Rise, Knight of the Nonprofit Round-Table

“The Office of the Prime Minister invites nonprofit organizations, companies from the business sector that donate to the public or the third sector, and businessmen that work in the fields of philanthropy, to apply for participation in the roundtable.”

No, King Arthur hasn’t been reborn nor are we in Camelot. Heck, we’re not even in Kansas.  What this is, though, is a serious attempt by the Israel Government and a number of foundations that operate in Israel to increase the cooperation, strength, and transparency of Israel’s nonprofit sector.

The initiative was started in February 2008, during Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s tenure.  There are 30 members, headed by the Prime Minister himself, from the public, business, and nonprofit sectors.  The Hebrew nonprofit-news website Zavit Shalosh, quoting information from the PM Office, summarizes the roundtable as follows:

The purpose of the interdisciplinary conversation, as established in the policy document of the Government of Israel are:

  • Strengthening the cooperation and support in the relationship framework between the public, business, and third sectors.
  • Maintenance of a framework for discussion and conversation that is based on a culture of understanding, cooperation and agreement.
  • Advancement of public purposes in different sectors, through interdisciplinary means.

In plain English (or more accurately, in plain Hebrew) the goal of the roundtable is to pool resources and allow for interdisciplinary cooperation.  After all:

  1. Charities are serving the people that the government is sworn to protect and provide for,
  2. The private and business sectors already invest time and money in charitable institutions and
  3. The private and business sectors can lend their expertise and experience to nonprofit organizations.

Zavit Shalosh explains that in the end of 2009, a third of the round table will be rotating out, as was the agreed upon plan to ensure an ever-widening conversation and continued reinvigoration.  Any organization, company, or professional that is involved with philanthropy can present their candidacy.  It should be noted that an appointment awarded to an organization or company can only be filled by the Director/CEO, except in the case of private businessmen.  It is stressed that members of the roundtable are expected to participate in at least four meetings throughout the year

The approval process and integration of the applicants will be done through an advisory panel to the Roundtable according to the predefined and existing procedures.

Further details can be found on the forms of the framework and also on the site of the roundtable on the internet site of the Department of Regulation Planning at the Prime Minister’s Office, at the following address: www.pmo.gov.il/civilsociety

Requests to join the roundtable can be sent to Mrs. Elisheva Dror until January 20th, 2010 by email to ticnun@pmo.gov.il, by fax to (02) 670-6131, or by mail to Department of Regulation Planning, Prime Minister’s Office, 3 Kaplan Street, Jerusalem.

Additional Resources:

  • The Office of the Prime Minister has posted additional background and history on the Roundtable in Hebrew.
  • On the website of Sheatufim, one of the main initiators of the initiative, in Hebrew and in English (please note that the English is not a direct translation of the Hebrew).
  • For a more current overview of the initiative, one can read PM Netanyahu’s Roundtable Update in English.

Tizku LeMitzvot [May you continue to merit doing good deeds],

Shuey

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