1. Letter to Naomi Paiss, Communications Director, New Israel Fund (NIF)
2. Response from NIF

Letter to Naomi Paiss, August 21, 2012

Dear Naomi,

We have a number of questions regarding NIF funding for +972 Magazine.

According to +972, NIF provided +972 with $10,000 in 2011 and $60,000 in 2012 – via the Social Justice Fund.

However, +972 is not listed among the Social Justice Fund’s 2011 grants. Moreover, +972 notes that the 2011 grant originated with the Institute of International Education, whose affiliation with NIF and the Social Justice Fund is unclear.

In order to clarify these matters, as well as other issues related to NIF funding for +972, we have the following questions for you:

  1. Why is the 2011 grant to +972 not listed on the NIF’s Social Justice Fund webpage?
  2. Is the “Social Justice Fund” the same as the “Ford-Israel Fund”?
  3. Does all funding for the Social Justice Fund originate with the Ford Foundation?
  4. If not, which other sources or foundations support the Social Justice Fund?
  5. What is the relationship between the Institute of International Education and the NIF, in general, and the Social Justice Fund, in particular?
  6. In what manner is funding for +972 consistent with the specific criteria of NIF’s “Social Justice Fund,” as delineated on your website?

Thank you for your attention to these questions. We look forward to continued dialogue on these important matters.


Naftali Balanson
Managing Editor
NGO Monitor

cc: Gerald Steinberg, President, NGO Monitor
Daniel Sokatch, CEO, New Israel Fund

Response from NIF, August 21, 2012

Hi, Naftali –

Briefly, the Social Justice Fund is what used to be known as the Ford Israel Fund and is funded solely by Ford.  The 2011 grant to +972  came via the Institute for International Education (IIE), which administers a small travel grants program on behalf of the Social Justice Fund. Funding to the IIE is listed on the Social Justice Fund site.  A small “Travel and Learning Fund” was established by the Social Justice Fund, via NIF,  and administered by the Institute for International Education, to facilitate educational and/or travel activities in pursuance of our funding objectives.

As the website states, “Supporting activities designed to get the peace process back on track, advance unresolved final status issues; promote broad public discussion and constituencies within Israel for these options; and enhance Israelis’ knowledge of Palestinian society” are the goals of the Social Justice Fund, and +972 obviously fulfills the criteria of promoting broad public discussion and constituencies, to say the least.