Israelis volunteered and donated extensively in third week of Iron Swords War

TAU/Ben-Gurion study finds 60% of the Israeli public have donated to various initiatives

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A new report from Tel Aviv University (TAU) and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev reveals the scope of volunteering and donations in Israel during the Iron Swords War. Focusing on the third week of the war, the report’s findings reflect a picture of extraordinary solidarity, with rates of volunteering and donations that are much higher than figures recorded previously, both in quiet times and during crises.

For example, the average weekly monetary donation per person is 458 NIS (USD $117.64), almost double the sum documented in similar reports in the past. Nearly two thirds of the public (62%) donated to various initiatives such as organizations, communities, campaigns, or individuals in need, giving either money or gifts in kind, including breastmilk and blood donations. This percentage is much higher than figures reported in the past: 42% in the COVID year 2020, and 47% in 2019, an ordinary year.

This exceptional solidarity was also manifested in the fact that many Israelis donated to more than one body: 62% of the donors contributed equipment, food, or other necessities to IDF soldiers and the security forces; 53% gave to families whose loved ones had been killed or kidnapped or are still missing, or to people injured or otherwise impacted by the war; 21% donated to hospitals and rescue forces; 12% gave to support the rehabilitation of evacuated communities; and 9% donated to other causes.

The report was authored jointly by Dr. Hagai Katz of Ben-Gurion University and Dr. Osnat Hazan and Galia Feit from the Institute for Law and Philanthropy at TAU. The report is based on the responses of 563 persons over 18 who represent Israeli society: women and men, Jews and non-Jews, of different ages, with different levels of education, income, and religiosity.

The report also indicates that 41% of the respondents had volunteered in one way or another (including social and community initiatives), compared to 31% in 2019 and 22% in 2020.

The researchers note that the data reflect an unprecedented reaction of Israeli society. During the COVID crisis (2020), the rate of volunteering and donations was lower than in ordinary times (2019), but in the current war the figures are significantly higher than data collected in the past, both in quiet times and during crises, and sums of monetary donations have doubled.