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Friends of Givat Haviva March 2024 Newsletter

Updated: Mar 14


Friends of Givat Haviva logo

A Message from Michal Sella

Dear friends,


The anticipation of the return of the Israeli hostages being held by Hamas and coping with the human and civil suffering in Gaza weigh heavily on all of us. At Givat Haviva, we understand that it is precisely in times like these that our role becomes increasingly critical. Education, community outreach, and social work between Jews and Arabs in Israel have become vital necessities. The current situation, marked by government decisions seemingly intent on stoking internal tensions within Israel, is something we never imagined facing.


Nearly every week, we hear alarming statements that endanger us all, further eroding the already fragile fabric of Israeli society. The persecution and silencing of the Arab population, who often feel unable to voice their legitimate opinions in Israel's public sphere, coupled with widespread weapon distribution and severe budget cuts, are particularly concerning.


In the face of these challenges, and despite them, we continue to work tirelessly every day to rebuild the trust and security that have been undermined in Jewish-Arab relations in Israel. Our education, training, and leadership programs are more crucial than ever. The dedicated team at our joint education center, which includes the international school and the Jewish-Arab center, tackles unprecedented challenges daily, finding innovative educational solutions that enable children, youth, parents, educators, and even regional and political leaders to address and confront the difficult questions about each other and their communities.


Never have so many leaders in Israel invested so much energy and so many resources to create unnecessary suffering within our society.  Nevertheless, I'm pleased to report that those who traverse our campus will encounter hundreds of teenagers, teachers, principals, young artists, and groups who continue to be educated here for a different present and a more promising future. While our daily reality can feel increasingly grim, there is hope.


Michal Sella

Executive Director


 

A Message from our Chairman David Heller



We're excited to share a message from David Heller, Friends of Givat Haviva’s Board chair, former Chair of the Cleveland Federation, and current Campaign Chair for the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). David underscores the importance of protecting Israel's democratic values and promoting peace and equality among its citizens.


In this video, David Heller explains the critical need to protect Israel's democratic framework and uphold the values of peace, equality, and mutual respect. He speaks of Givat Haviva's tireless efforts in the face of external threats and political uncertainties.


We invite you to watch this compelling video and learn more about our work in promoting dialogue, understanding, and social equality among Jewish and Arab communities in Israel. Together, we can create a future where all citizens can thrive in harmony and peace.


Support Givat Haviva's impactful initiatives by making a donation today at https://www.ghefpeace.org/donate. Your contribution will help continue this vital work in building bridges and fostering a brighter, more inclusive future for Israel.


 

Ramadan Kareem


A poster with the Givat Haviva logo that says ramadan kareem in arabic, hebrew and english

On behalf of the management and staff of Givat Haviva, we wish all Muslim friends, partners, and members of the Arab community a joyful and blessed Ramadan. May it bring peace, hope, and partnership, contributing to the creation of a just and democratic society for all.

 

News from Campus

Arab-Jewish Center for Peace

 
Through Others' Eyes students smiling at the camera, half are sitting and half are standing

An Exciting Meeting with "Through Other Eyes’" Groups


The "Through Other Eyes" program, which brings together Jewish and Arab youth through photography, recently gathered 2023 and 2024 cohorts. Program director Janane Halavi noted, "This program demonstrates that significant change and the creation of a shared society that bridges social and cultural divides is possible. Despite the complexities of our current situation, our youth prove that a different reality is achievable."


 


Faculty in a lecture facing a speaker stading in front of a whiteboard


Training Partners for the Shared Language Program


Dozens of Arab and Jewish educators from across the country gathered at the Givat Haviva campus, where  Jewish educators teaching spoken Hebrew in Arab schools received mentorship from their Arab counterparts. 


 

Students and staff sitting and one student standing up and pointing to a section of a painting

The Educational Encounters Program Continues


In the past month, schools have resumed activities following a prolonged hiatus after the start of the war. Six school meetings were held at Givat Haviva and other locations. The sessions are tailored to address heightened tension. They provide a space for sharing emotions and needs and addressing questions about national identity and unity.


 

Students showing cards with hebrew writing on them to one another

A Highlight Day at the Alanjah School in Taiba, as part of the Shared Language Program


A group of community members in the town hall standing behind a model of the city and smiling at the camera

A mediation training program in Sakhnin prepares to establish the sixth center in the community mediation program in Arab society.



Students facing a powerpoint with an instructor teaching them

A joint study day with facilitators from Menavah Shalom was held at Givat Haviva, featuring over 20 professionals from various programs at the Jewish-Arab Peace Center.


 

Opening of a Dialogue Group Facilitation Course


The Jewish-Arab Center at Givat Haviva, in collaboration with the Magid Institute for Foreign Studies at the Hebrew University, is excited to announce a unique course for dialogue group facilitators, focused on developing skills for engaging youth groups. Educators are invited to join us for the Dialogue Group Facilitation Course, For more details, contact jacp@givathaviva.org.il.


 

Joint Art Center


Artists in the Residency program in the studio, art galleries, and chatting with mentors

The Joint Residency Program - 2024 AIR Givat Haviva


Ten young artists enter the third and final month of their joint residency program. Despite the challenges, their work reflects a commitment to shared experiences and a hopeful vision for the future.


 

An exhibit featuring a table with a white tablecloth on a checkered floor against white walls with abstract lines

Givat Haviva Art Gallery


The exhibition "Baut ba Devarim" is in its final days, and has received significant praise. This unconventional exhibition challenges categorization, featuring works that defy traditional boundaries and explore multifaceted themes. As the exhibition comes to a close on Saturday, March 16, we invite all to join us for an artist-led Shabbat, offering an opportunity for open dialogue and interaction.


 

Students participating in a variety of activities inside and outdoors for art camp

Art Camps


Last month, our art camps welcomed diverse groups of art enthusiasts, students, and educators from across the country.


Highlights included:


- An exhibition experience for the Maase Institute for Leadership from the Arab Society in Haifa.


- A two-day retreat for students from grades 11-12 at Ramon Mahod Hasharon High School.


- Workshops and collaborative projects with students from Hadera Beit Eliezer High School, Yad Tel Aviv Municipal High School, and other institutions.


- Professional development sessions for teachers and school administrators from the 'Mafresh' program, focusing on educational entrepreneurship.


- Workshops and activities for art majors from Ironi 11 High School in Modi'in.

 

Photos of students on a hike, hugging in a classroom, and in front of a poster

YOUNITED: The International High School for Joint Society at Givat Haviva


Students at the international school who attended the annual trip, which focused on living together during times of conflict, had the opportunity to reflect on the challenges and opportunities of coexistence, leaving them inspired and hopeful for the future.


As we look ahead, we are preparing for upcoming events, including our cultural festival, Ramadan, and Purim celebrations. Stay tuned for more updates on these and other exciting initiatives.

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