Why 121 – Engine for Social Change?
121 is the only organization in Israel focused on direct advocacy on social and economic issues. Leveraging the incredible power of the many activists, groups, and organizations addressing Israel’s social and economic challenges, we forge collaborative, cross-sector partnerships that bring about real and lasting social change.
Our expertise lies in formulating and advancing concrete proposals to improve education, employment, welfare, housing, and health care for all Israelis. Through strategic advocacy, public campaigns, and collaborative partnerships, we ensure that our proposed solutions are adopted and put into action. Established in 2017, we’re still a young organization, but our work has already had a huge impact. Our organization’s name, 121, refers to the influence Israeli citizens can have on the government through our work as the “121st“ member of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset.
Encouraging public engagement through campaigns and activism.
Empowering civil society organizations through strategic and collaborative partnerships to improve education, health care, employment, housing and welfare for all Israelis.
Strengthening social services so as to reduce gaps, enhance social cohesion, and enable all citizens to live in dignity.
The Need for Social Change in Israel
Israel is widely recognized as an advanced, developed economy, yet far less acknowledged are the growing social and economic disparities that weaken our society. Some 19% of Israelis live in poverty, the highest rate in the OECD, with much of the rest of the population affected by economic difficulties.
The average wage in many parts of the country cannot support the cost of living and Israel’s social safety net is steadily eroding. There is an urgent need to improve public services so that all Israelis can fulfil their potential and so that we can build a stronger and more robust society.
Which Public Services?
We focus on employment, health care, education, housing, and welfare – the social services of the country. These services determine our standard of living, economic activity, and national resilience.
Across Israel, many communities and individuals lack full and equal access to these services that are so critical to their wellbeing, health, and dignity.
These chronic inequalities weaken our society and have only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. Now is the time to develop and advance long-term solutions to the pressing social and economic challenges that Israel faces. That’s exactly what we’re focusing on at 121.
What’s the Secret to Our Success?
We’re Experts in What We Do
Our team is made up of highly skilled professionals with extensive experience in policy research and analysis, advocacy, media outreach, and public campaigning.
We Represent a Very Broad Range of Israeli Society
We encompass the periphery and the center, religious Zionism, secular society, Arab citizens and the ultra-orthodox. Our leadership comes from both the political Right and Left. While we come from diverse backgrounds and have diverse worldviews, we share a commitment to ensuring better public services and a more equitable society for all.
We’re Focused and Driven
Few civil society organizations in Israel seek to advance policy change in public services. Those that do also work on other issues and programs. We focus exclusively on social policy change through advocacy. We’re committed for the long haul, because we know that these changes take time.
How Do We
We measure success as effective policy changes that promote social advancement. At the outset of each program, we define clear, specific, and measurable goals.
Over time, the cumulative policy changes that we’ve helped bring about will significantly expand Israel’s social safety net, increase opportunities for all Israeli citizens, and create a healthier and more cohesive society.