizations dedicated to furthering coexistence between Israel's Arab and Jewish citizens.
Ami Nahshon served as The Abraham Fund's International President and CEO from 2003 through 2014. Amnon Be'eri-Sulitzeanu and Dr. Thabet Abu Rass serve as the organization's global Co-Executive Directors, based in Israel.
Currently, The Abraham Fund's major program initiatives include the following:
- Language as a Cultural Bridge seeks to mandate the teaching of Arabic language and culture for all Jewish students in Israel’s public schools, from the elementary grades through high school. Simultaneously, the initiative is upgrading Hebrew language and culture learning in Arab schools. Already in 220 schools across the country, the program is supported by the US government, Israel’s Ministry of Education and local municipalities.
- Policing in a Divided Society works to improve relations between the Israel Police and Arab society by enhancing the scope and quality of services provided to Israel's Arab citizens, and by equipping the Police with the multicultural skills and awareness required to serve a diverse society.
- Sharikat Haya/The Arab Women’s Employment Initiative combats poverty in the Arab sector, promotes Israel’s economic growth and strengthens the status of Arab women in their communities.
- Public Education, Advocacy and Government Relations deepens policy makers’ familiarity with Arab society, and raises awareness that Jewish-Arab equality and social inclusion are critical to Israel’s future. The Abraham Fund works with opinion leaders within government, the media and the private sector to advocate for a shared society of equal opportunity and access for all Israelis.
- Jewish-Arab Inter-Municipal Cooperation: Mirkam in the Galilee aims to develop the Central Galilee as a national model for shared living. The initiative brings together Jewish and Arab municipal leaders to work on shared needs in the areas of environment, regional development, education and health, while designing policies that can be replicated in mixed regions throughout Israel.
- Education for a Shared Society is advanced through The Abraham Fund’s bilingual Hebrew-Arabic online resource center to reinforce and support the work of civics and coexistence educators in Jewish and Arab schools. The interactive resource center provides program tools, teaching materials and extensive information in the areas of democracy and education for shared citizenship.
- "Alan Slifka, philanthropist, coexistence advocate, dies". BrandeisNOW. Retrieved 10 February 2011.