The Shahaf Foundation

The Shahaf Foundation is a unique partnership between 20 foundations and philanthropists from Israel and abroad, joined together to facilitate social change in Israel’s socio-geographic periphery, by supporting Young mission-driven Communities.
Location: Tel Aviv


No description provided.
Young Mission-Driven Communities as an Engine for Community and Urban Growth and Renewal in Israel’s Geo-Social Periphery


When talking about meaningful and sustainable Urban renewal processes, that will improve the lives of local residents and attract young adults to move into the neighborhood, there is a need for the different players to join forces and create a multi-sectoral partnership. By working with government ministries, local authorities, philanthropy, Mission-Driven communities, professionals and civil society, The Shahaf Foundation has created a unique and innovative model that is inclusive and sustainable.

This model is innovative also in his approach to philanthropy: Organizations, Foundations and private donors are not only donating funds, but are partners to real on-the-ground changes that influence and encourages the government and private investors to re-think their strategy and become more inclusive.

The Shahaf Foundation has started working with government ministries on
joint initiatives to expend the communities' movement activity. We are
currently working with the Ministry of Housing and the Ministry of Agriculture.
In the next few weeks, we are hoping to sign on a third joint venture, together
with the Housing and Social Equality ministries. If signed, a part of this
joint initiative will focus on urban renewal processes in a few neighborhoods;
one of them will hopefully be kyrat Yuvel in Jerusalem.

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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

With the development of the Mission-driven communities' movement, a new opportunity has been created: concentrating hundreds of members of communities and young activists as an engine for change, through building a multi-sectoral partnership with local authorities, philanthropy and government ministries. This partnership turns a neglected, abandoned neighborhood rapidly with diminishing vitality into a young, vibrant neighborhood that in turn attracts young adults and families who want to raise their children there and promote quality of life for all the residents.

The Shahaf Foundation has identified the added values of the communities and the young activists, and set forth promoting this model of renewal as a central, strategic objective for the next five years. Community and urban renewal is defined as advancing quality of life in neighborhoods of the geo-social periphery, with a comprehensive view of a neighborhood’s needs and for the sake of all of its residents. Contrary to unsuccessful past attempts focused on physical infrastructure, this intervention leverages the long-term impact of motivated, highly capable human resources.

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Program Description

Overarching Objective

Reduce socio-economic gaps and generate community and urban renewal of weak neighborhoods in Israel’s geo-social periphery, through developing and implementing a model led by Mission-Driven communities and other multi-sectoral partners.


  1. Implementing and developing Shahaf's innovative model for community and urban renewal in Israel’s geo-social periphery in 2 neighborhoods: Hadar neighborhood in Haifa, and Sharet neighborhood in Lod, in partnership with the Ministry of Housing, Project Renewal Division and with the Ministry of Social Equality. Later on, this model will also be implemented in additional neighborhoods.
  2. Improve quality of life in the neighborhood by:
  1. Strengthen the neighborhood’s human capital
  2. Change the balance of migration
  3. Improve and develop social-community services
  4. Develop activism and bolster community belonging and leadership.

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Demonstrated Need

Underserved neighborhoods and cities in Israel's geo-social periphery suffer from poor services, infrastructure and housing. In recent years, there has been a dramatic acceleration in the scope of construction, with emphasis on building new neighborhoods. This welcome process is attracting young adults, young families and people from the veteran and socially weak neighborhoods looking to improve their housing situation. At the same time, mosturban renewal processes initiated by business entrepreneurs or local authorities largely focus on the physical and visual aspects while ignoring or not understanding the residents' needs, or even threatening to push these neighborhoods into a crisis that will cause further deterioration of their situation. This process is further exacerbated by the state’s ongoing withdrawal from its commitment to narrowing social-economic gaps and reducing inequality. This trend is even more apparent in weaker neighborhoods, and is most clearly expressed in the reduction of government investment in Project Renewal, leaving residents to their fate – one of despair, continued deterioration, poverty and distress.

The Shahaf Foundation believes that young, motivated activists moving into the neighborhoods can resolve this problem, working to create change in the framework of mission-driven communities.

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Program Accomplishments

Over the years, The Shahaf Foundation has been working with Mission Driven communities and supporting their work in neighborhoods in Israel's geo-socio periphery. As part of the communities' work, we were able to bring more young activists to move into the neighborhoods, and Revers the balance of migrations. Young adults and family have decided to move or stay in the periphery, and work to create change- the level of social and municipal services have improved, local residents feel a greater sense of belonging to their neighborhoods, and communities are holding special events and celebrate the holidays together.

Recently, Shahaf has also started working on the social aspects of urban renewal process, and have created a multi-sectoral model for the process. A case study is being implemented in Hadar neighborhood in Haifa.

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How do you measure the success of your program?

Once this joint venture is signed, the process of implementing the social urban renewal model into the different neighborhoods will be accompanied by a researcher that will help evaluate the model and further develop it based on the on-the-ground experience.

In addition, in kyrat Yuvel there are 5 existing mission driven communities. If we will be successful, not only will we see large groups of activists operating in the neighborhoods, but additional communities will join the neighborhoods and work with the existing communities and other partners.

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