Citizen participation in Israel's Project Renewal and the impact of Diaspora involvement
Ayalon, Chaim Ilouz
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The study examines the relationship between the level of involvement of Diaspora communities with their specific Israeli target communities and the level of participation in community life of residents in these neighborhoods during the period May 1984 to April 1985. Two variables are examined: (1) Involvement of Diaspora Jewry in Project Renewal during this year; (2) Participation of residents in the 81 neighborhoods in this period. The participation of residents was examined from two aspects: the qualitative and the quantitative. The findings indicate that there is a positive correlation between the two variables (R =.6609). However, the goal of creating a strong local and representative leadership was achieved only in a few neighborhoods. One of the main goals of Project Renewal was to reach a stage of community self-reliance at the planned conclusion of the effort. The data show that both in the qualitative and the quantitative aspect of residents' participation in community life this goal has not yet been achieved.;In order to achieve this goal, the study concludes that the Diaspora-twinned communities and the active residents in the neighborhood working together in partnership will need to increase the circle of participants involving the community-at-large, and focussing on a large range of community problems (e.g. unemployment, creating jobs, stimulating high-tech industry, etc.) rather than restricting the concerns to the narrow issue of disposition of Project Renewal funds.