View this email in your browser
Dear Friends,
The past month has been particularly jolting after elections that eradicated the presence of a large share of the left-wing politicians from the camp for Jewish-Arab partnership from the Knesset.  This was followed by lives lost in terrorist attacks, violence against left-wing activists, Palestinians killed in the Occupied Territories, and incessant declarations by ministers-to-be in the new government threatening the future of Israeli democracy, institutions of the law, and basic norms held by those of us committed to shared society and democracy.
The last elections left the highest number ever of voters finding themselves not to be represented in Israel's Knesset. It appears we will also have the most extreme, right-wing government ever. We expect it will include groups and individuals that until very recently represented attitudes that were automatically dismissed from the normative arena of political discourse. Soon they will be at the helm in government ministries presiding over the most sensitive and fragile threads of the fabric of Israeli society.
The appointment of Ben Gvir as Minister of National Security (as per the name he chose for the ministry formerly known as the Ministry of Public Security) is more than a slap in the face to Palestinian citizens of Israel facing the most serious crisis of violence in their communities ever. This appointment is perceived as a threat to the daily lives of one fifth of the population. This is a threat that Israeli Jews must understand and must find every civilian means of standing up to it – to prevent deterioration of relations between Jewish and Palestinians in our streets, likely to be backed by the powers that (will) be.
That said, there is a reality that remains in place, and our lives are larger than politics. Hundreds of educators and players working to strengthen and improve our democracy still get up to do just that every morning. At the end of November, we opened a prestigious, new artists' residency program for young Jewish and Arab artists, recent graduates of leading art institutes, who will live and create together for three months.  Our educational encounters programs are actually in growing demand, as are other programs representing Givat Haviva's leading role in providing opportunities for Israelis dedicated to promoting a better reality to act together towards that end.  
In any given reality, we will continue to believe and make a concerted effort to promote a more equitable, just, and shared society. Please read below about some of the latest developments in our work and their impact.
Michal Sella
Executive Director
The symbolic value of branding is the prominent feature of our new logo. After decades of using our same, familiar logo, we are thrilled to share an updated variation on the theme. The former logo was present, as was Givat Haviva, at thousands of activities and events, at every historic junction where there was programming on behalf of shared society for Jewish and Palestinian citizens of the State of Israel.  The new logo draws upon the image identified with Givat Haviva from the old logo using its simplicity and original distinctiveness, while adding calligraphy in Arabic to the original Hebrew. This is a statement of renewal, a statement reiterating and reinforcing the message of our vision and values and our commitment to shared society. We hope the new and revised logo shown above will be associated with Givat Haviva for many years to come, at every junction where a just and shared society, a better society is promoted.
Evidence shows that violence against women is exacerbated by inequality. At the end of November, in acknowledgement of International Day for Prevention of Violence Against Women, we posted the graphics to the right with text reporting that 22 women were murdered to date in Israel this year.
While Arab women account for only 20% of the women's population in Israel, 12 of the women murdered (over 50%) were Arab. With the anticipated priorities of the government-in-formation, it will be more important than ever to demand equitable law enforcement and crime prevention for all communities and population groups, lest the situation among disempowered communities deteriorate further and in disproportionate degrees to their numbers relative to the population as a whole. Personal security is a right to which all citizens are equally entitled by democratic principles.
Mediation and Dialogue Centers are on the horizons in five Arab towns, with our supervision, and should contribute to improved personal security for the residents of the communities involved. Following our training of a range of local figures who are within the consensus of their communities and committed to volunteering to this initiative to reduce crime and violence, the centers will soon be activated. These centers signal to government authorities that mediation centers have a place in all Arab residential areas, and as in Jewish communities, can contribute to resolving local conflicts.
Gush Halav Mayor Elias Elias & Hon. Saib Devor, VP of the District Court addressed newly trained mediators on criminal and cultural mediation while analyzing simulations.
Shaieb mediators' certification ceremony and symposium with public figures and community leaders advocating for mediation.
Our Shared Language Program resumed in November, with spoken Hebrew taught in schools serving Palestinian citizens of Israel throughout the country. In these schools where children are taught in Arabic, Hebrew is studied as a second language. The added emphasis on spoken Hebrew is a critical component in preparing students for inclusion in a shared society – for higher education and for the workplace.
Another program, Yehiyeh B'Sder [literally: Everything will be Ok] evolved out of the original Shared Language Program, and we are also offering a program at Givat Haviva in teaching spoken Hebrew for elementary and middle schools. Gefen, a designated pool of funds from the Ministry of Education has been made available to schools to apply towards taking part in these programs. 
The same dedicated educational team at Givat Haviva, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education has been recruiting pairs of teachers – Jewish and Arab – for a new Teacher-Exchange Program. After intensive training in December, the participating teachers will switch schools for 10 weeks. We look forward to teachers and students reporting on the enrichment of the experience as yet another means of demonstrating the advantages of shared society.
Majd el Krum's Mahmoud Darwish Middle School celebrating Shared Language with a happening for the FIFA World Cup opening with attractions about the games – in Hebrew! 
Impact - and inspiration from Givat Haviva: A prizewinning, Israeli feature film, Cinema Sabaya, debuted in September and was explicitly inspired by the participation of the film's writer and director in our program, Through Other's Eyes, as conducted for Jewish and Palestinian Israeli women who participated in a joint photography workshop.
In the movie, eight Jewish and Palestinian women citizens of Israel participate in a video workshop hosted by a young filmmaker. The participants represent a diversity of ages and life experiences, personal situations, and identities within their national groups. Naturally, they come to the workshop with their biases, prejudices, and wariness of the other, which breaks down as they expose their personal identities in the course of sharing the experience of filmmaking. Media attention to the connection between the film and Givat Haviva has even resulted in some new donor interest in supporting our work.
Please join the trend and donate today.
Please be in touch if we can provide you with any further information regarding any of our programs and plans for the months ahead. Feel free to contact: 
Copyright © 2022 Givat Haviva Israel, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can
update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list