A letter from our Executive Director

An End and a Beginning

Two opposite processes occurring simultaneously characterized 2016. On the one hand an increasing extremism in political discourse, with racist bills introduced in the Knesset, bitter accusations against Arab society, and deepening fear and hatred. On the other hand very positive developments for civil society in the field of shared society and even a government decision that is supposed to lead to significant investment in Arab society. These two processes made their presence felt in our activities throughout the year. On the one hand, we had to deal with expressions of fear and hatred, while on the other hand Givat Haviva grew and expanded our activities significantly over the year: Our Education for a Shared Society programs expanded to include 5,000 children and youth; the Shared Communities partnerships expanded and deepened; “Yihyeh B’seder”, the Hebrew enrichment program for Arab schools, doubled its reach to more than 20,000 children; the number of students enrolled in “Bara’em Hi-tech” more than doubled; a 15% increase in enrollment in Givat Haviva’s Arabic studies; increased diversity and content in the Arts Center courses and programs; expansion of the programs for public engagement via conferences and creation of a “Roadmap for a Shared Society”; and more and more. Givat Haviva and its many activities received multiple prizes during 2016 in Israel and around the world, and is highly regarded in both Jewish and Arab society.
I would like to thank Givat Haviva’s wonderful team for the great effort over the past year, and to thank all of our friends, partners, and supporters in Israel and around the world. Our partnership with you is what enables us to do this great work. We enter 2017 with a deep sense of mission and belief in our ability to fulfill our purpose as a leading organization for building a shared society in Israel.

Yaniv Sagee
Executive Director, Givat Haviva