Civic Service and the Opportunity Fund
The Opportunity Fund is a unique partnership of eight philanthropic foundations, for the promotion of civic-service in Israel. The philanthropic foundations are:
- Charles H. Revson Foundation
- Gandyr Foundation
- National Insurance Funds – The fund for children and Youth at Risk
- Ruderman Family Foundation
- Ted Arison Family Foundation
- The Lucius N/ Littaue Foundation
- UJA Federation
Civic service is an important and central platform that assists young adults who don’t enlist to the army to normatively integrate in society as contributing beneficial citizens.
Approximately 51% of recruitment candidates each year are not recruited to the army. Thousands of them want to serve and see it as a privilege, among them young adults with disabilities, young adults at risk and young adults from the Arab society.
Gandyr Foundation considers the promotion of civic service as one of its main goals in support of young adults.
Research shows that civic service is effective in the following conditions:
- The service framework is voluntary and the young-adult takes part in it by choice.
- During the service they receive training that enables them to perform more professionally.
- Each young volunteer is provided with ongoing guidance that promotes his\her personal, professional and social abilities.
- The service is the first and most important stage in the young adult’s career choice process.
In order to actualize the goals in this field the Foundation, together with additional partners, initiated the founding of the Opportunity Fund:
The Opportunity Fund identified civic service as a potential platform for influencing populations who do not enlist to the army and enabling them to contribute and acquire tools for normative life, education and employment. The Fund chose to promote this platform to the extent possible.
The Fund’s goal is to enable young adults from marginalized populations (young adults at risk, young adults with disabilities and minorities) who were not recruited to the army to contribute to society and volunteer in quality civic service that will assist them in financial and social integration and in achieving social mobility.
The Fund does this by supporting Enrichment Programs that consist of content like education completion, employment training, active citizenship promotion and more. These programs are run according to professional standards and help the young adults best integrate in society as contributing beneficiary citizens.
See more at: http://theopportunity.fund/en/
The choice of these target populations (young adults at risk, young adults with disabilities and minorities): These populations, which are already socially marginalized and peripheral, are not recruited to army service. This prevents them from receiving a significant entry ticket to Israeli society and economy. They need a worthy alternative in which they will be able to contribute, feel included and receive a chance at a different future.
A Valuable Investment and Initial Achievements
International research proves that graduates of quality civic service programs become active citizens who are more independent in their personal and community lives. Moreover, we have research based evidence of civic service having significant and substantial positive financial value to economy for each of the target populations.
The Fund Achievements: Although the Fund was founded only two years ago, a number of satisfactory and significant achievements can already be stated:
- A Standard Mark Committee for civic service Enrichment of young adults with disabilities and young adults at risk has been founded. In it, standard marks for suitable Enrichment Programs and bodies capable of running them were defined.
- The state has, for the first time, acknowledged the significance of the Enrichment Programs, and began investing an annual 1,400,000 NIS.
- The Fund entered a partnership with the government and releases a joint call with the government for programs for young adults with disabilities and young adults at risk.