New Israel Fund increases income

The British branch of the New Israel Fund enjoyed a record fundraising year in 2010, despite an international campaign by some right-wing Zionists to discredit the organisation.

NIF UK increased its income to £1.4 million from £1.2 million the previous year.

UK chairman Nicholas Saphir said: "Last year was a significant year for NIF given the attacks on civil society and the continuing attempts to narrow down freedom of speech and Israel's democracy. Through our events and other activities we reached out to growing numbers within the community."

The organisation has also ann-ounced its second William Frankel fellow, Elinor Tamir, who will spend 10 months working on social action projects in Israel. The fellowship was named in memory of former JC editor William Frankel.

‘We reached out to growing numbers’

Israeli-born Ms Tamir, 25, is a product of JFS and the Noam youth movement. She describes herself as passionate about "increasing tolerance and acceptance between communities". She worked for the Three Faiths Forum before going to Buenos Aires to help impoverished youth.

The inaugural fellow, Keren Simons, is working with a Bedouin women's charity in Beersheba. She reported on her experiences at an NIF event this week.

In particular, she spoke out against the demolition of Al Araqib, an unrecognised Bedouin village, to make way for a KKL forest.

Seeing bulldozers "tear down olive trees and tents and forcing people to live in a cemetery where their ancestors were buried for 150 years was the most heartbreaking thing I have seen", she said.

    Last updated: 3:11pm, July 21 2011