About Robin Hood Israel Foundation
Israel is an inscrutable miracle at the forefront of consciousness for Jews and non-Jews alike. Nonetheless, Israel faces many challenges, both external and those of its own making.
Including a myriad of socio-economic and religious complexities, an ongoing and difficult transition from socialism to capitalism, and chronic dependence on American Aid and Diaspora charitable donations to name a few.
As a result of this, Israel struggles to weed out corruption and abuse of power, and continually falls short in providing basic rights to some of its weakest citizens. Additionally, a shocking number of Israelis live in poverty, with approximately 21 percent of Israelis tragically living under the poverty line (OECD 2016). These are the challenges RHIF takes on.
Robin Hood Israel Foundation’s (RHIF) mission is to improve the welfare of the State of Israel's citizens by advancing Western democratic values and providing philanthropic solutions that close the gaps in the country's socio-economic safety nets. RHIF acts as an umbrella organization for other NGOs, charities, and social welfare organizations that -despite the validity of their respective causes- struggle to be heard. RHIF's projects range from providing scholarships to Israeli students, to fighting taxation on charitable donations, while also incubating/accelerating Israel's most impactful NGOs and nonprofits.
RHIF was founded in 2003 to fight the taxation of Anglo American charitable donations to Israel: a modern day 'Robin Hood'. Soon after RHIF’s establishment it became painfully obvious that the taxation of charity was not the only internal socio-economic mishap in Israel. Thirteen years later, RHIF is leading some of the most important social welfare, democracy and citizen rights initiatives in Israel.
RHIF's modus operandi is based on Harvard and Columbia Universities’ cutting edge social enterprise theory. It is part of a new generation of NGOs, charities, and philanthropies designed to fill the gaps caused by public sector retreat from socio-economic safety nets in certain emerging nations. (See in particular Ambassador Joan Spero work on this matter, Charity and Philanthropy in BRIC Countries, Foundation Centre, 2014). Israel has the right conditions for the growth of philanthropy; “rapid economic development and wealth accumulation along with political and social change,” but lacks effective roadmaps to secure the transition. Hence, much of our work involves lobbying politicians and lawmakers to ensure that the needs of our causes are tended to. The Knesset awarded RHIF full accreditation as an NGO lobby organization in June 2014, both for its own programs, as well of those under the RHIF umbrella.
NB: there are a multitude of ‘Robin Hood’ philanthropies and/or NGOs across the globe – from Sydney to London, New York to Buenos Aires, each with a legal mandate relevant to a specific locality. RHIF’s mandate is Israel.
 Joan Spero in https://www.alliancemagazine.org/blog/5-questions-for-joan-spero-author-philanthropy-in-bric-countries/