In Israel, 75% of of released prisoners don’t have a framework within which to proceed in their lives. To that end, Comeback is an Israeli NGO that is dedicated to helping former offenders integrate into society through personal empowerment by acquiring the tools to find and secure meaningful employment. Comeback places the participants at the center and provides a supportive space in which each of them can design the most suitable employment future for himself/herself. In this way, they will be able to develop a strong sense of self-esteem and self-confidence, which will deter them from returning to the cycle of crime and will ensure successful integration into the community.
We believe that the innovative concept that underlies Comeback’s work will
contribute to creating a deep and wide-ranging social impact in the realm of integrating former offenders into mainstream society.
Comeback’s story begins with a flash of inspiration. In 2017, Eva Schwarz, a businesswoman turned social entrepreneur, came across an article about an entrepreneurship program for lawbreakers in the US. The concept excited her because it embodied a bright ray of hope for one of the most marginalized populations, espousing a firm belief in the powerful potential of the human spirit.
After a full year, in a process of development and refinement working in collaboration with the Jerusalem Municipality and the Prisoner Rehabilitation Authority, the Nitzotzot (Sparkle) program was born.
To fulfill her vision, Eva established Comeback in 2019.
In her capacity as chair of the organization, Eva enlisted Matan Halevi to head a dedicated team who work together to help give lawbreakers the opportunity to lead a fulfilling life by finding meaningful employment. Matan is a social activist with a strong drive for significant action in untapped fields such as law enforcement rehabilitation. Comeback is an NGO that works in cooperation with the public sector but stands on its own. This creates maximum commitment, trust, and cooperation with the program’s participants and helps them advance in the most effective way.
But the work does not stop there. Comeback strives to expand the circles of influence. We believe that every success story of our participants extends to affect his/her immediate environment and community and that social change is the result of a ripple effect. In addition, Comeback is working to promote a change in attitude toward the population of former offenders among professionals and decision-makers, as well as the public discourse.