The Privatization of Social Services in Israel

  • Avishai Benish


This chapter discusses the privatization of social services in Israel and examines its implications for recipients and providers, and the public at large. After providing an overview of the privatization of social services in Israel, it offers lessons and dilemmas from the Israeli case that might be of interest internationally. The chapter concludes by revisiting the consequences of the privatization of social services and looks to the future of privatization in this field through the vision of a “regulatory welfare state,” according to which welfare state values are maintained in the new structure via regulatory means.


  1. Adut, R. 2017. Contracting Out in the “Employment Circles” Program: Analysis and Recommendations. Jerusalem: The Van Leer Institute.Google Scholar
  2. Ajzenstadt, M., and Z. Rosenhek. 2001. Privatization and New Patterns of State Involvement: Nursing Program in Israel. Social Security Journal 60: 113–128.Google Scholar
  3. Alfandari, R. 2015. Evaluation of a National Reform in the Israeli Child Protection Practice Designed to Improve Children’s Participation in Decision‐Making. Child & Family Social Work 22: 54–62. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Asiskovitch, S. 2013. The Long-Term Care Insurance Program in Israel: Solidarity with the Elderly in a Changing Society. Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2 (1): 1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Benish, A. 2010. Re-bureaucratizing Welfare Administration. Social Service Review 84 (1): 77–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Benish, A. 2012a. Welfare Services in the Twenty-First Century: Trends and Challenges. Social Security Journal 90: 5–13.Google Scholar
  7. Benish, A. 2012b. New Public Management Reforms in Social Services: Lessons from “Welfare-to-Work” Programs in a Comparative Perspective. Social Security Journal 90: 259–290.Google Scholar
  8. Benish, A. 2014a. Outsourcing, Discretion, and Administrative Justice: Exploring the Acceptability of Privatized Decision Making. Law & Policy 36 (2): 113–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Benish, A. 2014b. The Public Accountability of Privatized Activation—The Case of Israel. Social Policy & Administration 48 (2): 262–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Benish, A., and D. Levi-Faur. 2012. New Forms of Administrative Law in the Age of Third-Party Government. Public Administration 90 (4): 886–900.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Benish, A., and A. Maron. 2016. Infusing Public Law into Privatized Welfare: Lawyers, Economists, and the Competing Logics of Administrative Reform. Law & Society Review 50 (4): 953–984.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Benish, A., and R. Tsarfati. 2008. When the Work is Again Becoming a Commodity: A Critical Examination of the Loss Auctions. Law and Social Change 1: 93–108.Google Scholar
  13. Benish, A., H. Haber, and R. Eliahou. 2016. The Regulatory Welfare State in Pension Markets: Mitigating High Charges for Low-Income Savers in the United Kingdom and Israel. Journal of Social Policy 46 (2): 313–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Benjamin, O. 2015. Service Procurement in Israel as a Gendering Process: Negotiation Between the State and Tender-Winning Employers. Social Security Journal 98: 39–62.Google Scholar
  15. Borowski, A., and H. Schmid. 2001. Israel’s Long-Term Care Insurance Law After a Decade of Implementation. Journal of Aging and Social Policy 12 (1): 49–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Braithwaite, J., T. Makkai, and V.A. Braithwaite. 2007. Regulating Aged Care: Ritualism and the New Pyramid. Edward Elgar Publishing.Google Scholar
  17. Brodkin, E.Z. 2007. Bureaucracy Redux: Management Reformism and the Welfare State. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 17 (1): 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Brodkin, E.Z. 2011. Policy Work: Street-Level Organizations Under New Managerialism. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 21 (2): 253–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Cohen, N., A. Benish, and A. Shamriz-Ilouz. 2016. When the Clients Can Choose: Dilemmas of Street-Level Workers in Choice-Based Social Services. Social Service Review 90 (4): 620–646.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Davidov, G. 2009. Indirect Employment. Work, Society and Law 12: 191–205.Google Scholar
  21. Davidson-Arad and Others. 2012. Privatization of Social Services. In To do Things Different: A Model for a Well-Ordered Society, ed. Y. Yona and A. Spivak, 288–293. Tel Aviv: Hakibbutz Hameuchad.Google Scholar
  22. Donnelly, C. 2011. Privatization and Welfare: A Comparative Perspective. Law & Ethics of Human Rights 5 (2): 337–393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Doron, A. 2013. The Advancement of Social Citizenship as a Struggle for Social Justice. Social Security Journal 92: 75–96.Google Scholar
  24. Doron, A. 2016. Sixty-two Years of National Insurance in Israel. Israel Affairs 22 (1): 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Eliav, S., M. Andbald, D. Gottlieb, and Y. Kachnovsky. 2010. Trends in Disobedience the Minimum Wage Law—The Israeli Case. Social Security Journal 82: 11–46.Google Scholar
  26. Gal, J. 2010. Is There an Extended Family of Mediterranean Welfare States? Journal of European Social Policy 20 (4): 283–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Galnoor, I., and A. Paz-Fuchs. 2015. Privatization Policy in Israel. In Privatization Policy in Israel: State Responsibility and the Boundaries Between the Public and the Private Sector, ed. I. Galnoor, A. Paz-Fuchs, and N. Zion, 480–505. Jerusalem: The Van Leer Institute.Google Scholar
  28. Gilbert, N. 2005. The “Enabling State?” from Public to Private Responsibility for Social Protection: Pathways and Pitfalls. OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 26: 1–23.Google Scholar
  29. Greve, B. 2011. Choice: Challenges and Perspectives for the European Welfare States. Hoboken, UK: Wiley. Google Scholar
  30. Haber, H. 2011. Regulating-for-Welfare: A Comparative Study of “Regulatory Welfare Regimes” in the Israeli, British, and Swedish Electricity Sectors. Law & Policy 33 (1): 116–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Haber, H. 2015. Regulation as Social Policy: Home Evictions and Repossessions in the UK and Sweden. Public Administration 93 (3): 806–821.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Handler, J.F. 1996. Down from Bureaucracy: The Ambiguity of Privatization and Empowerment. Princeton: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hasenfeld, Y. 2010. Human Services as Complex Organizations. New York: Sage.Google Scholar
  34. Hood, C. 1991. A Public Management for All Seasons? Public Administration 69 (1): 3–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities [IASH]. 2007. Recommendations Regarding the Future of Israel’s Welfare to Work Program. Jerusalem: IASH.Google Scholar
  36. Katan, Y. 2008. Partial Privatization of the Personal Social Services in Israel: Current Status and Preliminary Conclusions. Jerusalem: Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, Division of Research Planning and Training.Google Scholar
  37. Kaufman, R. 2008. Privatized and Transparent Social Workers. Midao”s—The Journal of Social Workers 48: 22–27.Google Scholar
  38. Korazim-Korosy, Y., S. Lebovitz, and H. Schmid. 2005. The Partial Privatization of Foster Care Services—Issues and Lessons After Four Years of Implementation. Social Security Journal 70: 56–77.Google Scholar
  39. Kramer, R.M. 1989. The Use of Government Funds by Voluntary Social Service Agencies in Four Welfare States. In The Nonprofit Sector in International Perspective: Studies in Comparative Culture and Policy, ed. E. James, 217–244. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Lahat, L., and G. Talit. 2012. The Challenge of Regulating Personal Social Services in Israel. Social Security Journal 90: 81–120.Google Scholar
  41. Le Grand, J. 1991. Quasi-Markets and Social Policy. The Economic Journal 101 (408): 1256–1267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Leisering, L., and D. Mabbett. 2011. Introduction: Towards a New Regulatory State in Old-Age Security? Exploring the Issues. In The New Regulatory State, ed. L. Leisering, 1–28. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Levi-Faur, D. 2014. The Welfare State: A Regulatory Perspective. Public Administration 92 (3): 599–614.Google Scholar
  44. Levi-Faur, D., N. Gidron, and S. Moshell. 2015. The Regulatory Deficit of the Privatization Era. In Privatization Policy in Israel: State Responsibility and the Boundaries Between the Public and the Private Sector, ed. I. Galnoor, A. Paz-Fuchs, and N. Zion, 439–479. Jerusalem: The Van Leer Institute.Google Scholar
  45. Levin, L. 2012. Towards a Revised Definition of Client Collaboration: The Knowledge–Power–Politics Triad. Journal of Social Work Practice: Psychotherapeutic Approaches in Health, Welfare and the Community 26 (2): 181–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Levin, L., and I. Weiss-Gal. 2009. Are Social Workers Required to Engage in Participatory Practices? An Analysis of Job Descriptions. Health and Social Care in the Community 17 (2): 194–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Levite Brenstein, S. 2011. The Connection Between the Perception of Quality of Life of People with Mental Disability and Their Housing Arrangement, MA Thesis, Tel Aviv University.Google Scholar
  48. Madhala-Brik, S. and J. Gal. 2016. Outsourcing of Social Services: Trends and Changes. In State of the Nation Report: Society, Economy and Policy, ed. A. Weis and D. Chernichovsky. Jerusalem: Taub Center.Google Scholar
  49. Mandelkern, R. 2012. The Politics of Partial Privatization of Social Services in Israel: The Case of Housing for People with Intellectual Disabilities. Social Security Journal 90: 121–153.Google Scholar
  50. Mandelkern, R. 2015. What made Economists so Politically Influential? Governance-Related Ideas and Institutional Entrepreneurship in the Economic Liberalisation of Israel and Beyond. New Political Economy 20 (6): 924–941.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Mandelkern, R., and A. Sherman. 2015. Privatization of Execution: Delivery of Social Services Through Outsourcing. In Privatization Policy in Israel: State Responsibility and the Boundaries Between the Public and the Private Sector, ed. I. Galnoor, A. Paz-Fuchs, and N. Zion, 265–319. Jerusalem: The Van Leer Institute.Google Scholar
  52. Maron, A. 2014. Activation via Intensive Intimacies in the Israeli Welfare-to-Work Program Applying a Constructivist Approach to the Governance of Institutions and Individuals. Administration & Society 46 (1): 87–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Maron, A. 2015. Trends and Processes of Privatization of Social Services in Israel. In Privatization Policy in Israel: State Responsibility and the Boundaries Between the Public and the Private Sector, ed. I. Galnoor, A. Paz-Fuchs, and N. Zion, 87–137. Jerusalem: The Van Leer Institute.Google Scholar
  54. Marshall, T.H. 1981. The Right to Welfare and Other Essays. London: London Heinemann Educational.Google Scholar
  55. Mintzberg, H. 1979. The Structure of Organizations. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Google Scholar
  56. National Insurance Institute of Israel. 2010. Assessment of the “Orot Letaasuka” Program. The Findings: Final Report. Jerusalem: Myers-JDC-Brookdale and the National Insurance Institute: Research and Planning Administration.Google Scholar
  57. Paz-Fuchs, A., and I. Shlosberg. 2012. Who Guards the Guardians? Social Workers in an Era of Privatization. Social Security Journal 90: 221–257.Google Scholar
  58. Peleg, A. 2005. Privatization as Accumulation. Tel Aviv: Ramot.Google Scholar
  59. Schmid, H. 1993. Nonprofit and for-Profit Home Care in Israel: Clients’ Assessment. Journal of Aging & Social Policy 5 (3): 95–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Schmid, H. 2003. Rethinking the Policy of Contracting Out Social Services to Nongovernmental Organizations: Lessons and Dilemmas. Public Management Review 5 (6): 307–323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Schmid, H. 2005. The Israeli Long-Term Care Insurance Law: Selected Issues in Providing Home Care Services to the Frail Elderly. Health and Social Care in the Community 13 (3): 191–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Shalev, G. 1999. Contracts and Tenders of Public Authority. Jerusalem: Dean Publishing.Google Scholar
  63. Spiro, S., and D. Fromer. 2010. Quality Control in an Era of Privatization: An Examination of the Implementation of the RAF Method in Residential Settings. Social Security Journal 84: 105–127.Google Scholar
  64. State Comptroller. 2005. Annual Report 55B. Jerusalem: The State Comptroller.Google Scholar
  65. State Comptroller. 2007a. Annual Report 57B. Jerusalem: The State Comptroller.Google Scholar
  66. State Comptroller. 2007b. Report on Certain Aspects of the ‘Wisconsin Plan’. Jerusalem: The State Comptroller.Google Scholar
  67. State Comptroller. 2011. Providing Nursing Services for the Elderly in the Community. Annual Report 61B. Jerusalem: The State Comptroller.Google Scholar
  68. Titmus, R.M. 1968. Commitment to Welfare. New York: Pantheon Books.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Trajtenberg Committee. 2011. The Committee Report for Economic and Social Change. Jerusalem: Prime Minister Office.Google Scholar
  70. Van Slyke, D.M. 2007. Agents or Stewards: Using Theory to Understand the Government-Nonprofit Social Service Contracting Relationship. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 17 (2): 157–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Werner, P. 2007. Supervision and Monitoring Model for Nursing Care Insurance Law. Jerusalem: National Insurance Institute.Google Scholar
  72. Yanai, A. 2006. Welfare Services Law, 1958: Is it Really Guarantee the Welfare of the Population? Jerusalem: Division of Research, Planning and Training of the Ministry of Social Affairs, and the Social Policy Research Group.Google Scholar
  73. Zeira, Y. 2013. The Social Protest and Israel’s Economy. Law and Social Change 5: 213–224.Google Scholar
  74. Zemach-Marom, T., L. Cave, N. Aminov, and A. Haendin. 2012. Quality and Cost of Residential Care for Persons with Development Disabilities, by Ownership of Residential Facility: Governmental, Public and Private. Jerusalem: The Brookdale Institute.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Avishai Benish
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Social Work and Social PolicyThe Hebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael

Personalised recommendations