The Israel Committee on for the War against Poverty in Israel was appointed by the Minister of Social Affairs and Social Services, Mr. Meir Cohen, and initiated its work in November 2013. The minister appointed Mr. Eli Alaluf, former director of the Rashi Foundation, as chair of the committee.
As stated by the minister, the motivation for establishing the committee was that "the dimensions of poverty and of the social gaps in Israel impose extreme hardship on many Israeli citizens and have a very negative impact on the society's cohesion and solidarity."
The tasks of the committee were as follows:
o To examine the programs and strategies to address poverty in Israel and around the world
o To recommend a set of actions to enhance Israel's efforts to address poverty
o To recommend a national organizational framework that will make it possible to conduct a comprehensive effort to reduce poverty.
At the cornerstone of the committee's work was the adoption of a broader concept of poverty that focused not only on income but also on multi-dimensional poverty. This concept emphasized the importance of looking beyond the family’s income and the inclusion of a number of additional parameters. The guiding principle of the committee was to develop an integrated approach to assisting families in poverty that relates to all of the inter-related dimensions.
The recommendations were divided into two groups, specific recommendations and crosscutting recommendations:
The report describes the key recommendations for each major dimension of poverty: social service needs; income support; housing, employment and earnings; education; and health.
The crosscutting recommendations relate to the infrastructure required to successfully mobilize the public system to address poverty and to implement the recommendations of the report. They constitute the framework for an integrated national effort to address poverty.
The report of the committee was submitted to the Minister of Social Affairs and Social Services and to the government on June 23, 2014. Since its submission, the report has served as the basis for a number of significant initiatives.