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These months held a flurry of new beginnings: the opening of the latest Through Other’s Eyes Exhibit in the Peace Gallery, the new school year in all of Givat Haviva’s educational programs, the new academic year in the Hi-Tech program, and the Jewish and Hijri New Years which coincided this year and were marked by celebrations throughout the Shared Communities. Throughout these new beginnings, our ongoing programs are continuing their activity as always. As you can see below, it has been a busy time at Givat Haviva.
In a special gala event on November 11, 2016, Givat Haviva, the Kibbutz Hameuchad publishing house, and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung launched Riad Kabha’s new book: The Wadi Has Two Banks: My Life Story. Riad is the director of the Jewish-Arab Center for Peace at Givat Haviva, and his book chronicles the history of his village Barta’a, which is divided in half by the Green Line, and where he served as mayor. The book launch was attended by MKs, mayors, friends, family, and colleagues, and featured incisive interviews, music by Amal Marcus, selected readings from the book, and many positive appraisals of the book’s contribution to Jewish-Arab understanding in Israel. Our hearty congratulations to Riad!
In Givat Haviva's Roadmap for a Shared Society Program, which is conducting the first inclusive process of developing, deliberating and advocating for a document of implementable, measurable goals toward a shared society in Israel, the leaders of the five professional task groups gathered for four days in Berlin to learn from and with Europe's experts in integration of and shared society with national minorities. The seminar was coordinated by Mohammed Darawshe, Director of Planning, Equality, and Shared Society at Givat Haviva, and provided the group leaders with perspective, experience, and focus from Europe’s leading experts to help the development of a truly implementable plan. The Seminar in Berlin was sponsored by the Robert E Bosch Foundation, and the Roadmap program is sponsored by the European Union.
Givat Haviva attended the launch of the Next-Door Neighbors NGO in Nazareth, established to extend Givat Haviva’s various programs to Jewish and Arab communities in Nazareth and its environs, including youth encounters, language instruction, education programs for a shared society, and joint projects. The mayors of both Nazareth and Nazareth Illit spoke at the event and praised the initiative, which will be the first Jewish-Arab programming in this diverse area. Next-Door Neighbors is a grass-roots initiative, founded by Jewish and Arab residents of the area, to promote understanding and cooperation between the Jewish and Arab population in the region.
Givat Haviva was pleased to welcome a number of official visits during these months: Ambassador of Chile, Prof. Monica Jimenez de la Jara came to the campus on Nov 10. Ambassador Jimenez de la Jara visited the Peace Gallery and the Jewish-Arab Center for Peace, heard about Givat Haviva’s many activities promoting equality and shared society, and discussed the possibilities for future cooperation in various intercultural activities. On Nov 9, a delegation from Israel’s embassy in Jordan, who were visiting Israel as guests of the Foreign Ministry, came to learn about the activities Givat Haviva leads in the area of Arab-Jewish partnership. And on September 29, Givat Haviva was pleased to host a leadership delegation from Keren-Hayesod from Israel in the Netherlands, who visited the campus at the end of September and heard about Givat Haviva’s programs and activities.
The Megiddo-Maale Iron partnership is continuing to work toward their major project – construction of a soccer stadium to be shared by both authorities. The Emek Hefer-Zemer pair is working to establish a joint industrial area to serve both of the authorities. And the Menashe-Baka el-Garbiya pair are continuing their work to create the “Neighbors’ Path” through the natural area adjoining the two, convening representatives of the Menashe communities to gather public feedback. A similar public engagement will take place in Baka, and both will be incorporated into the project.
The Regional Business Forum held their third meeting, during which they visited local businesses in Wadi Ara, to gain a deeper, more intimate knowledge of opportunities and challenges that the business owners face.
The first Regional Mediation-Sulcha Course for officials and social leaders from the councils in Givat Haviva’s Shared Communities was completed, and the new course graduates have begun their practicum, to implement and integrate mediation methodology in different social settings in their home communities. Following this, teams will work on joint Jewish-Arab projects.
Givat Haviva’s education department was off to a promising start this year. One-day Youth Encounters: “Coming of Age in Shared Public Space” and Face to Face: Two-day Youth Dialogue Encounters filled Givat Haviva’s schedule with record demand, and 12 encounters have already been held, bringing together Arab and Jewish students from throughout the region and around the country. A nationwide teachers’ strike, in which teachers will not accompany students to activities off school grounds, has resulted in one cancellation and some challenges, and Givat Haviva staff rose to the occasion by bringing the encounter to the schools, when students could not come to Givat Haviva. Children Teaching Children began the year with 7 pairs, and a new program for second graders, Together, also began this school year.
Givat Haviva is also running 3 Youth Exchanges this year. Youth from Katsir and Barta’a is presently hosting delegations from Germany and Poland, focusing on the theme “Refugees and Public Space”. They attended Givat Haviva’s one-day “Coming of Age in Shared Public Space” seminar, and are conducting a learning tour in Israel. The Israeli group will travel to Europe at a later date. Youth from Menashe and Baka el-Gariya attended a one-day seminar on shared society, in preparation for their exchange trip to Germany in December, on the theme “Dictatorship and Democracies – the fragile border between them”. The third delegation, from Kafr Kara and Megiddo will attend a one-day seminar at Givat Haviva on Nov 27, to prepare for a visit from a delegation of German and Polish youth in December. Their delegation is focusing on “Paths of Dialogue According to Martin Buber.”
“Yihye B’seder” Hebrew Language Enrichment Program for Arab Schools began the new school year with expansion into four educational districts. The program now fully covers the Haifa district, and has begun operating in the north, center, and south as well, employing 42 teachers in 56 schools, and reaching over 17,000 students. The instructors and school principals attended the year’s opening seminar at Givat Haviva, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, where they were treated to a series of enrichment lectures on topics including culturally oriented pedagogical tools, implementing dialogue methods in the classroom, and perspectives on the development of Palestinian national identity.
The Bara’em HiTech Program opened its second year of operation with two new classes of students, in addition to the second year class of continuing students. A year-opening event on Nov 8 was attended by parents, students, Givat Haviva and Netanya Academic College staff, and representatives from the German embassy, who also unveiled a plaque honoring their contribution to the new computer room that was constructed to house this program.
The Through Others’ Eyes exhibition, in which last year’s Through Others’ Eyes participants showed their photographs reflecting the themes of stereotypes, illusions, and identity, opened in the Peace Gallery in Givat Haviva’s Art Center on September 21, and ran through Oct 31. Meanwhile, a new group of Arab and Jewish teenagers from the area have begun their adventure as the newest Through Others’ Eyes participants, as they learn to both photograph and see each other.
The newest art exhibit, Dance of Sanity: Contemporary Perception of Complex Realities opened in the Peace Gallery in Givat Haviva’s Art Center on Nov 12, featuring work by thirteen Jewish and Arab contemporary artists. Meanwhile, new classes in ceramics, sculpture, drawing, performance art, marketing art, and more, launched this year’s offering in Givat Haviva’s tradition of high quality art courses.
A new year of language courses also began at Givat Haviva’s Arabic Studies Institute, with 8 new weekly courses at all levels for local Hebrew speakers who want to learn or improve their Arabic, plus a special targeted course in Tel Aviv for students in medical school. Registration for the Intensive Arabic Semester for English speakers, scheduled to open Feb 19, is also underway. For details and to contact us, see
After a super hectic summer dealing with literally thousands of folks from abroad participating in our seminars and tours, September’s quieter period was most welcome in Givat Haviva’s International Department.  However, we still received a number of groups from North America, Germany & France (as well as one very special group from Africa). During September, the International Department staff focused on meeting with and training a number of freelance lecturers and guides in preparation for the fast approaching winter season. With bookings coming in fast and furious, the department’s diary is rapidly filling up with many groups of Birthright-Taglit, American high-school semester in Israel programs, academics and students from Europe and more – all planning to join us for our workshops and seminars during the course of the winter.
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