- Assets: $59,197,283 (2012)
- Grants Received: $33,136,287 (2012)
- Grants Awarded: $7,202,903 (2012)
Established in New York in 1963, the Alan B. Slifka Foundation (ABSF) is a private family foundation that focuses its philanthropy primarily on Jewish projects in the field of “coexistence,” or what it alternatively terms “the proactive embrace of diversity and difference.” Grant recipients are mostly New York-based nonprofit organizations that address human rights and defense issues. The Foundation’s four major program areas are:
- “The Perpetuation of Jewish Values and Education in Israel and the Diaspora”
- “The Enhancement of Coexistence (Social Cohesion)” between Jews and Arabs in Israel
- “The Advancement of Coexistence and Social Cohesion as a Governmental Responsibility and Priority Globally”
- “Research on Benefits of Coexistence in a Shared Society”
As of April 2014, ABSF was providing funding for the following initiatives:
(1) Agenda–the Israeli Center for Strategic Communications: In an effort to “impact the way that social change issues are presented in the media,” and to “hel[p] social change organizations promote their goals more effectively,” this initiative provides technical assistance, education, training, and capacity-building to groups working in the areas of “socio-economic justice, peaceful Israeli-Arab co-existence, equality, minority rights, peace, health and human rights.”
(2) Arab Youth Movement: This project “cultivates young Israeli Arab leadership committed to democracy and active citizenship.”
(3) Center for Jewish-Arab Economic Development: Women’s Empowerment Unit: This entity encourages women to “take an active part in networking and forming the business leadership of the Israeli Arab community.”
(4) Hand in Hand: Centers for Jewish-Arab Education in Israel: Hand in Hand works to develop integrated public schools for Jewish and Arab children in Israel, so as to promote “social change and mutual understanding” between the two cultures.
(5) JFNA Social Venture Fund for Jewish-Arab Equality and Coexistence: This philanthropic initiative seeks to bring together federation and private foundation partners to provide both financial and strategic support to “high-impact projects that address Jewish-Arab relations and/or seek to meet the social needs of Israeli Arabs, Bedouins and Druze.”
ABSF was established by the late Alan B. Slifka (1929-2011), a securities analyst who also co-founded the Abraham Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting coexistence between Israeli Jews and Arabs. Slifka believed that among Israel’s Arab citizens, there was “great public support” for unity and peace with their Jewish neighbors. “The critical next step,” said Slifka in 2008, “is for Israeli policy makers to bring about the structural changes that the Jewish and Arab publics support, to reshape the educational, income, residential, and other divides that undermine national unity.”
Among ABSF’s more noteworthy grantees are the Earth Island Institute, the Israel Policy Forum, the New Israel Fund, the Threshold Foundation, the Tides Center, and the William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation. To view a list of additional ABSF grant recipients, click here.