A letter from our Executive Director

Dear Partners,
Last month, our activities received unusual accolades from the President of Germany.  We were the only organization that the German President chose to visit during his stay in Israel, beyond the political meetings, and even venturing out of Jerusalem in order to do so. The President came to Givat Haviva with his wife, two cabinet ministers, the German Ambassador to Israel, and the Israeli Ambassador to Germany, as well as a large entourage of companions and reporters, who covered the visit on all major German media.
This important visit is a tremendous contribution to the organization and will have consequences for our development and our ability to increase our activity for building an equal shared society in Israel in the future.
The visit was beautifully organized and the Givat Haviva campus was shining bright. We spent about two hours showing the President our wide-ranging activity toward building a shared society, from the Arts Center, through the Jewish-Arab Center for Peace, to the Peace Library, as Mohammad Darawshe presented the organizational strategy, Riad Kabha – the Jewish-Arab Center for Peace, Anat Lidror – the Collaborative Arts Center, and Samer Athamni – education for a shared society.
During his visit, the President was introduced to a variety of our programs by the participants: he spoke with high school seniors, alumni of Through Others' Eyes, about their exhibition; teens from Children Teaching Children demonstrated how they build a common Jewish-Arab regional and communal sphere; fourth graders presented Together with the Environment; and our flagship program, Shared Communities, was presented by mayors Ilan Sadeh from Menashe Municipal Council, Mursi Abu Moch from Baqa al-Gharbiyye, and Itzik Cholavsky from Megiddo.  Two teachers from the program presented the joint curriculum of Heart to Heart, funded by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The President responded with great interest and excitement, and said in his concluding speech:
"Here you are setting the ground for the place where peace is eventually going to grow. You succeed where politicians have failed, and our delegation will publicize this special place in Germany and make sure it receives more support."
Let me conclude with a call to you: This week we are holding a special day in commemoration of 50 years to the Occupation. On Thursday, June 8, we will march along the Green Line in our region, in order to bring our country's need to end the conflict back into public awareness, based on the two state solution within mutually and internationally recognized and accepted borders. We in Givat Haviva are working towards the existence of a shared, equal society in Israel, and towards the establishment of peace between the two nations. This week, we are calling on you to join us. Come and take part in the march and in the events following it, which will take place at the Givat Haviva campus. Together, we will bring change!
Yaniv Sagee
Executive Director, Givat Haviva