During the summer of 2011 in Israel, the country saw an unprecedented wave of social protests. They represented a loud voice calling for a transformation in Israel’s social and economic landscape to reduce social inequality and to ease the economic burdens on middle- and lower-class Israelis, and particularly working families with young children.
In response to the protests, the government established a Committee on Socioeconomic Change, headed by Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg. Through August and September, the committee worked to analyze the key issues and to develop recommendations for change.
On Monday, September 26, the Trajtenberg Committee submitted its report to the government. The submission represented a culmination of several weeks of deliberation about the best ways to address concerns brought into sharp focus by the recent social protests.
The committee built its recommendations around the main issues raised by the protestors: access to key social and educational services, the dramatic increase in housing prices and access to affordable housing, the decline of progressivity in taxes, and the very high cost of key commodities in comparison to other countries, as well as how to share the burden more equally with groups who do not fully participate in the labor force.
The Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute is already deeply engaged in addressing a number of these substantive issues and directions, such as early childhood education and employment programs for haredi men and Arab women. Moreover, the report’s focus on the need for integrated service planning and quality assurance across government ministries and on-going outcome measurement is another major emphasis of our work.
Below is a summary of the report’s recommendations and some of the initial public responses.