A letter from our Executive Director

Dear Friends and Partners,

It has been a year since covid-19 broke out and changed the reality of life worldwide. An unsettling year, in which we had to make many adjustments to ensure our ability to act in accordance with our mission of building a shared and egalitarian society.

The Givat Haviva team has been working hard to maintain our capacity for action, to adapt plans to what can be carried out under conditions of social closure and distance, and to initiate new content that fits this new reality. I am happy to write to you that we were able to conduct all our programs in 2020, and that despite the decline in our resources, and to a great extent with your help, we were able to end the year with a balanced budget.

The year 2021 has begun with our country in lockdown; many of our employees are working from home and our programs are in almost full operation. At this opportunity, I would also like to update you on a number of other developments in Givat Haviva. In November, Imran Kinana joined our team as the new director of the Arab-Jewish Center for Peace, the center responsible for our major programs. Imran is from Yafa an-Naseriyye and he comes to Givat Haviva after six months of managing the situation room for dealing with covid-19 in Arab society. He is a well-known leader in Israel’s Arab society who served two terms as head of his local authority. With Imran’s new leadership, the Jewish-Arab Center for Peace has begun developing new plans and new directions for action, which we will report on when they are ready.

Another development, temporary at this stage, is Mohammad Darawshe’s decision to run in the Knesset elections as head of the Ma'an party, which he founded. In accordance with our legal obligations, Mohammad will be on leave of absence until the election. And finally, I am happy to announce here that I after completing the maximum term of service as Givat Haviva’s executive director, in accordance with the organization's regulations, I will finish my job at the end of next month and transfer the management to Michal Sela. You can see below the CEO of Havatzelet’s announcement of Havatzelet’s choice of Michal.

It is too early to conclude, and we still have a period of overlap, but I am grateful for the privilege and opportunity I had to lead Givat Haviva and bring it to where it is today. Thanks to Givat Haviva’s excellent team and the new leadership, I am convinced that we can expect a very promising future for the organization.

Yaniv Sagee,

Givat Haviva Executive Director

A letter from Havatzelet's CEO
Change of Executive Directors of Givat Haviva

At its meeting on January 19, 2021, Havatzelet's Board of Directors approved the election of Michal Sela as the next Executive Director of Givat Haviva, in place of Yaniv Sagee, who is ending his term after completing the maximum 8 years in the position allowed under Havatzelet’s bylaws

Under Yaniv's leadership, Givat Haviva was characterized by the development of collaborations that changed the organization and expanded its circles of partnership and influence in Israel and abroad. Among these, of note is the transformation of Givat Haviva into a national center for the issue of the shared society, and the development of research and practical work in the field with government ministries and the private sector, and development of the Givat Haviva model for a shared society by expanding the Shared Communities project to many parts of Israel and developing educational programs for all ages in Israel.

The first Arab youth village in the country, "Sindyana", was also opened in Givat Haviva, during this time, and about 3 years ago, the GHIS International School of Leadership and Peace was established within the framework of the global IB network. As a result of its activities, Givat Haviva was recognized with Special Consultative Status to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) as an advisory organization in the field of shared society education. Michal Sela holds a master's degree from Oxford University in public policy, and has extensive experience working with government and communication bodies in Israel and abroad. 

For the past two years, she has been the director of the Center for Policy Change of "Shatil” the executive arm of the New Israel Fund. Michal, a member of Hashomer Hatzair's alumni movement and currently a member of Hashomer Hatzair's board, will take office in March 2021, after a learning period with Yaniv. Michal is the third woman executive director in Givat Haviva’s history, more than 20 years after Rachel Aharoni from Beit Alfa served in this capacity. The Havatzelet management thanks Yaniv for his fruitful and achievement-rich tenure, and wishes Michal success in her challenging, new role.


Uzi Shemesh

CEO, Havatzelet Educational and Cultural Institutions of Hashomer Hatzair