Our current generation of young adults has proven, and continues to prove, its wish and ability to take responsibility and be impactful at the environmental, social and economic levels, not only to benefit their own interests but society as a whole. Israel’s young adults are breaking into a range of life areas, from activists who led the protests of Summer 2011 to high-tech leaders who are founding successful companies and moving the Israeli economy forward, and to social entrepreneurs working energetically to create social and educational change in the peripheries.
In the period between 18 to 30 years old, young adults must take significant decisions that shape their futures in a range of life areas, starting with consolidating their identity and group affinity, to choosing their higher education and career path, establishing a family, handling their housing needs, and more. Another typifier of this period is the development of patterns of civil participation and social involvement.
Optimal decision making is a central task during young adulthood, with long term consequences for the individual’s life and for society. Challenges posed by a reality that encompasses issues such as the cost of living, finding where to live, the security situation, economic disparities, and Israel’s political reality are faced by us all but impact young adults all the more so. As a society we have a responsibility to act with and for all of Israel’s young adults, and especially those who face a minimum of opportunities and obstacles inbuilt into Israeli society. For them, the range of choices may be far more limited and can often make it so much harder to realize their abilities and aspirations.
Gandyr Foundation believes in young adults’ ability to bring about change and lead broad social processes. By removing inhibiting factors and creating conditions suited to realizing their potential, young women and men in Israel can shape their young adulthood into a strong base for personal and career development. Their success is a vital condition for the country’s overall robustness and prosperity. Gandyr Foundation sees itself as a key player when it comes to young adults in the foundation’s ability to impact policy, offer support to organizations operating at the field level, and establish cooperative activities within and between sectors.
Over the past decade significant changes have occurred in the young adults field, including the establishment of a governmental Young Adults Authority and Young Adults Divisions in several government ministries. In local authorities, young adults have become portfolio holders, young adults centers are being set up and young adults units are operating. Civil social organizations are developing and activating dozens of programs which promote the participation and involvement of young adults and develop ways of addressing their needs.
Nonetheless, we have identified a deficiency when it comes to knowledge, data and academic studies in this area. Platforms are not available for accessibilizing updated information to young adults towards assisting them in taking optimal decisions. Philanthropic and public funding for this field is still lacking. A national policy relative to young adults has been consolidated but not yet authorized.
We believe that now is the time for joint action, coordinated among all players in light of the policies geared to benefiting the young adult sector in Israel. Gandyr Foundation continues working towards promoting this goal and welcomes every cooperation and initiative in the field.