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September 5, 2019 10:45 am

Bloomberg Foundation Starts Program to Accelerate Civic Innovation in Israel

avatar by JNS.org

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (seated at right) with innovation team members representing the Bloomberg Foundation and Peres Center for Peace. Photo: Mark Neiman/GPO.

JNS.org – The organization Bloomberg Philanthropies has partnered with the Israeli Ministry of the Interior and the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation to launch Hazira, a new effort to advance civic innovation in Israeli municipalities.

Hazira will expand the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Innovation Teams (i-teams) program to 12 new cities across Israel over the course of five years. The aim is to increase the number of cities using a tested approach to civic innovation while providing city leaders with reliable ways to adapt and implement solutions that improve the lives of residents.

“Cities have to find creative ways to address complex challenges with limited resources. Innovation teams help them do that, and our program has had a lot of success working with cities in Israel,” said former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies. “We’re glad to be working with the Ministry of the Interior and the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation to expand the model nationally to equip more cities to innovate—and we’re looking forward to seeing the results.”

“Hazira is not only innovation; it can be a revolution. It is not simply a project; it is a thought, it is a way,” stated Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin.

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Hazira will support the existing i-teams working in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Beersheva. The Israeli Ministry of the Interior will publish applications for cities to join the effort.

“We believe that innovation is the key to solving a lot of global issues, and integrating it at the municipal level will have a huge impact on some of the challenges facing Israelis today,” said Efrat Duvdevani, director general of the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation.

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