We are pleased to introduce Rashi Foundation’s policy brief, which was written as part of the Springboard to Social Mobility plan – a major public campaign focusing on equal opportunity and closing gaps in Israeli society.
The plan represents a new phase in Rashi’s activity to drive social mobility in Israel, in a strategy combining field work to build capacity and social infrastructure with steps to shape the public agenda and national policy.
We are convinced that in view of the deepening social gaps, promoting equal opportunity and social mobility must be regarded as a national cause.
The blueprint is intended to help design national policy that will ensure that all Israeli children, regardless of where they grew up or how much their parents earn, will have the opportunity to realize their abilities and aspirations.
The blueprint draws on Rashi’s extensive experience, as well as on meetings with leading and professionals in the fields of education, welfare and economics, research studies in Israel and learning from other countries.
What is social mobility and why is it important? What is the current situation in Israel and how do the inequalities affect the prospects of future generations? What can we learn from the experience of countries that chose to place mobility at the center of their social policy?
After addressing these questions, the blueprint presents guiding principles and recommendations for a comprehensive and effective national plan that will change the reality in Israel’s periphery.
National policy to advance social mobility should be based on a holistic view of children’s needs on the continuum from cradle to career, which requires well-coordinated collaboration between different systems.
The immediate steps we propose taking are:
– Establishment of a National Council for Social Mobility
– Reform in budget allocation for social services
– Expansion of the State’s responsibility for early childhood
Our recommendations focus on education and welfare, fields that directly affect social mobility and in which Rashi has proven expertise. General government policy should cover all the relevant fields – health, employment, public transportation, taxation and more.
We hope that this paper serves to mobilize a broad coalition – government, municipalities, public and private sector bodies and civil society organizations – in a joint effort to create equal access to opportunities for social mobility.
Bringing these opportunities with reach of every child in Israel is essential for economic prosperity and for inclusive growth, as well as for strengthening democracy and increasing fairness in Israeli society.