Other Group

Citizens Build a Community (CBC)




Community Services Organization




Maysa Antila


Lod, Israel

Contact InfluenceWatch with suggested edits or tips for additional profiles.

Citizens Build a Community (CBC) is a charity and advocacy organization founded in 2004 and based in the city of Lod, Israel. The organization claims to provide services to the city’s ethnically and religiously diverse population, including youth centers, academic support, and career guidance for young adults. CBC cites an apparent decline in government-funded social services, as well as the rise of crime, poverty, and inter-group tensions as its motivation.

The initiative is a project of the Inter Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues (IATF), a network of Jewish and pro-Israel organizations that claims to educate Israeli and American Jews on the views and concerns of Israel’s Arab minority. Members of the IATF include the left-of-center New Israel Fund, which is based in the United States but conducts most of its charity work in Israel, and the left-of-center Anti-Defamation League. 1 2

Historical Background

The city of Lod, also known by its Greek name Lydda, is a mostly Jewish city with a large Arab minority. It is located approximately 9 miles southeast of Tel Aviv. In 1948, during the Israeli War of Independence and the subsequent large-scale displacement of non-Jews, a number of civilians were killed by Israeli troops. While the number of casualties and the question of whether the soldiers had targeted noncombatants unintentionally remain a subject of much debate, many sources continue to refer to the incident as a “massacre.” 3

In May 2021, riots erupted in the city amid civil unrest across the country. Several people on both the Jewish and Arab sides were killed, and widespread property destruction took place. According to reporting by the New Yorker, the violence undercut a long-time initiative by some residents of the city to bridge ethnic and religious differences by forming joint residential associations and attending community functions together. 4 In response to the riots, Citizens Build a Community launched its We Are Lod initiative. 5

Parent Organization

The Inter Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues is a collective of Jewish and Israel-friendly activist and community organizations which claims to represent the interests and needs of Israel’s Arab population, including Muslims, Christians, and other ethno-religious populations. The task force includes philanthropic institutions and Jewish groups, as well as left-of-center political organizations such as the New Israel Fund and the Anti-Defamation League. The IATF’s output includes briefing papers, discussion panels, and trips to Israel for supporters. 6


Maysa Antila is the employment coordinator at Citizens Build a Community. She resides in Lod, Israel, where the of the organization focuses most of its efforts. 7

Liron Shoham is the executive director of the Inter Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues. She previously worked for the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, a Jewish grantmaking organization. 8


One of the main backers of Citizens Build a Community is the United Kingdom-based Pears Foundation. In 2019, it issued CBC a grant of £49,500 (more than $60,000 at the time). 9

The New Israel Fund has contributed at least $16,000 to CBC. 10 The United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Jew York has donated at least $4,000, and Bader Philanthropies has supported CBC as well. 11 12


  1. “Citizens Build a Community.” Inter Agency Task Force. Accessed October 4, 2023. https://www.iataskforce.org/entities/view/103
  2. “About Us.” Inter Agency Task Force. Accessed October 4, 2023. https://www.iataskforce.org/node/27
  3. John Rosove. “What Really Happened at Lydda in 1948? Ari Shavit and His Critics.” Jewish Journal. November 23, 2014. Accessed October 4, 2023. https://jewishjournal.com/culture/145000/what-really-happened-at-lydda-in-1948-ari-shavit-and-his-critics/
  4. Ruth Margalit. “The Tensions Inside A Mixed Jewish-Arab City In Israel.” The New Yorker. May 20, 2021. Accessed October 4, 2023. https://www.newyorker.com/news/dispatch/the-tensions-inside-a-mixed-jewish-arab-city-in-israel
  5. Grantmaking.” New Israel Fund. Accessed October 4, 2023. https://www.nif.org/about/grantmaking/
  6. “About Us.” Inter Agency Task Force. Accessed October 4, 2023. https://www.iataskforce.org/node/27
  7. Maysa Antila. LinkedIn. Accessed October 4, 2023. https://il.linkedin.com/in/maysa-antila-855250230
  8. Liron Shoham. LinkedIn. Accessed October 4, 2023. https://www.linkedin.com/in/liron-shoham-3b057625
  9. “Open Data April 2019 – March 2020.” Pears Foundation. Accessed October 4, 2023. https://pearsfoundation.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Open_Data_April_2019_March_2020.xlsx
  10.  [1]“Grantmaking.” New Israel Fund. Accessed October 4, 2023. https://www.nif.org/about/grantmaking/
  11. [1]“Report Of Grants Awarded 2021-2022.” UJA Federation New York. Accessed October 4, 2023. https://gifts.ujafedny.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/grants_2022.pdf
  12. “2020 Impact Report.” Bader Philanthropies, Inc. Accessed October 4, 2023. https://www.bader.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/2020-impact-report.pdf
  See an error? Let us know!