Social Venture fund for Jewish-Arab Equality

Social Venture fund for Jewish-Arab Equality

SOCIAL VENTURE FUND for Jewish-Arab Equality and Shared Society (SVF) was awarded on March 13 the 2018 Shapiro Prize for Excellence in Philanthropic Collaboration by the Jewish Funders Network (JFN) at its annual conference in Tel Aviv. 

The Social Venture Fund is a collaborative and structured partnership of more than 20 funders from the United States and Israel, including Global Connections of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ. The fund has collectively allocated nearly $8 million to address one of the most important and sensitive issues affecting the future of Israel. 

“Through several initiatives to promote economic integration and improved educational opportunities for Arabs, Federation supports the development of Israel for the benefit of all Israelis,” said Jim Paul of Summit, the federation’s Israeli Arab liaison.

“With this prize the funder community recognizes that collaboration is an essential feature of an effective Jewish philanthropic field,” said JFN president and CEO Andrés Spokoiny. “We all tend to think a lot about what funders’ goals are, but neglect the study of how funders can work together on process and structure success. At JFN, we’re committed to calling attention to the most innovative partnerships that are already happening in the Jewish community.”

Founded in 2008, the SVF includes a mix of federations, private foundations, and individual donors working and learning together. With all participants making substantially equivalent contributions and having an equal voice in all decisions, the SVF has developed a participatory and collaborative process that has amplified the impact of its participants’ philanthropy. 

“We support Israeli NGOs that promote economic integration and improved educational opportunities for Arab citizens of Israel and that support the institutional foundations of an equal and inclusive shared society,” said Phyllis Bernstein of Westfield, cochair of the SVF Economic Development Committee. 

The Shapiro Prize, awarded biennially by Jewish Funders Network, recognizes alliances of forward-thinking Jewish funders who collaborate to have an impact in their chosen fields of interest. It was established in honor of a JFN founding board member, Sidney Shapiro, who died in 2007, and who was regarded as one of the leading lights of American-Jewish philanthropy. The prize was formerly called the Sidney Shapiro Tzedakah Award.

For more information, email Phyllis Bernstein at

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