Promoting Jewish-Arab coexistence

The new general director of the Givat Haviva Center for Shared Society in Israel, Michal Sella, reported on their current work and projects in the latest education committee meeting. The background was a motion by the coalition of the SPD, Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen and the FDP for an update on the cooperation agreement between the Rhineland-Palatinate Ministry of Education with the Shoah memorial Yad Vashem and Givat Haviva. The President of the State Parliament, Hendrik Hering, also exchanged views with Michal Sella.

This cooperation agreement was signed in 2018. In the motivation for the motion, Sven Teuber (SPD) explained how important the cooperation with Givat Haviva was, especially in the area of ​​advanced training for teachers from Rhineland-Palatinate. There is a broad consensus of appreciation for Givat Haviva's work. State Secretary for Education Bettina Brück praised Givat Haviva's work in the field of Jewish-Arab coexistence and the promotion of democracy and tolerance. In addition to basic and advanced training for teachers, study trips to Israel and a regular exchange of young people are also planned, said Bettina Brück. The education committee plans to travel to Israel in early 2023 to get an accurate picture of the local education system.

Creating encounters

Michal Sella gave an overview of Givat Haviva's current work and thanked the State of Rhineland-Palatinate for its ongoing support. The end of the pandemic is awaited with great longing, so that the project work can be resumed in full breadth and depth. Michal Sella explained that only 0.4% of Jewish and Arab youth in Israel have the opportunity to meet each other in suitable, meaningful programs during their school career. The education system in Israel strictly separates Jews and Arabs.

One of Givat Haviva's primary goals is therefore to create opportunities for Jewish and Arab youth to meet. In addition to the Jewish-Arab Center for Peace, there are a large number of cultural and educational institutions on the Givat Haviva campus in Israel. These include the art center, the archive and research center of the youth movement Hashomer Hatzair Yad Yaari and the Center for Holocaust Studies Moreshet. There is also a center for Arabic language and culture. Here you can learn the modern, colloquially spoken Arabic and encounter the local culture of the Arab Israelis.

The President of the Landtag, Hendrik Hering, received the new General Director Michal Sella in the context of her visit to Rhineland-Palatinate in the Landtag and exchanged ideas with her about the current and future educational policy challenges in Israel and Rhineland-Palatinate. “Givat Haviva lives the values ​​of democracy, diversity and tolerance in an exemplary manner”, said the President. “The encounters between Jewish and Arab young people serve to break down mutual stereotypes at an early stage and promote peaceful coexistence”.