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From our Executive Director:
Dear Friends of Givat Haviva,
With the Muslim New Year at the beginning of the month and the Jewish New Year in a few days, Givat Haviva opens our new school year with a storm of activity. This newsletter faithfully shows the two main paths by which we work to influence society: through education and through public engagement.
In education, we are proud to open the second year of the Givat Haviva International High School (GHIS) where 110 students from 23 countries around the world are enrolled this year, and the third year of "Sindiana," the Arab Youth Village for excellence, where 400 students are enrolled. The campus paths are full of our wonderful students. In the summer, our youth leadership delegations visited the United States and Canada, and returned to begin influencing their communities to connect and function as a shared society. Together, these activities create the infrastructure for youth leadership in Givat Haviva for the sake of living together today and for the future generation of leaders of shared society and peace in Israel, the Middle East, and the world.
In public engagement, Israel’s election campaign that ended last week again loosed a campaign of fear and hatred against Arab society. In response, we launched a media campaign called "The Locals" to show the Jewish public the great contribution and significance of Israel’s Arab citizens and the harm done by the Nation State Law and the campaigns against the Arab citizens.
This is our mission in Israel 2019 - to ensure the ability of Arabs and Jews to live together, to maintain a full and true democracy, and to build a future of a shared and equitable society in Israel. To my delight, Givat Haviva is doing this today with about 60,000 participants in all our programs. Our activities are made possible with your support and encouragement, and in many cases, with the support and great partnership of Israel’s Ministry of Education. In this way, we will continue and even grow our programs in the new year as well.
Wishing you all a Happy New Year,
Yaniv Sagee
Givat Haviva in the Media
Expert: 'Arab Israelis powerless under Netanyahu'

Leading expert on Jewish-Arab relations in Israel, Mohammad Darawshe speaks to Becky Anderson about the importance of the Arab Israeli vote in the Israeli elections.
Source: CNN 

Israel’s Arab Politicians Emerge with New Political Heft
by Isabel Kershner, The New York Times, September 18, 2019
The right to speak directly after the prime minister? Meetings with all visiting heads of state? Monthly briefings from the Mossad? For the first time, the perks of being the opposition leader in the Israeli Parliament could go to an Arab lawmaker. read more
Ayman Odeh can transform Israel: Who will be his partner?
Yaniv Sagee, The Times of Israel, Aug 27, 2019 
Arab Israelis will vote in droves if they know their candidates will finally step out onto the political center stage. read more...
Heddy Breuer R Abramovitz |  September 22, 2019
Twenty 17-year-old budding photographers, half Jewish students and half Muslims, are showing their photos at Givat Haviva’s Peace Gallery in a new exhibit called Behind the Mask. But unlike other exhibits, the names of the individual photographers are not labeled next to their creations. read more...
Public Engagement

The Locals/Bnei Hamakom – A Conversation at Eye-Level
Talking about the Nation-State Law

Hundreds of thousands have watched, shared, and commented in recent weeks on Givat Haviva’s Bnei Hamakom campaign, aimed at sparking a national conversation about the Nation-State Law. The campaign is a series of short clips, featuring representatives of Israel’s Arab citizens: a senior Druze economist who is a lieutenant colonel in the IDF, a deputy director of surgery rooms responsible for heart and lung transplants at Beilinson Hospital, an industrial and management engineer and entrepreneur who started the first Arab hi-tech company in Israel, and an actress who starred in "Fauda" and "Survivor VIP".
Givat Haviva wanted to echo their sentiments, representing those shared by many Arab citizens of Israel, in order to inspire identification among Israel’s Jewish citizens. We believe Arab citizens, over 20% of the population, are entitled to feel they are equal partners in Israeli society, and the law should therefore be amended to include a clause of equality or abolished

The opening of the 2019-2020 school year, two weeks before the general elections, was an opportunity to remind all the parties that the future of Israel lies in the nature and the quality of the education system. This is a chance to emphasize that education in the values ​​of democracy, equality, fraternity, partnership, and breaking the cycle of ignorance between the country’s different populations is key to creating a better reality for all of us in the future. As Director of Givat Haviva’s Education Department, I hope that the issue of education for a shared society will be prioritized by decision makers in the government. I believe that making this area central will have a long-term impact on the future of the country.
Samer Atamne, Director of Givat Haviva’s Education Department and Deputy Director of Givat Haviva’s Arab-Jewish Center for Peace
This August, Givat Haviva’s Education Department completed our training course for Facilitators of Shared Society Dialogue Groups, the first academic course of its kind in Israel. The course was run by the co-directors of our youth encounters programs, Hiba Younes Zeid and Lital Alon. The 22 participants met weekly from June through August, and featured high profile expert lectures, peer learning, role-plays, group discussion and experiential learning, engaging the issues of identity, Israel’s education system, civics studies, facilitative methods, culture and discourse, media, dealing with gender issues, power differentials, historical narratives, land issues, legal issues, working as a bilingual facilitation team, working with youth, equal opportunities, public space, creating an accepting environment, the meaning of shared society, and the role of facilitators as activists. The course began and ended with intensive two-day seminars, leaving the group with a solid sense of setting off together down a common path.
Course participants will continue their professional training in Givat Haviva’s shared society encounter programs, observing and gaining hands-on experience, guiding students in the years’ first seminars, and receiving their graduation certificates in December.
Givat Haviva’s Education Department is in the process of preparing all our programs for the new school year. We are developing new "Shared Space" programming for 9th and 10th grades, as a series of meetings accompanied by professional teachers and facilitators from our team, designed to introduce and develop a common regional identity for the students. We are beginning to train cohorts of teaching staff from pairs of Arab and Jewish schools, during which they will get to know each other and learn together how to bring shared society programming to their schools.
Shared Communities
The Regional Arab-Jewish Business Forum, founded and accompanied by Givat Haviva as part of the regional program of shared community partnerships, held its third meeting at Givat Haviva.  It was attended by 15 Arab and Jewish business owners from the area and participants from other areas who showed great interest in joint business and economic activity to build a shared society. Programs and initiatives for the Forum's activities were articulated and an operational management team was established to implement the plans. Ahmed Macaleda and Yossi Peled, the forum’s founders, spoke of their sense of mission in setting up a forum that would meet the needs of business owners, especially in Arab society, for economic and business growth. Givat Haviva Executive Director Yaniv Sagee emphasized the importance of business owner’s involvement in building a shared society, as a group that can have an impact on decision makers at the local and national levels.
Senior JNF officials joined members of the Givat Haviva’s Shared Communities Regional Environment Forum for an important tour of the area examining possible projects that the Forum is working to promote under the JNF development program for the Wadi Ara forests. Good working relations have been established with the JNF, who expressed willingness to continue thinking together with the Regional Environment Forum and with residents in general how to promote these projects and others for the welfare of the residents, while responding to their needs.
Art and Culture
This year’s twenty participants in our youth leadership program Through Others’ Eyes returned from their adventures in the US to hang their photography exhibition “Behind the Mask.” The opening was September 7, and the exhibition will be on display in the Peace Gallery through October 5.
Equality and Empowerment
Students at Givat Haviva's Bara’em Hi-Tech program took a break from their demanding studies to visit the offices of Google in Haifa, getting an inside look at what life is like inside one of the world’s hi-tech leaders. Students toured the site that is at the forefront of today's technology. Senior staff met with the students and talked about the possibilities for integrating into the high-tech market and Google in particular.
Bara'em Hitech is a unique program in collaboration with Netanya Academic College offering outstanding Arab students the opportunity to earn credit toward a B.Sc. in Computer Science while still in high school.
Thank you to Google for hosting our students! We hope to see you again in the future!
The summer of 2019 was an exceptionally busy one for Yihyeh B’seder Hebrew Language Enrichment Program. It began in June with a study tour of five senior Ministry of Education officials – Arab Sector Education Director Abdallah Hattib, Chief Inspector of Arabic Language Education Dr. Rawya Burbara, Referent for Arab Society Programs Liat Uzan Avraham,  National Inspector of Professional Development for Teachers Yosef Hamdan, and Northern Region Arab Sector General Inspector Tawfiq Zaroura – and the program leadership to Munich, Bolzano, and Innsbruck to learn about educational integration programs involving ethno-linguistic minorities in Europe.
A two-day training was conducted jointly by Givat Haviva and Merchavim for cross sector teachers in both organizations’ programs. 
It culminated on July 9 in a conference on cross sector integration in education, with high profile speakers including Tel Aviv-Yafo mayor Ran Huldai, Umm al-Fahm mayor Samir Mahameed, and former Minister of Education Yuli Tamir.
The summer continued with recruitment and training of new teachers, plus training of both new and current teachers in a new Hebrew language curriculum chosen by the Ministry. As shown by the preliminary numbers below, the program continues its expansion in 2019-2020.
A graduation ceremony for participants in Givat Haviva’s Women’s Empowerment Courses was held in Baqa al Garbiya. The training was the result of a collaboration between the Baqa Municipality and the Department of Gender Equality in Givat Haviva. Certificates were distributed to the graduates of the various courses, including women's advancement in politics and management positions.
Givat Haviva’s Fifth Soccer for Peace Camp was held with 70 Jewish and Arab children from the Wadi Ara and Menashe areas. As always, the children were divided into mixed ‘national’ teams, in which they played soccer and swam at Kibbutz Ma’anit and participated in dialogue activities and games. The final ceremony was held courtesy of Kibbutz Metzer, with representatives of the Canadian, German, and Austrian embassies who came to cheer “their” teams on and show support for the camp, and even sent diplomats to play in an exhibition match. The German diplomats were on hand to award official jerseys when their team won the final. We thank the German, Canadian, Austrian, Argentine, and American embassies, and Jewish and Arab businesses and kibbutzim from the area for their support that made camp possible, and of course, the Soccer for Peace organization for its generous donation.
Arabic Language
For six weeks during the summer, 55 students ranging in age from 18 to 70 studied intensive Arabic at the Institute for Arabic Studies at Givat Haviva. They came from diverse walks of life to learn the local dialect of spoken Arabic, some of them adding literary Arabic as well. For some of them, these were their first steps in learning Arabic, while others enrolled in advanced classes. The participants included a number of students and lecturers from American universities, some of whom have returned to learn Arabic with us for a number of years.
Dr. Suzanna Wassum-Reiner, the German ambassador to Israel, visited Givat Haviva in July. The Ambassador visited the various centers on the campus and learned from the management team about Givat Haviva's strategy for promoting shared society in Israel and in the region as a whole.
"I am pleased to have been given the privilege of serving the Federal Republic of Germany as Ambassador to Israel: Given Germany's past responsibility, our relations today are unique, rich and diverse."
A group of 17 future guides from "Hashomer Hatzair" from New York and Canada participated in the Yedid program through Givat Haviva’s International Department. The group toured Israel for 12 days from the Dead Sea to the Sea of Galilee, and visited diverse communities from Israeli society, including the Ethiopian community in Gedera, the ultra-Orthodox in Jerusalem and the refugee neighborhoods in southern Tel Aviv. During several meetings, they met the Arab population in Israel and Palestine, and learned about the issues affecting their lives.
Summer also brought groups to Givat Haviva from Birthright, from South America, youth from England, and synagogue groups. They toured Wadi Ara with Lydia Aisenberg, Givat Haviva’s senior guide, met local Arabs, and held deep conversations on topics of identity, opportunity, and possibilities for meeting. It was inspiring to see how these tourists were willing to challenge themselves, and how profoundly the meetings affected all the participants.
Givat Haviva International High School (GHIS) is excited and proud to open its second school year. The student body has almost doubled in size, with 110 students from 23 different countries. This year, we have added students from Honduras, Vietnam, and Sweden, while retaining all the countries from whom we had representatives last year. Fifty-one students are Israeli citizens, 22 of these Arab and 29 Jewish. To accommodate the growth, five new teachers have been added to the faculty, as well as additional administrative staff, plus four assistant counselors spending a gap year at the school. The new students began with an orientation to get familiar with the school and begin to create the multi-cultural community that will be their home for the coming year. Now they are busy choosing from a rich array of classes and extracurricular activities, including ongoing training in conflict resolution with Fee, an MA student in Peace and Conflict Management Studies at Haifa University.
GHIS was featured on Israeli national news on channel 12 last year.
To keep up with what’s going on at GHIS, send an email to and ask to subscribe to the monthly GHIS newsletters.
Copyright © 2019 Givat Haviva Israel, All rights reserved.

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