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Neighborhoods in Change

Neighborhoods in Change is a joint project of the Shahaf Foundation, the Neighborhood Rehabilitation (Urban Renewal) Division of the Ministry of Construction & Housing, the Young adults Authority of the Ministry for Social Equality, the Special Enterprise Foundation of the Israel National Insurance and the local authorities.

The project pilot started in January 2020 and is currently under way in four neighborhoods: Hadar (Haifa), Sharet (Lod), Qiryat-Yovel (Jerusalem) and Mitzpe-Ramon.

The goal of this project is to improve quality of life in the neighborhood for the entire population with a systemic, holistic perspective, and with the emphasis placed on at-risk populations.

The changing of the neighborhood is effected through combined action: a significant, long-term partnership with elements of the local authority intended to advance the neighborhood, an involved civil society led by the mission-driven communities and young activists, along with an inter-sectorial partnership that invests in the neighborhood.

The project endeavors to strengthen the neighborhood and make it attractive to youngsters, young families and the entire local population, by implementing a long-term strategy of leading a systemic drive to effect a profound, long-term change in the neighborhood. The process aims at social-community activity in the fields of education, culture, community, welfare and personal security, among the various population segments of the neighborhood, including the elderly and at-risk youth, all led by the mission-driven communities.

Project pilot duration: 3 years.

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Notable Achievements:

  • Investment in the neighborhoods increased by about 5.5 million ILS

  • 725 neighborhood activists, a 400% increase in the number of activists

  • Running of 40 community projects involving more than 8,000 inhabitants

  • Establishment of 4 new communities – 100 young adults who decided
    to stay/live in their neighborhoods

  • Establishment of 4 neighborhood networks

  • Assistance provided to about 12,000 neighborhood inhabitants during the Covid-19 pandemic

To view the complete project model, click here

For additional information: Neighborhoods in Change Project Director - Yaara Katz Feiner,

"What is happening in Hadar is human and community urban renewal, hundreds of young people infused with purpose and ideology who have been captivated by magic, and by the diverse population here, and who felt that there was a point and meaning for doing things in the neighborhood for their neighbors in the closest way and for the entire neighborhood.

Together with activists in the neighborhood, parents, elders, from different denominations and ethnicities and different nationalities who live together within a multicultural and diverse neighborhood and see this as an advantage and not a disadvantage.

It is advantageous to create a society in which what is at the center is man and human connections. Those who have chosen and moved to Hadar feel on the receiving end every day, there is no substitute in the world for the interpersonal connections that are formed here and the sense of meaning that you can create for yourself, your family and your environment".

Keren Segi, Hadar Haifa Neighborhood Coordinator

Pilot Neighborhoods

Intentional Communities as an Engine of Community Regeneration in four Neighborhoods of the Israeli Geographic & Social Periphery

Sharet Neighborhood, Lod

The Sharet neighborhood is located in the older, southern part of the city of Lod, and is currently the home of some 5,000 inhabitants. In recent years, the primary characteristic of this area has been a bilateral trend: the ageing of the older population on the one hand, and an increase in the relatively young population coming into the area on the other hand. A substantial part of the population of the Sharet neighborhood are members of the Ethiopian community and immigrants from the former USSR.

Primary Project Activities:

  • Neighborhood peak events – events held around Jewish holidays and other issues at the initiative of the local inhabitants, to empower the local community.

  • Establishment of a family center (Family Time) – connecting between families and supporting young parents.

  • Maternity club – to support and connect between local mothers.

  • Establishment of a new "Bney Makom" (locals) community – a community of local families aiming to maintain a community lifestyle and initiate activities for the benefit of all local inhabitants.

  • Pastime activities for local children and youngsters – Family Thursday, pajama parties in residential buildings, et al.

 Neighborhood Coordinator: 
Hadas Lixenberg. Mobile: 052-7504900. E-Mail: 

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Hadar Neighborhood, Haifa

Established in 1922, Hadar is regarded as one of the most important neighborhoods in the history of the city of Haifa. Over the years, the neighborhood deteriorated and consequently, the municipality decided, in the early 2000s, to promote renewal processes in this neighborhood.

Today, some 40,000 inhabitants live in Hadar and it is known for its social diversity – in a relatively crowded area, Jews and Arabs, secular, religious and orthodox religious, old established inhabitants and new immigrants all live together. The special character of this neighborhood produces an environment of interesting encounters, vibrant social activity, and a community environment with an entrepreneurial spirit.

Hadar addresses numerous challenges in the fields of education, welfare, housing and personal security while aspiring to maintain the special character and diversity of the neighborhood's inhabitants.

Primary Project Activities:

  • The Social Network – a network of activists operating in concert with the municipal welfare department and providing solutions to the needs of various population segments in the neighborhood. Provides support for the holistic civil assistance setup developed in the neighborhood.

  • Care for the elderly – assistance in fulfillment of privileges, personal histories, relief of loneliness and more. Cultural activity for the elderly, establishment of a neighborhood elderly activist group.

  • Community Park – a rich and diversified community program for the local public parks as a significant community hub for improving personal and public security. Improvement of services and infrastructures, community activity at parks, a mobile café, sports and cultural activities.

  • Family & Preschoolers – establishment of a local community of neighborhood families to provide a home for young families while developing a leadership of parents and enhancing the solutions offered in this field.

  • Empowerment of neighborhood communities – consolidation, monitoring and empowerment of the young mission-driven communities living and operating in the neighborhood.

 Neighborhood Coordinator: 
Keren Shagi. Mobile: 054-6735273. E-Mail: 



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Mitzpe-Ramon is currently the home of some 5,700 inhabitants, of whom 2,300 are youngsters. It is one of Israel's youngest towns (40% of inhabitants under the age of 40). The development of this town, along with its unique characteristics, have positioned it in recent years as a center of attraction for youngsters, internal and external tourism, artists, et al. The make-up of the local population is diverse, consisting of several sub-communities, all possessing different cultural characteristics.

Primary Project Activities:

  • Local family – a program where established families welcome newly-arrived families, promoting a sense of belonging and local pride.

  • Activities by the Tseela community within the established fabric of Mitzpe-Ramon – a community endeavoring to enhance the community fabric and develop a local leadership, establish building tenant committees and initiate various projects to improve the local quality of life.

  • Establishment of a community of educators – a community and social envelope for local teachers; a place for personal development and establishment of a common language between the various educational schools.

  • Promotion of social mobility – a joint project with the Rashi Foundation intended to reduce gaps and improve the social mobility of the inhabitants of Mitzpe-Ramon.

 Neighborhood Coordinator: 
Shahar Mulner. Mobile: 054-2464682. E-Mail: 


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Kiryat-Yovel Neighborhood, Jerusalem

A neighborhood in the western part of the city of Jerusalem, housing some 20,000 inhabitants. The population includes various congregations, and constitutes a microcosm of Israeli society. Quiryat-Yovel is the home of numerous communities, both young and more mature, operating in concert with the local authority to improve quality of life in the neighborhood, providing community solutions in various fields and establishing diversified human connections. The local community abounds with inside activist forces that advance the neighborhood and its inhabitants and produce a better reality while demonstrating care, accountability and working for the common good.

Primary Project Activities:

  • Creator group – creative individuals and artists from the neighborhood meeting to promote original creation and community activity.

  • HaYovel network – a neighborhood network of connections promoting voluntary involvement, activism, diversified meeting platforms and a community-mutual response to community needs.

  • Absorption program – optimal absorption of new inhabitants coming into the neighborhood through integration in the existing community fabric.

  • Project "Neighborhood for All" – development of representative neighborhood leaderships for the various local population segments (secular, religious, orthodox religious) through activities intended to work for the common good and resolve conflicts.

  • Common courtyards – enhancing communality and coexistence in neighborhood residential buildings, with the aim of improving the local quality of life.

 Neighborhood Coordinator: 
Tamar Carmon. Mobile: 050-7107662. E-Mail: 



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