With Isaac Herzog set to become Israel’s 11th president later this summer, the Social Policy Institute (SPI) reflects on its long-standing partnership with the future president. SPI director, Michal Grinstein-Weiss, began working with President-elect Herzog in 2010 to generate national support to create the first universal child development account program (CDA) in the world.
Grinstein-Weiss, along with American delegates, met with Herzog in 2010 to propose a universal child development account for Israel. Following the meeting, a bill was introduced by Isaac Herzog, then Minister of Social Affairs, to Kensett for consideration. Herzog continued to introduce the bill and supported it during his campaign for Prime Minster in 2015. The bill was finally passed in late 2015 and the Saving Every Child Program (SECP) was rolled out nationally in 2017.
As a result of this partnership, SECP ensures that every child, under the age of 18, receives a savings account with monthly government deposits of NIS 50 (USD 15). This creates equal opportunities for all children to build assets and narrow wealth inequalities.
More recently, SPI hosted President-elect Herzog at Washington University in St. Louis as chairman of the executive for the Jewish Agency. While in town, Herzog also met with members of Washington University’s leadership team, including Chancellor Andrew Martin, along with several local organizations, to look for ways to expand collaboration and partnerships between Washington University and the State of Israel. In addition, Herzog delivered a speech for the 2019 S.T. Lee Endowed Lecture Series. Herzog discussed innovation and social welfare in Israel during the event, which was sponsored by the McDonnell International Scholars Academy, Social Policy Institute and Olin Business School.
SPI hopes to see more evidence-based policies implemented in support of creating equitable opportunities for Israel in the future.
Learn more about the impact of the Saving Every Child Program.