Major gap in nonprofit welfare funding between haredim and Arab Israelis
A study on welfare nonprofits in Israel shows the gap between funding in different sectors of society, including the gaps between the Israeli Arab and haredi (ultra-Orthodox) populations.
According to the study, 43,000 nonprofits currently help provide services to people on welfare, although only about 20,000 appear to be active. This number grows each year, with an average of 1,600 new organizations registering per year in the last decade.
Around 7% of those organizations have services designated for Arab Israelis, but the money generated by those organizations is only 2% of the total money raised by all welfare nonprofits. In comparison, 23% of the organizations provide assistance to the haredi sector and hold 20% of the total money in welfare nonprofits.
In Israel, 1.8 million people are living below the poverty line. Welfare provides funding for services to people who are in need, and promotes basic standards of living, both physically and materially.
The study was conducted by researchers Shavit Madhala, Dr. Michal Almog-Bar and Prof. John Gal through the Taub Center in conjunction with the Center for the Study of Civil Society and Philanthropy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Their data came from reports that nonprofits are required to submit to the Israeli Corporations Authority, which are available on the “GuideStar” Israel website.
For nonprofits alone, the total revenue examined for this study amounts to NIS 13.8 billion.
Donations are 28% of the total public expenditure on welfare services in Israel. In total, Israel’s annual expenditure on welfare is NIS 12b., but if donation funds collected by nonprofits are factored into this, the number jumps to NIS 15.45 b.
Haredi organizations get 38% of their funds through donations, and 30% of all donations to welfare nonprofits in general go to them. Israeli Arab organizations receive 2% of all donations.
“Both of these sectors of society are poorer than the rest of society, which means that people in these communities need welfare services, need social services, need cash benefits,” Gal said. “I think the Haredi community is… integrated into government services and has established organizations that get support from the government or from overseas.”
According to Gal, there are different reasons the Arab community has far less nonprofits and far less money to use: “The community is larger and the poverty level is very high – about 15% of Arab families are below the poverty line,” Gal said. “I think they are less integrated politically and not part of a government coalition. In the haredi community, a lot of money comes from [overseas]. In the Arab communities a lot less money is donated from overseas.”
AMONG NONPROFIT organizations in Israel, 23% provide assistance to the haredi sector, compared to 7% for Israeli Arabs.