Tag archive for "social justice"

Justice in Israel

The right of single parents to attend university & receive guaranteed minimum income

No Comments 09 November 2016

 The Knesset has enacted a law allowing single parents to pursue academic studies while receiving a guaranteed income, but government regulations are preventing the realization of this right. Continue Reading

Justice in Israel

Initial Progress on Recouping Bail Fees

No Comments 05 September 2016

Although there is still no explanation as to how one can recoup bail fees on the Israeli police website,  we have discovered that now there is a system for tracking the status of the bail funds paid by uncharged suspects.

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Justice in Israel

Response of the Forum for the Struggle Against Poverty to the Approval of the State Budget

No Comments 01 September 2016

The Forum for the Struggle Against Poverty calls upon the Government to act on its promise to implement the recommendations of the “Committee for Combatting Poverty,”  leading to a steady decline in the extent and depth of poverty and the expansion of equal opportunities. Continue Reading

Justice in Israel

Difficulties recouping bail hurts the nation’s weakest

No Comments 29 August 2016

An article in Haaretz was published on August 29th in response to a “Freedom of Information Act” request filed by Rabbis for Human Rights coupled with months of assistance trying to recoup the cost of bail for a struggling Ethiopian family.

Read the full article here

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Justice in Israel

Escaping Poverty: Demonstration against the 2017-2019 State Budget

No Comments 14 August 2016

On Thursday August 11 2016, the Forum for the Struggle Against Poverty came out to demonstrate in front of the Prime Minister’s offices in a demand to put the fight against poverty on the agenda of  the proposed 2017-2019 State budget.  About sixty demonstrators and two Knesset members were present. Several participants expressed the demands of those living in poverty.

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Justice in Israel

Response to passing of Law for the Government Authority for Urban Renewal

No Comments 09 August 2016

Achievements in the field of urban renewal are clear with the passing of a new law in early August 2016 establishing a government body for urban renewal.
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Justice in Israel, Press Releases

The Forum for Public Housing presents Public Housing Day at the Knesset

No Comments 11 July 2016

PRESS RELEASE | JULY 11 2016

The Forum for Public Housing presents Public Housing Day at the Knesset: Marking the Crisis of the Million

Invitation to cover: Public Housing Day in the Knesset on July 12 2016 will be led by MKs Orli Levy Abekasis, Dov Hanin, Stav Shafir, Ilan Gilon, Itzik Shmuli, Eli Cohen and Omer Bar Lev  Continue Reading

General, Justice in Israel, Justice in Israel-Negev Bedouin

PROGRAMS FOR HARTMAN SEMINAR PARTICIPANTS 5776/2016

No Comments 03 July 2016

RHR is proud to continue our tradition for over 15 years of providing quality human rights programing for rabbis participating in seminars at the Shalom Hartman Institute. This year we have two offerings:

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Justice in Israel

Position paper: The Insolvency Law will work against Israelis Living in Poverty

No Comments 26 June 2016

The Insolvency Law will work against those living in poverty while providing preferrential treatment for the more established class

Rabbi Idit Lev at the Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice Commitee meeting regarding a new law on debt repayment, June 21 2016

Rabbi Idit Lev at the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Commitee meeting regarding a new law on debt repayment, June 21 2016

Rabbis for Human Right’s position paper: A new law regarding the collection of debts  will reinforce the strengthening of the wealthy class and the weakening of the disadvantaged. As a result of the law,  small debt owners will be channeled to traditional debt collection, known for being quite strict, while larger debt owners will be channeled to a debt collection system with a focus on debt rehabilitation. The position paper has been sent to the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee.

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Justice in Israel

The social failings of urban renewal: Haifa as a case study

No Comments 21 June 2016

Urban renewal plans are underway at an unprecedented scale in Israel today. Currently,  forty thousand housing units in Haifa are being planned, mostly in the more vulnerable neighborhoods of the city. An association of residents with the help of RHR and the municipality of Haifa’s west welfare department have pinpointed a number of  problematic factors within the plans, and offered solutions with little to no budgetory impact [Hebrew] .

Haifa tour w residents and MKS

Residents and MKS meeting together on May 29 2016

Below is an overview of these problematic urban renewal factors as compiled by the team of residents and professional:

At the Macro level:

Upgrading a neighborhood from older buildings to newer ones is usually viewed as a blessing. However, such upgrades bring with them additional fees in the price of housing (city taxes and building maintanence payments) which often results in the pricing out of the poorer populations from their neighborhoods. This means that poorer populations will be pushed farther from their social surroundings and their places of work. If this process continues to occur, it leads to the creation of more and more urban spaces that are homogenous in terms of financial status. This leads to a socio-economic segregation within the areas. These types of changes are known around the world to create serious social issues, and conflict with current best practices and consensus in western nations regarding the creation a social diversity within neighborhoods as they are developed. Diversified apartment sizes along with other mechanisms can provide a solution to economic segregation  without stopping the urban renewal plans.

At the micro level:

Urban renewal plans include residents moving apartments. These moves always are uncomfortable, but to certain populations such as the elderly, disabled, or those who are caring for a family member in such a situation, these changes can be far more harmful than simple discomfort – especially when there are alternative options.

Sometimes urban renewal includes up to three moves. 1. A move to replace housing when your original building is being destroyed and the new one is being built. 2. Moving into the new building. 3. Occasionally, resident discovers that they are unable to uphold the housing payments of the renewed neighborhood and are forced to move again, this time away from the neighborhood.

The third type of move is the most critical: As we stated, there are people who would have a very difficult time moving apartments. This holds true for the transition period and afterwards. We must remember that after the renewal, many of these people will on the one hand find it difficult to withstand the price rise but will also find it difficult to move, for example if they need to be close to certain services, family and\ or supportive friends.

For these people, according to the resident representative’s plan, solutions can be found by adding permits for extra housing units in the project, designed for rental, where part of the collected rent goes to the investor and part goes to subsidize any additional housing costs. This will not have impact on the state or the municipal budget.

Even the first two moves can be made into one. There should be an attempt to first complete the building of the new units, and then the moving of the residents, as opposed to moving first, and then building. The idea is to first build a new building on public space somewhere, and then move the residents to the new building. After this, the old building is destroyed and used as public space (community garden, community center etc). This is how you can reduce the number of moves needed, especially for the old, sick and disabled.

Lack of knowledge and assistance:

In city renewal plans the state is usually just a background figure. It is the investors, lawyers and housing contracters who try to sign the residents up with different deals including different conditions, all without due regulation. This privilege provided to the investors makes the residents vulnerable for exploitation- especially true for those with less financial means who are lacking capital and sometimes the needed knowledge and education to navigate the situation. Therefore the power imbalance between them and the real estate investors is quite pointed. Because of this, it is necessary to have urban renewal plans supported by the government and municipalities which will allow the residents to consult with experts in the fields of law and planning, as well as with social and community workers who can help residents organize and understand the precise issues needing special attention.

What has already been done:

The residents from western Haifa have been contacting the municipality and MKs for the last several months. The height of these attempts was on May 29th, 2016, in the Neve David community center, when the Knesset committee for urban renewal was hosted by activists from Haifa’s westernm neighbrohoods, who are assisted by RHR.

MK Eli Cohen together with MKs Orli Levy Abekasis, Yossi Yona, Chaim Yellin, Roi Folkman and entering coalition head David Bitton heard a professional review of the situation by activists of Neve David, Kiryat Eliyahu and Kiryat Eliezer regarding the socio-cultural barriers located in moving, then building projects, about potential problems in current urban renewal projects, and the available alternatives, some of which are not needing budgetary changes.

Haifa vice mayor Hedva Almog praised the professionalism of the representatives of the neighborhoods, and proclaimed that she is committed to cooperation with the representatives, and utilising the new knowledge gained into the process of urban renewals.

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