Public Engagement Updates

May 2019


On May 5, Givat Haviva hosted an interfaith event with Tag Meir Forum. The purpose of the meeting was to protest the murder of innocent believers and the destruction of houses of prayer around the world:




  • The murder of 11 Jewish worshipers at the Etz Hayim Synagogue in Pennsylvania
  • The murder of 49 Muslim worshipers in two mosques in New Zealand
  • The murder of  more than 300 Christian worshipers in three churches in Sri Lanka
  • The murder of a Jewish worshiper at the Chabad synagogue in California




May be the memory of all of these Muslim, Christian and Jewish believers be a blessing. The participants spoke for peace among all people everywhere.






Givat Haviva’s Education Department worked with the Givat Haviva International High School (GHIS) faculty to create processes for navigating the charged days of national significance in May – Holocaust Memorial Day, Israel’s Memorial and Independence Days, Palestinian Nakba Day, and the month of Ramadan, which also covered most of May this year. The students were courageous in opening all of the difficult issues for discussion, learning about each other’s history, narratives, and identity, and coming up with ways to honor and acknowledge everyone’s heritage equally. Quite a worthy accomplishment.


The 2019 Visual Art Class presented GHIS’ first ever exhibition, offering a glimpse into what students have gone through this year. The exhibition features the creations of twenty-two talented and unique students, with a variety of cultural backgrounds and different stories to tell.

The name of the exhibition “Site Specific Me” is based on the art term “Site Specific,” which means artwork created explicitly for a certain place. The class learned about site-specific art and did some basic practice in Givat Haviva’s old library, a building designed by Mr. Shmuel Mestechkin, an Israeli architect who was a former Bauhaus student and one of the leaders of the “International Style” movement in the 1930’s. The visual art class presented the exhibition in the abandoned tower just before its renovation to serve as an advanced learning center for GHIS.


Site Specific Me was also about the unique experience of each student in the specific site of GHIS in Israel, about being who you are in new, challenging, and diverse surroundings. Some students left home, a 15-minute drive from Givat Haviva, while others made a long journey from other continents. Their first year of living and learning together in Givat Haviva was a meaningful journey that left an impact on each individual. Students were forced to open their minds to experiences and stories they were not familiar with, some offer perspectives, which seemed to contradict with what they knew about themselves and their surroundings. These encounters made each student look inside and, on one hand, emphasize lines in her or his own identity and heritage, on the other side, reexamine beliefs and agendas.

In their artistic journeys, students examined different components of their identity: nationality, gender, ideologies, beliefs, and dreams. It sparked the gap between the way I feel and the way others see me, between the superficiality of labels and stereotypes.


GH-IS  an English-speaking two-year international boarding school in Israel offering the prestigious IB Diploma Programme.

Our community of students learn live and lead together. It is a school like no other:
Located in Israel, bringing together local Arabs and Jews with students from around the world.

GHIS offers a unique Leadership Program -both theoretical and practical.


APPLY NOW to Givat Haviva International School


Please note! Due to the new elections, Givat Haviva’s Hike & Bike Tour has been rescheduled, along with the annual Shared Society Conference and 70 year anniversary celebration.


APPLY NOW to Givat Haviva’s Hike & Bike Tour

 April 2019

Join us in September!  For more information click here
Many groups from overseas visited Givat Haviva during this time. We hosted two groups of the Association for Volunteering, each with about 40 young people from Germany and France, another volunteer seminar, university groups from Canada, the United States and Germany, and various high schools. American Jewish youth met with Arab peers in Baka al-Garbiyeh, giving them the rare opportunity to interact with Arab youth in Israel. It is clear that even two hours can have an influence and stimulate new perspectives.
But the highlight was the two groups that stayed with us for a few days:
The first was a group of Catholic teachers from Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, who visited for three days. We visited Kibbutz Mishmar Ha'emek and Sakhnin, showing them both routine and challenges of life in Israel.
The second group, from Fordham University in New York, came for a 10-day program, as part of a course dealing with Israeli society, culture and geopolitics. They first focused on various activities in Givat Haviva and its environs, then toured the north, the Gaza perimeter, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem, for an interesting, complex, and instructive experience.
On top of their demanding academic curriculum, Givat Haviva International High School (GHIS) was full of additional activities. A ‘Media & Journalism’ theme week in March included a storytelling workshop led by Sarah Perle, in which students learned how to turn their own stories or ideas into a compelling social media story, and two journalist speakers, our very own Dr. Abed who led a Q&A panel and Fourat Nsar from Baka al-Garbiyeh, who talked about his role as an Arab-Israeli reporter living in Israel, the items he covers and the processes behind the scenes. The students learned a great deal about the life of a journalist!
Ran Kuttner (Givat Haviva’s Academic Advisor) also introduced students to Fee, a German student, studying a Masters in ‘Peace and Conflict Management’ at Haifa University. She facilitated three interactive workshops with the students dealing with core issues in conflict management and applying these to everyday life situations for the GHIS Community.
A need was felt for a stronger, more united student body, and with the GHIS Team’s help, the student body designed the format of a special delegation of students that will meet and discuss issues with the administration on a weekly basis. After a long process, which included speeches and debates, three representatives were elected by the students.
This is only a small sample of the rich and varied activities of the school during this time.
Read more in the GHIS newsletter
Givat Haviva International High School is accepting applications for 11th graders for the 2019-2020 school year.
For more information or to apply now






Givat Haviva International School (GHIS) Grand Opening Ceremony was held on October 10th. The mood was jubilant and every student played a role in hosting and entertaining a full house of families, friends and dignitaries. A short film produced and directed by a group of students “A Day in the Life of GHIS” had its premiere screening. Other students performed national dances of their countries, which involved hours of teaching and practicing together. Inspiring speeches were given by Yaniv Sagee and individual students who shared their personal stories and experiences. October was the school’s first ever full academic month. It was a very exciting and busy time at school as students selected their courses for the next two years, and teachers created engaging and inspiring lessons with our new academic resources. GHIS students and teachers have come together across a wide variety of academic topics and extracurricular activities. We launched the Creativity, Activity, Service program (CAS) and are constantly discovering exciting new opportunities for student involvements in the greater community.


The first month of GHIS – Givat Haviva International School
"A month ago I embarked on a journey. I came to the international school in Givat Haviva with great excitement and great anticipation," says Dolev of Be'er Sheva.
"I came to the international school in Givat Haviva with great excitement and great anticipation," says Dolev of Be'er Sheva, who is moving to the Givat Haviva International School.
Classes are in English and during the breaks they communicate in English. Despite the challenges of language, in the first month friendships and connections from all corners of the globe were created, the kind most of us do not experience in a lifetime. "One of the biggest challenges I'm experiencing here is the language gap, it's hard to speak English every day, but on the other hand, it's amazing that I have friends from every corner of the world and the staff is very supportive and helpful with the language, so that makes it easier and safer," says Dolev.
Karaara heard about the school from his mother and he immediately liked it. "It's a special experience for me to come here and meet new friends." He says, "In our community, we like everyone and accept everyone and their religion. For example I am a Muslim and I study with Jews, Christians and Muslims. I enjoy speaking English and it is actually quite easy for me.
"During the first month, the students who lived in Givat Haviva enjoyed a variety of social activities and began to get to know each other. We were all very excited and could see that everyone wanted to meet everyone and get to know new friends. It's something I've never experienced elsewhere. We participated in all kinds of social activities with our advisors Roy and Iris. Later on, we met the teachers and experienced all kinds of classes and courses. This month we start to study the courses we chose and I really want to start, the school really supports me with everything I need, the teachers are supportive and the students are really nice. Social life occupies a very important place in the school. Instead of talking about multiculturalism, we experience it here.
"Apart from the experience of living with people from all over the world, I just spent a couple of hours sitting around talking to an Israeli-Palestinian friend and hearing other aspects of the conflict taking place in Israel and getting to know it from another direction. There is a place for everyone to express himself and bring his tone to the scene," says Dolev. “It's only been a month, but I feel empowered and admit that I even wanted to go back to school after the weekends, because it's interesting and it's where my friends are. Although we can feel how we’re just at the beginning, this is an opportunity to play a significant part in the establishment of the school. "
"I wish myself a good year and that I will leave here with lots of new information and friends for the rest of my life," sums up Elia, and we wish her the same.