Social Equality

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broadening horizons for those on the margins

Bader Philanthropies established the Social Equality program area in 2015 to reflect Isabel and Alfred Bader’s longtime belief in empowering those on society’s margins. For Alfred, his outlook was shaped by his experience as a youth, when he fled Vienna in the 1930s via the Kindertransport rescue effort ahead of the looming Nazi threat across Europe. Today, Social Equality aims to continue that spirit through partnerships that empower communities that may be marginalized, but who are striving to make their own mark on culture, economics, and education.

In Central Europe and the Middle East, the Social Equality program area focuses on specific populations, each with its own complex history, and each facing an equally complex set of modern-day challenges:

Central Europe:

Czech Roma: The Romani people have been part of the European fabric for centuries, but in the modern-day Czech Republic, the Roma were nearly eliminated in the Holocaust. Today, an estimated 300,000 Czech Roma are the nation’s largest ethnic minority, but in localities of all sizes, they face widespread discrimination in employment, housing, and education.

Czech Civic Culture: Europe’s recent migration crisis caused a spike in extremist rhetoric across the continent, with the Czech Republic no exception. The country still seeks to develop a sense of community after the end of decades of communist rule in 1989, and while the overall economy has been healthy, not all regions have enjoyed prosperity.

Middle East:

East Jerusalem: More than 300,000 Arabic-speaking East Jerusalem residents live amidst a multilayered social picture, with many taking part in the city’s economic and cultural life, striving to meet their families’ day-to-day needs. In East Jerusalem’s tight-knit neighborhoods, more than 80 percent of children live in poverty, complicated by periodic tensions that limit access to the economic and education opportunities that could alleviate those gaps.

Ethiopian-Israelis: Since the first waves of immigration in the 1990s, Ethiopian-Israeli families have become a part of the national fabric, but their advancement on the economic ladder has lagged behind other immigrant groups. Today, more than 130,000 Ethiopian-Israelis are seeking to overcome gaps in education and military service, as a younger generation seeks a better understanding of their own story, developing into the leaders who can drive the community’s future.

Our Approach: Lift communities

Social Equality brings a mix of approaches to addressing the issues facing these populations:

Educational Promise: Seeks alternative approaches to helping students develop learning skills.

Economic Opportunity: Fills gaps in employment and entrepreneurship building stable, more secure families.

Culture & Connections: Highlights the arts’ ability to foster dignity and self-awareness, while developing cross-cultural connections in overcoming prejudice and misperceptions.

Our Impact: Looking at the long-term

In each community, Social Equality‘s top priorities:

Czech Roma: 

-Support alternative teaching methods to meet the challenge of integrating Roma children into non-segregated environments.

-Support Romani cultural awareness, while countering violence and hate speech directed at community members.

-Support the development and enhancement of greater entrepreneurial opportunity.

Czech Civic Culture:

-Support projects promoting a wider dialogue regarding migrants, Roma, and other marginalized groups

-Support civic engagement.

-Support projects raising awareness of the implications of high personal debt among low-income families.

East Jerusalem: 

-Support projects that build pathways for those who have been shut out of opportunity and economic security.

-Support connections with disengaged youth who are susceptible to negative behavior.

-Support cultural awareness that creates connections across all of Jerusalem.

Ethiopian-Israelis:

-Support leadership development to energize the next phase in Ethiopian-Israeli life.

-Support the Ethiopian-Israeli story, raising self awareness of their history, particularly the dangerous journey to Israel.

-Support education and opportunity among young adults, as they navigate the years before, during, and after military/national service.

-Support educational efforts focusing on younger students with broad impact inside and outside the classroom.