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Yaron Neudorfer

What Does the Day After Look Like?

October 7th was a devastating day for Israel and the aftermath continues to haunt the entire country – and will likely do so for some time.

The trauma of that dark day has permeated every facet of Israeli society, casting a somber shadow on the wellbeing of all of its citizens – Jews, Arabs, children and the elderly alike.

How are the people of Israel to heal from such horrific acts of violence? How can we work together to rebuild a country better than the one we had on October 6th?

As the nation grapples with the enormity of these challenges, and as the Swords of Iron War rages on, government funds will not suffice in addressing the true socio-economic fallout of the massacre and resulting  warfare. Rather, the government must work closely with civil society, including with Israeli and global philanthropists, to leverage funds as effectively as possible to meet the enormity of the challenge.

Mobilizing funds in this way will foster the quickest, most impactful results in rehabilitating the economy and the psychological welfare of the Israeli population. Not only is this recovery model the most strategic; it’s the most moral.

Impact Tremors

Millions across the country who have experienced this unfathomable trauma are now in need of care.

Many of our elderly – unjustly reminded of decades-old war experiences – need special treatment to alleviate loneliness. And many of the children growing up in the shadow of this war will need therapy to cope with PTSD and trauma of witnessing such carnage and suffering the loss of loved ones. Furthermore, the cities and kibbutzim near the border will need to be rebuilt, their economies restarted, their future reimagined, and these are just three of the countless issues Israel is facing right now.

Israeli government funding has already been stretched to its limit due to increased military spending and reduction in tax collections due to slowdown in economic activities, specifically in the small and medium businesses sector. With no clear end in sight for the conflict, the government is in dire need of assistance in crafting financial avenues to cover the needs of this new reality.

The Recovery “Rehabilitation” Fund

Enter The SFI Group, a public benefit organization that brings a game-changing paradigm to addressing Israel’s most immediate social challenges following the massacre and consequent war – data-backed approaches funded by blended financing that deliver effective and measurable results-based spending.

In collaboration with major philanthropic entities, SFI is stepping in to offer impact solutions to expedite much-needed recovery and rehabilitation for the citizens of Israel, including those populations grappling most acutely with the aftermath of the trauma.

SFI’s National Rehabilitation Fund offers an opportunity for stakeholders to work together towards healing, and to creating a better future. The fund aims to secure as much as $100 million from philanthropic organizations and the government and later social investors, to support a variety of financially sustainable programs meant to revitalize the economy and help heal those affected directly and indirectly by the October 7th massacre and the Swords of Iron War.

These funds will be able to shift the conventional financial burden away from the government by footing the bill upfront, thereby giving the authorities time to pay later and circumvent its initial cash flow burdens. In addition to ensuring effective spending and resource allocation on behalf of both philanthropy and government, this blended finance model allows recovery efforts to be conducted on a continuing basis. As long as the projects meet the pre-determined benchmarks – which will be determined by measurable, hard data – several of the programs will be repaid and funds will be reallocated through the Rehabilitation Fund in an evergreen philanthropy model, essentially doubling – even tripling – the impact of each invested dollar.

Examples of such programs include vocational rehabilitation for individuals recovering from mental health issues (such as PTSD), educational programs to support early childhood aged children and prevent “silent drop out” of displaced high school students, and a Career Impact Fund to foster inclusive employment and upskilling in high-growth and in-demand sectors for those who have been displaced as a result of the war and other underrepresented populations.

An Evergreen Solution

Israel’s collective rehabilitation will be long, complex, and expensive. Such a once-in-a-generation crisis begs not just a once-in-a-generation response, but an evergreen emergency plan.

SFI’s National Rehabilitation Fund is aimed at meticulously identifying desirable recovery outcomes and forging collaborative partnerships with the government to ensure precise allocation of funds to the sectors and the communities who need it most. Efficiently channeling ongoing funds from philanthropy and impact investors to help kickstart the recovery will be pivotal for nursing Israel’s economy and its social wellbeing back to health.

To achieve this goal, time is of the essence. We encourage philanthropists and investors to collaborate with us so that we may facilitate recovery much more effectively for those in dire need.

About the Author
Yaron Neudorfer is the co-founder and CEO of Social Finance Israel, Israel's first social-financial intermediary focusing on developing blended finance models and data-based, measurable social impact. He previously served for seven years as CFO of The Jewish Agency, the largest not-for-profit organization in the country. Prior to joining the Jewish Agency, Yaron served for 12 years in various positions in the Israeli Ministry of Finance, including serving as the Ministry’s official representative to Wall Street.
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