About Us

The Social Guard is a grassroots civil society organization that promotes social justice, increases civic participation and advances a more democratic, egalitarian and inclusive Israeli society.

THE NEED – DISILLUSIONMENT WITH THE SYSTEM

In the summer of 2011, hundreds of thousands of Israelis took to the streets to demand that the government address the rising cost of living and a range of long-neglected social issues and to express their growing distrust in elected leaders and democratic institutions. The protests, the largest in Israel’s history, marked a significant social awakening among the wider public who, regardless of their political views, were no longer willing to accept the lack of accountability of elected leaders, lack of transparency and the influence of private interests on national policy.

MISSION & GOALS

The Social Guard was established in 2011 as a strategic response to the public’s disillusionment with the democratic process.  The Social Guard’s mission is to promote social justice, increase civic engagement among the general Israeli public and create a more inclusive and democratic Israeli society. The leading, volunteer-based social change organization in Israel, The Social Guard’s goals include:

  • Empowering Israeli citizens to be active partners in decision-making on social issues
  • Promoting a public discourse that emphasizes the values of social justice and equality
  • Increasing civic engagement among marginalized populations from all sectors of Israeli society.
  • Strengthening democratic processes and increasing transparency in decision-making bodies

CURRENT ACTIVITIES

  • Flagship Project – Knesset (Israeli Parliament) Monitoring: The Social Guard provides an innovative platform for civil engagement by training citizens to monitor Knesset hearings and alert the media to issues of concern surrounding the decision-making process. Thanks to the efforts of dedicated volunteers, The Social Guard succeeds in monitoring 90% of Knesset hearings relating to social issues and their presence in the Knesset incentivizes greater accountability among MKs (Members of Knesset).
  • Local Civic Engagement: The Social Guards works with several groups of citizens across the country, empowering them with the tools and resources to influence local government decision-making and to make positive, social changes in their local communities.
  • Serving as a Social Policy “Watchdog”: Researching and publishing analyses of legislation in terms of their potential impact on social justice, human rights and equality.  With the assistance of volunteers who gather relevant data and research the topics, The Social Guard produces analyses, summaries and briefs written in simple language, accessible in several languages and widely disseminated among MKs, legislative staff, journalists, social activists, and Social Guard’s online community.
  • Increasing Transparency – “The Social Index”: The Social Guard tracks and analyzes MKs’ voting records on social issues, culminating in an in-depth report, “The Social Index” that is published twice per year (at the end of each Knesset session). Over the past five years, the report has gained significant credibility and prominence in the public discourse, and is celebrated by high-ranking MKs from all parties.
  • Educational Initiatives: The Social Guard reaches out to the next generation of Israeli leaders on the importance of social justice, civic engagement and strong democratic institutions, through educational projects with high school students and students at pre-army leadership academies.
  • Budgetary Transparency: In partnership with two other NGOs, the Public Knowledge Workshop and the Movement for Freedom of Information, The Social Guard is investing in the close monitoring of the state budget and specifically, budget transfers, which are notoriously opaque. The Social Guard also trains NGOs on how to follow and influence budget decisions that impact their agenda.

ACHIEVEMENTS & IMPACT

  • Public Outreach: With close to 14,000 Facebook followers, posts that reach close to 300,000 people and extensive coverage in the traditional media (approximately 70 media appearance per year), The Social Guard is gaining traction and visibility.
  • Activist Volunteers: Since 2011, over 1,000 Israeli citizens have been directly involved with The Social Guard’s activities. To date, The Social Guard has trained over 300 volunteers who represent the broad political, social, and ethnic spectrum of Israeli society.
  • Recognition: In 2015, The Marker, the leading, Israeli economic newspaper, ranked The Social Guard number five out of the top 100 most influential players in strengthening democracy in Israel.
  • Impact on Policy: The Social Guard’s work has influenced a diverse range of socio-economic, human rights and social justice issues including: The Israeli-Arab population, environmental concerns, gender equality, disability rights and more.  

Lia Nirgad – Co-Founder and Chairman

Daniel Dor – Co-Founder

Nirit Moskovich – Executive Director

Michelle Eden – Research coordinator

Daphna Pelles – Knesset coordinator

Yossi Sarfaty – Local government coordinator

Iftach Brill – Media director

Tani Goldstein – PR

3 comments

  1. I was told abour your organization by Batya Kallus and would like to arrange a meeting
    between representatives of the Rosenzweig Coopersmith Foundation
    and Lia Nirgad and Daniel Dor. Please call me at 026723672 x 204 or 0523920206

    thank you
    Miriam Fine

  2. It is very inmportant forme and for us as a people and sovreign nation to take

    responsibility for the injustice that has been done to Udah Tarabin

    obviously we need tio be together on this one and I awould appreciate it if you be intouch with his lawyer and you can analise the situation where Israel as a sovereign country has sold one of her citizen down river decaying in an Egyptian prison since he was 18 and now he is 31 a hell that cant be foyund in heaven or earth has been his life fron the year 2000 because Our country prefered not to care about him and the only reason he is in Prison is is because of false accusations because he is Israeli that he was spying for Israel,Please stand with Truth Justice we cant fix this terrible sentence that Israels apathy and lack of caring has caused this boy but we can demand that Israel take responsibility with no excuses and get him out now,not a moment more.
    I sent this letter to the members of Knesset

    בייה

    כולם היו בניי

    שלום רב

    כאשר אזרח ישראל עדיין כלוא 13 שנה על לא עוול בגפו,אנחנו מפגנים סימני אדישות של בת יענה אם ראשה בחול. אולי פשוט לא נאים לנו ללחוץ על הגורמים הממשלתיים שאחראים לשחרור של עודה טארבין(אם קיימים בכלל), אחרי 13 שנה שהוא נמק בכלא בגין אשמות סרק.הוא יושב בכלא בגלל היותו אזרח ישראלי לא פחות ולא יותר או אחרת ממך או ממני ולא שום סיבה אחרת.

    אולי תגיד שלמקרה כזה השתיקה יאה לה אבל אחרי 13 שנה אנחנו פשוט משתיקים את עודה טארבין באכזריות וחוסר אכפתיות.אם היינו בוחרים לשתוק בזמן שגלעד שליט היה כלוא סבירות להניח שיכלנו לכתוב לו ולנו היסטוריה אחרת.

    אם הילדים שלנו שאף הם אזרחים ישראלים חפים מי פשע מצאו את עצמם כמו אילן גרפל בכלא מצרי,גג ארבע חודשים ממשלת ישראל היה מוציא אותם ולא משנה לפני או אחרי האביב הערבי,אולי זה המסר שארתור מילר משאיר לנו בספרו "כולם היו בניי" בל שנתייחס לבן של משהו אחר כאזרח פחות שווה זכויות ועליו נגיד קדיש אחרי מוות אכזרי ואיתי במקום לקדש את זכויותיו כאזרח ולדאוג לשחררו עוד לפני 13 שנה.

    גדעון בן יעקב

    רעננה

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