View this email in your browser
From our Executive Director
Dear Friends and Partners,
For many civil society organizations, the summer is a time of vacation and organization. For Givat Haviva, the summer of 2016 has been a time of great activity.
In the area of Education, two delegations from our leadership programs attended camps in North America, while another delegation of the Kfar Kara-Pardes Hanna partnership hosted a reciprocal visit by a youth delegation from Germany. Nearly 100 children from the region attended our Soccer for Peace Camp led by Givat Haviva’s facilitators and professional soccer coaches. To this we add the intense activity preparing the facilitators, the programs, and the 80 schools with whom we will work in the coming school year.
Yihyeh B’seder – Hebrew Language Enrichment for Arab Schools,” our flagship program in the area of equality and empowerment, it was an especially intense summer of recruiting and training the teachers who will enable the program’s expansion in the coming school year from 10,000 to 30,000 students.
Our Bara’em High-Tech Seeds program also more than doubled in size, as most of the participants for the coming year have registered.
In our Shared Communities Program, the regional business forum, the NGO forum and the steering committees of the pairs continued to meet, and we examined many requests from new municipalities to join the program.
Along with the activities in our partnerships, we are vigorously pursuing our strategic objectives for developing the campus and establishing an international high school for the future leaders of peace and shared society.
Working in the complex reality of the State of Israel, we are expanding, empowering, and deepening our activities, and successfully receiving increasing support from the Israeli government on the one hand and the leaders of Arab society on the other. This is how we lay the foundations for a shared and equal society in Israel, and only with this combination will we succeed in building it.
Yaniv Sagee
Executive Director, Givat Haviva
Givat Haviva is preparing to open an international high school. With support from Israel’s ministry of education, the proposed Givat Haviva International School has been accepted as a candidate for the prestigious International Baccalaureate  program offering the internationally recognized IB diploma. A diverse, international student body (25% Jews and Arabs from Israel, 25% from the rest of the Middle East, 50% from the rest of the world) will live and learn on campus, benefitting from access to Givat Haviva’s many programs and facilities. The curriculum will focus on academic excellence and socially responsible leadership and entrepreneurship, and the students will enjoy a rich, intercultural experience with the support of Givat Haviva’s extensive experience in intercultural dialogue.
The summer months in Givat Haviva’s Education Department is a time for youth delegations’ travel, and preparation for next year’s activities. More Jewish and Arab schools requested to take part in Givat Haviva’s One and Two-Day Youth Encounters during the next year than could be scheduled, and these programs will reach 3,000 pupils during the next school year. More facilitators were recruited, and facilitator trainings were held as well as meetings to discuss lessons learned from the last year’s activities. Preparations were also made for next year’s new Together for the Environment program pairing Jewish and Arab elementary school classes, and Thinking Games program pairing students from the Shared Communities of Zemer and Emek Hefer. Meetings also took place to set up a new educational collaboration between the municipalities of Zichron Yaakov and Jisr A-Zarka.
Twenty-two alumni of Givat Haviva’s Children Teaching Children program were chosen to participate in the Heart to Heart delegation to Hashomer Hatzair camp in Canada. The delegation spent three weeks camping and learning about nature, culture, and democracy in Canada. They also continued an intensified version of the dialogue process they began in their schools, through both structured activities and the challenges of living together 24/7. As part of their program, they produced an “Israel Day” to teach the other campers about Israeli culture. The group will continue to meet following their return.
A delegation of 11 young German students visited Givat Haviva as part of a Youth Exchange between Givat Haviva and the Federal State of Rhineland-Palatinate. Ten Jewish and Arab Israeli youth had visited Germany initially, meeting with the German teens.
Germans and Israelis stayed together during the visit and heard about building a shared society from Yaniv Sagee and the mayors of a Jewish and an Arab Local Council who are part of our Shared Communities Program, toured the Green Line with Lydia Aisenberg from our International Department, and were invited to a barbecue by the parents of one Arab participant. The group also toured Jerusalem and Nazareth, the Sea of Galillee and the Dead Sea. In these trips the group learned about the history of the land and the lives of both peoples in it.  The German students also spent one night at their hosts' homes in the Jewish town of Pardes Hanna-Karkur and the Arab village Kfar Kara.
On their last evening at Auguste Viktoria Compound in East Jerusalem, the participants summed up their experience and feelings towards each other. Lena, a 16 year-old Arab student acknowledged that she had learned a great deal about the Jewish-Arab relations in the country, something which she hadn´t expected to happen: "I learned so much about my own heritage - so many things I ought to be proud of", Lena said. "But I also see our relationship with the Jews in a different light: We can make it! But it will be us and future generations to finish the job of building a shared society. I feel up to it!"
Aline, one of the German participants conveyed the complexity of the situation on the ground: "It has been so difficult sometimes to understand all this rich history. Every single event, no matter how far away in time, seems so significant for what is going on now. Still, I feel that now I can meet with my friends and peers and explain them that there is no black and white and that 'justice' and 'truth' lie not exclusively with one group. Just like the longing for peace they belong to either side."
Activity in our Shared Communities continues throughout the summer. In the paired communities of Megiddo and Maale Iron, the work toward construction of a shared stadium, a commercial area, and a farmers’ market is ongoing. Uni-national meetings, attended by the heads of both municipalities and their partnership teams, help build understanding of the process, and the situation, needs, dreams, and concerns of their partner. The community forum is developing a long-term vision and plan of action, and the senior citizen form is embarking on a project to document life stories of senior residents, focusing on life in the area before 1948, in cooperation with Beit Berl Colleges “Time Tunnel” project.  Progress continues on the “Neighbor’s Path” nature trail in the paired communities of Menashe and Baka el-Garbiya, which is expected to open in February 2017. The new pair of Zemer and Emek Hefer completed its first stage of mapping and sharing expectations, and began creating the teams that will lead the various projects in the designated areas of economic development, environment, education, and community.
On the regional level, the 22 participants in Givat Haviva’s Mediation-Sulcha Leadership Course completed the theoretical portion of their studies. The course, combining mediation certification with instruction in traditional Sulkha methods and dialogue-based community leadership, including senior guest lecturers, was praised by leaders in the field of mediation. The participants, all from the partnered communities, now embark on a practicum to apply the methods and develop the application of their skills in real-world situations.
The first meeting of the Regional Business Forum was held, with 14 Jewish and Arab businesspeople from the region. Riad Kabha, head of the Jewish-Arab Center for Peace at Givat Haviva, welcomed the participants and spoke to them about Givat Haviva’s work in general and with the Shared Communities in particular, and the shared hopes that this forum will become a force for change and for creation of business collaborations among Arabs and Jews in the region. The participants expressed their support for the goals and eagerness to take advantage of the opportunity to work together.
The Regional NGO Forum followed up on the success of the May 31 conference on environmental quality in the region sponsored by the forum, which was attended by the Minister of the Environment, by drafting a plan for promoting environmental quality, in part of the region. The plan focuses on appropriate collection and treatment of wastes primarily in the Arab municipalities. A meeting is planned for forum members with the director of the Ministry of the Environment’s northern district and the relevant mayors to make arrangements for the plan’s implementation.
Support for the Struggle against Uprooting Um al-Hiran
After 13 years of legal proceedings, the Supreme Court decided by a 2:1 majority to approve the state plan to destroy the Arab-Bedouin village of Um al-Hiran and establish a Jewish settlement named Hiran in its place. This decision is a clear case of displacement for purely racist reasons. The Givat Haviva team, together with representatives of other shared society organizations supporting the struggle, attended an Iftar dinner in Um al-Hiran, to express identification with and support for the struggle against the demolition of houses in the village.
Roadmap for a Shared Society
Five professional working groups continue to meet as part of our EU-sponsored project to create a Roadmap for a Shared Society. The five groups of experts from a wide range of political and demographic backgrounds, from government, business, civil society, and academia, are working throughout the year to formulate practical, implementable steps in the areas of education, economic development, governance, land use, and cultural representation and restorative processes. These recommendations will be presented in Givat Haviva’s 5th Annual Shared Society Conference in March 2017. Following the conference, they will be the focus of a broad public engagement campaign. The public feedback will then be incorporated in the Roadmap recommendations, which will be followed by a drive advocating their adoption as the basis for national policy.
Yihye B’seder, Givat Haviva’s Hebrew Language Enrichment Program for Arab schools, completed a massive recruitment and training drive this summer, in preparation for the expansion in September. In the 2015-2016 school year, the program employed 18 instructors in 27 schools; this fall, with support from the Ministry of Education, Yihye B’seder will engage 77 teachers, covering all 33 Arab junior high schools in the Haifa district, and expanding into the north, central, south, and Tel Aviv districts as well. All of the new teachers underwent preparatory training during the summer in three locations, and have been placed with schools by the Ministry of Education. This programs brings Jewish instructors into Arab junior high schools, to teach spoken Hebrew as native speakers and cultural ambassadors. The presence of Jewish educators in the schools promotes an atmosphere of acceptance and tolerance and creates an ongoing intercultural dialogue. We wish all our new instructors an abundance of success and fulfilment with their new students as the new school year begins.
Construction of the computer lab for Givat Haviva’s Bara’em Hitech Seeds program is being completed in preparation for opening two full classes this fall. The Bara’em Hitech program gives talented Arab high school students in the region, many of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds, the opportunity to earn credits toward a degree in computer science while in high school, along with Hebrew language enrichment that puts them on equal footing to compete in this productive field. Computer courses are taught by faculty from the Netanya Academic College, according to the syllabi of the same courses on their own campus. The program opened last year, with one class of 24 students, who will be continuing on to their second year of the program. This year, two parallel classes will open. During the summer, the class continued its third semester and went on a field trip to Netanya Academic College, visiting the hi-tech facilities, including the labs, classrooms, and campus, and learning more about the program they are in and how they can launch their own hi-tech careers.
Givat Haviva’s Women’s Empowerment Programs also continued throughout the summer, as Jewish and Arab women met in each other’s homes for Women Cook for Peace, and registration is open for the next rounds of the Businesswomen’s Club and Promoting Women’s Leadership, where Arab and Jewish women support each other and together learn skills for conducting and promoting their business initiatives or to prepare to run for public office. Registration is also open for a new initiative of recording Arab and Jewish women’s stories, using basic filmmaking techniques to create a joint documentary.
Givat Haviva’s Arabic Intensive summer classes were held in July and August. One of the participants, writing in the middle of the course, shares her experiences:
“’Learning Arabic’ was on my To Do List for more than 7 years. And what didn’t I do to cross it off – I bought books, watched films, met with Arabic-speaking friends, and even signed up for classes 3 different times, but after all that, I still didn’t know Arabic. I finally decided enough was enough, and signed up for the summer intensive course at Givat Haviva.
“Three weeks have gone by, and now I understand why I never managed to learn Arabic before. A language is a whole world, especially the richness of Arabic, which is not just a vocabulary and grammar, but also culture, manners, history, a way of thinking, stories, and the result of continuous evolution that is still going on at this moment. Here, at Givat Haviva, we students, aged 16 to over 80, have the privilege of being exposed to all of these elements of Arabic, that finally enable the connection of the words to a fascinating language.
“In the course, I am enrolled in both spoken and literary Arabic classes, 4 and a half hours of Arabic a day, 5 days a week with 7 wonderful and different teachers, each of who lives Arabic in their own way, opening 7 broad gates to the world of Arabic for us. Honestly, it is not easy, and often tiring! But the sense of satisfaction when I suddenly understand a conversation, read a piece from the newspaper, and can chat a bit in a language that was strange to me three weeks ago, is beyond estimate.
“Three weeks are left in the course, and now I also understand that this will never be a task I can cross off my list, but from now on I have a solid basis for expanding my knowledge, and can even go back to all the books, the friends, the films, and the classes.”
Givat Haviva’s Soccer for Peace Camp hosted close to 100 football-loving boys, ages 10-12, for a week of sports and intercultural experience. The campers were divided into 6 “national” teams, each of which was comprised half of Jewish and half of Arab children, and accompanied by a coach and a counselor, one of whom was Arab and the other Jewish. All of the campers are active players in soccer clubs in their home towns, who came together for the quality soccer program, in pursuit of their joint interest in the game. The final tournament, held at the soccer field in Baka El-Garbiya, was attended by parents and representatives from five countries who sponsored teams – Germany, the USA, Argentina, Canada, and Finland, and included an exhibition match with players from Givat Haviva and the Canadian, Argentine, and US embassies. In addition to the sports program, the campers enjoyed social and dialogue activities, had an unforgettable experience, and made new friends that they could continue to meet on the soccer pitch for years to come.
Through Others’ Eyes participants are a group of youth leaders from Arab and Jewish communities that are part of Givat Haviva’s Shared Communities project in the region. They met once a week at Givat Haviva throughout the 2015-16 school year and studied photography, visited each other homes, conducted a guided tour of the area, and participated in two two-day seminars, the first on shared society and the second dealing with identity and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Throughout the year, group participants explored Jewish-Arab relations, the reality of our lives as citizens, with critical eyes and through the camera lens.
As every summer, the Through Others’ Eyes group spent 3 weeks at Hashomer Hatzair camp in New York. For the first time in their lives, this group of 17 Jews and Arabs ate, slept, and conducted all their daily activities together. They were accompanied by 2 group leaders, a Jew and an Arab, who are themselves alumni of the project. During the camp, the group focused intensively both on building their relationships and deep discussions on joint company fundamentals and principles. They also put on a full day program on shared society in Israel for the other campers.
The group also presented its photography at an exhibition in Puffin Gallery in New Jersey. Two hundred people interested in the Givat Haviva’s educational programs and Through Others’ Eyes in particular attended the opening. This year the exhibit was also shown in Albany, to New York City's Jewish Federation. On both occasions, participants’ speeches led to a rich discussion with the audience, who praised the exhibit highly.
Parting from the other campers was very emotional, and all the youth agreed they had had a deep learning experience that will continue to accompany them throughout their lives.
Meanwhile, Givat Haviva’s Peace Gallery hosted its annual ceramics exhibit throughout July, featuring an impressive collection of work of diverse ceramics artists in the studio throughout the year. The opening of the Through Others’ Eyes exhibit at Givat Haviva will take place on September 21.
Givat Haviva’s International Department had two very full summer months of overseas visitors to the campus and the surrounding areas. Hundreds of youth movement teens on Israel Tour from Britain, America, Canada, and Holland came for workshops with our Jewish and Arab lecturers and guides, all of whom also participated in one of the ever-popular tours of the Wadi Ara region and Barta’a village. Our visitors included synagogue groups from the US, American students and young professionals in the country with Birthright-Taglit, North American students on a study tour with Hasbara Fellowships (affiliated with Aish HaTorah), a group of German teachers on an educational tour organized and led by Yad Vashem who came to us for a half day seminar at Givat Haviva about Jewish-Arab relations, and two extremely challenging groups in the country with Olive Tree Initiatives. As always, the International Department staff at Givat Haviva, our tours and workshops, afford visitors a unique window to the complexity of Jewish-Arab life in Israel and in the local region in particular.

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Givat Haviva · Am Schlosspark 66b · Wiesbaden 65203 · Germany

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp