February - March 2019
December 2018 - January 2019
When the Arab schools returned from winter vacation in January, we resumed a wide range of educational programs. We held two two-day seminars, the first bringing 11th graders from the Al-Batuf High School, Araba and the Max Brenner high school students. A team of teachers and teachers came to us with a commitment to joint activity and encounters between Jews and Arabs. During the seminar we saw that the participants quickly connected, and social connections were created between them, which contributed to the seminar. The seminar included in-depth units on the lives of Jews and Arabs in the country. Participants discussed dilemmas and issues on how to implement the idea of a common society. The second seminar brought together 11th graders from the Al Hochma School in Sakhnin and two schools in Holon: the new high-tech high school and Katzir Holon, and the meeting was rich with open and committed students.
At the beginning of the second semester of the school year, we opened the "Shared Public Space" program, in its second year, in three classes. This program includes 4 sessions for each pair. We held the opening sessions of the program at Givat Haviva in introductory seminars of the pairs. The students will meet each other on organized visits to their schools, and will return to Givat Haviva for their last meeting. The objectives of the program are:
In Children Teaching Children, we held a series of binational meetings as part of the work process in which we focused on a deep acquaintance with the Arab communities. During the meetings, the participants learned about the history and characteristics of the communities and Arab society, including Palestinian and Jewish narratives of 1948. The tours included visits to unique places in the villages such as springs, holy places, cultural centers, and the schools. Complex issues were raised and processed in the uni-national follow-up meetings.
In addition, a program is being planned with municipal officials and students, connecting projects of the Shared Communities program with the CTC program.
Together with the Environment Program for Grade 2 includes three pairs of Jewish and Arab classes. The first two pairs began meeting in November and continue to meet once every two weeks. The meeting locations switch between the schools. The third pair began meeting in January.
The Learning Together Program includes nine pairs of Jewish and Arab classes. Five pairs began their joint work in October, and continue meeting alternately in the schools. The joint classes are taught by the teachers. Four new pairs started in January.
The month of November was filled with educational activities in the various programs run and led by the Department of Education in Givat Haviva for all ages, in partnership with many schools from the region and other places in Israel.
We believe that the teacher is the most important change agent in the field of education for a shared society. For this reason, in addition to all the educational programs that Givat Haviva’s Education Department operates, we are working to train more and more Jewish and Arab teachers to lead encounters and acquaintance processes in schools that are not in our educational programs. This month, we gave special training to teachers from the Tira and Kochav Yair schools, to enable them to lead their own meetings. We hope that in the coming months we will train more and more teachers, and in this way we will allow more students to experience meeting their peers on the other side of the ethnic divide.
November saw three two-day seminars on building a shared society and four one-day seminars on awareness of shared public space. In total, about 500 students attended the two programs.
In the first two-day seminar that took place this month, between schools in Nazareth and Modiin, we met very mature, courageous and attentive students who underwent a meaningful dialogue and learning process that continued between the students during breaks.
In the second two-day seminar, students from Kfar Kara and Menashe, who attended a two-day seminar last year, came to us and asked to meet again. We found that many students from both schools have been in touch since that seminar in the past year and are the ones who pushed their teachers for another seminar. We did a pilot for this and created new content, and most of the students ended with a feeling of a different experience than the previous year, with a more comfortable feeling that they wanted to work in small, mixed groups. In these, they explored various issues, including those that were not left unresolved last year. As second-timers, they were given the opportunity to take more responsibility for the encounter and its content, which proved successful.
In the third two-day seminar, students from Sakhnin and Mor-Maccabim Reut came to us. The encounter between them was strong and deep, with a respectful discourse between the students, who took the challenge with both hands and demonstrated an impressive degree of maturity and responsibility.
In addition, students from the region, from Mu'awiya, Kafr Kara, Baka al-Gharbia, Pardes Hanna and Megiddo, together with pupils from Nazareth and the Harod Valley, attended one-day seminars in which they were invited to meet as neighbors sharing a common region and to think about their meeting places as Arabs and Jews, and how they would design these to be more inclusive and welcoming. Some of the teachers who were at these encounters plan to continue activities with the students, on reciprocal visits under the responsibility of the schools.
Children Teaching Children (CTC): A number of binational meetings were held in the schools, during which the participants got to know each other’s school environment and understand the similarities and differences. This experiential learning opens a dialogue between the groups that enables the deepening of knowledge and closeness on the one hand, and the encounter with inequality on the other.
Each pair of classes has its own unique story. In Megiddo and Musmus-Ma'ale Iron, it is the beginning of a new partnership. This is the first year of the program, and in a moving and hopeful meeting held in the middle of the month in Megiddo, Abed Agbaria, coordinator of the program at Musmus. said "I have not visited a Jewish school since I finished my BA 15 years ago. The hospitality was amazing and we felt at home. The group’s work was significant and inspiring, and the curiosity and joy was evident from the students' eyes, and I feel that an important partnership has begun to build a better regional future."
Learning Together (Lev): Five pairs of classes began the program in October and four more will begin joint work in January. In this program students learn and learn about the area in which they live. As part of this program, the teachers of the classes underwent training on regional geography, after which each pair of classes held a meeting at Givat Haviva with facilitators from our Education Department. All five pairs had previously held a joint learning session led by the class teachers. The feedback we received from the students and the teachers was very positive.
Together for the Environment: This is a joint program of Givat Haviva’s Education Department and Collaborative Art Center. This year two pairs are participating, with 4 classes from Reut and Meisser schools from Menashe Regional Council.
Up until now, uni-national meetings were held in each school in both pairs, in order to prepare the children for their first meeting, then the binational meeting took place in Givat Haviva, and the third was held in the schools. School principals, classroom teachers, facilitators, and art teachers all reported a positive atmosphere and noted that the meetings were very experiential and instructive for the children.
This school year began differently from previous years, with different preparations in all the multi-age programs that the Education Department leads.
The summer was hot, the Knesset passed the Nation-State Law, and we were flooded with appeals from all kinds of schools and educators asking questions and wanting clarification about the pedagogy and methods of our educational programs in the new reality imposed on everyone. Above all, these appeals and the tremendous support of many school principals and educators from both Jewish and Arab sectors have reinforced our belief in the importance of our mission and our commitment to the dream of a shared society in Israel. Today, more than ever, the educational programs led and operated by the Education Department at Givat Haviva are more relevant and more important. We will continue to fight until our vision becomes reality.
The new real change necessitated departmental thinking and preparation for the opening of the 2018-19 school year. In addition to the department’s internal reexamination, we held another two-day training session for the Education Department facilitators. We emerged with new insights, professional methods, and strategies that are adapted to the reality imposed on us. The course was important for all of us, management, staff and mentors, and we gained clear view and renewed determination in our path. We hired new, talented facilitators and their integration into the veteran team was excellent.
All of the educational programs got off to a vigorous beginning:
In October, our youth encounter programs held 3 Two-Day Shared Society Seminars, starting with eleventh graders from Tel Aviv and Araba high schools, followed by Rabin High School from Mazkeret Batya and the Midian high school from Kfar Manda, and finally with students from Megiddo and Kfar Kara High School. We also held 3 One-Day Shared Public Space Seminars.
In our Children Teaching Children program, we started the series of binational meetings. The first, between the Pardes Hanna Democratic School and Meiser School, took place at the Fatma Baum Elektob Museum. The meeting focused on exposure to Arab culture, traditional tools, and Arab heritage. We held a joint meeting between eighth graders from the Ruppin School and Ibn Sina School from Baka al-Gharbia. The meeting focused on getting to know each other and touring the school to notice similarities and differences between the schools. The Mu'awiya and Ruppin schools also held their first joint meeting of the year.
In our LEV (Learning Together) program, 10 class pairs (20 Jewish and Arab classes from grades 7 and 8) were recruited from the region and a training meeting was held for teachers to lead the joint learning process on regional geography. In October, some of the pairs held their first meeting at Givat Haviva, where the students got to know each other and began preparing for the joint study process that will be led by the teachers and take place alternately in the Jewish and Arab schools.
Six 2nd grade classes (3 Jewish-Arab pairs) from the region were recruited for our Together for the Environment program, which will bring them together ten times during the year to learn about and create a project for their shared environments. Meetings were held with school principals, facilitators and art teachers were chosen, and the first of the 10 meetings per pair are underway.
Our veteran program Through Others’ Eyes presented its annual photography exhibition at the Givat Haviva Collaborative Art Center. The exhibition was created by the 20 Jewish and Arab teens, who spent a year getting to know each other, learning photography, and visiting each other’s homes to photograph. Meanwhile, this coming year’s cohort of 20 Jewish and Arab students were selected and will hold their first meeting at the Givat Haviva Collaborative Art Center in early November.
Our Youth Exchange between Givat Haviva-Germany-Poland got underway for the third year, as we hosted a group of youth from Germany and Poland for a week. The guests, together with students from Megiddo High School and the Kfar Kara High School, took part in a fascinating seminar at Givat Haviva on the topic of Righteous among the Nations in the past and present. After studying some key figures (Righteous among the Nations from Poland, Germany, and Muslims from Albania), the students considered the special characteristics those who were involved in rescue had in common. We asked ourselves what were the motives for the acts of heroism. What dangers were faced by the rescuers and those persecuted at that time? Who are those persecuted nowadays and what is required of us in order to help? The group visited the Shomali family from Hadera (a Muslim family that has been living in good neighborly relations with Jews for decades). We toured the area and heard their story about the rescue of a Jewish family during Israel’s War of Independence / the Palestinian’s Naqba. We visited Yad Vashem, where the students began to trace archival materials about Righteous among the Nations in the museum library, and visited an old age home in Jerusalem where we heard the testimony of Holocaust survivors from Germany and Poland. The German and Polish students visited Bethlehem, the Dead Sea and Tel Aviv-Yafo and stayed with the families of the students from Megiddo High School and the Kfar Kara High School.
This month, intensive preparatory activities took place, including three parent-child sessions for the HEART TO HEART delegation to the summer camp in Canada.
This year's group consists of graduates of the Children Teaching Children (CTC) program - ten Jewish students from three schools and ten Arab students from three schools.
The delegation's children and parents participated this year in the festive Iftar dinner held in Givat Haviva.
At the end of the month, a farewell party was held for Rubi Sapir, a 24-year-veteran CTC facilitator, who retired from teaching at the Mevo'ot Iron High School but continues to guide the program at the school. The event was very moving and was attended by a large team of CTC instructors and the Education Department.
Annual closing meetings were held in all schools with principals, class coordinators and program facilitators. The feedback was very positive and there is a great desire to continue the CTC program and expand it.
CTC (CHILDREN TEACHING CHILDREN) PROGRAM IN RUPPIN AND KAFR QARA
I AM/NOT WANTED?
During the Passover week, Givat Haviva hosted a group of German youth who arrived in Israel on a reciprocal visit.
The Youth Exchange Delegation is part of an annual leadership project of the youth departments of the Baqa al-Gharbiyye and Menashe Partnership.
The project is led by the Education Department at Givat Haviva and the Pardes program, a group of Hashomer Hatzair educators engaged in youth education for social involvement and activism.
The name that was chosen for the project, "I am/not wanted?" refers to the issue of the refugees, from a past and present perspective, with regard to the waves of war refugees and labor migrants during the Holocaust, after the Second World War and to this day, in Germany, Israel and other countries in Europe and Africa. Read more ...
A groundbreaking project for Arab teachers and Jewish teachers from state religious schools
The new training course led by the Education Department staff for Arab teachers and Jewish teachers from the state religious education system continued to meet. The goal of the course is to build a common educational concept, focusing on issues of mutual respect, intercultural and religious acceptance, and understanding of the common civic space.
Workshop for Arab teachers and teachers from the State Religious Education System
For the first time in Israel, a first course of its kind on the subject of coexistence opened in Givat Haviva for Arab teachers and teachers from the state religious education system. The course is a joint initiative of the Givat Haviva Education Department and Tag Meir.
Heart to Heart – across the generations
The first conference of graduates of the "Heart to Heart" program took place on February 10th in Givat Haviva. "We were pleased to discover that many of the participants carry good memories of the program and pass on the commitment to find a way for Jews and Arabs to live together," the organizers say.
The green lawns of the Jewish-Arab Center for Peace at Givat Haviva were teeming on Saturday with the dozens of graduates of the Heart to Heart program, who met for the first time in order to examine what are the memories that the graduates carry in their hearts and the positions they hold over the years.
"The Canadian donors and the program staff initiated the conference to see how much the camp experience influences the participants over time," says Rubi Sapir, a member of Kibbutz Maanit, who has been accompanying the program since its inception and is an active partner in guiding the groups.
Some 60 Jewish and Arab graduates who have participated in youth delegations to Canada over the last 6 years attended the conference. The first delegation left in 2011 and since then a delegation of 20 Jewish and Arab youth has been leaving for a joint summer camp in Canada. The teens were ninth graders who graduated from the Children Teaching Children program, residents of Menashe Regional Council, Baka, Wadi Ara and the surrounding areas.
The conference program included a meeting of the delegations. Hussam from Kafr Qara, currently a computer science student at Haifa University, said that his experience in the delegation of 2011 enabled him to get to know Jewish teens, and to realize that they share a great deal in common: "Since then I have kept in touch with Jewish friends from the delegation, and when I was assigned to live in the university dorms with Jewish students, I had no problem. I do not always agree with them politically, but I can live with them, despite our different opinions."
"There is no doubt that this experience accompanies me every day," says Loren Stern, a soldier in the IDF. "Everywhere I go, I tell about the personal acquaintance I experienced with Arab youth, and how positive this experience was."
Noa Nusenkorn, an 11th grader at Mevo'ot Iron High School, who participated in the delegation last summer, spoke about the special significance she found in the words of our national anthem, Hatikvah, in the wake of what she experienced in the camp.
Following the success of the first conference, its initiators decided, together with the graduates, to maintain regular contact during the year, and to make the conference a tradition every year.
Through Different Eyes Youth Leadership
A regional leadership group for Arab and Jewish youth met this month for a seminar on shared society. This group has been meeting once a week since the beginning of September 2017. The young people learn about the reality of our lives as Jews and Arabs through the lens of the camera. In the summer, the group will travel to a summer camp in the United States and after they return to Israel, they will lead joint projects in their communities.
A training course for the directors of the youth promotion departments on Holocaust and Nakba memory
Right: Prof. Mustafa Kabha on the Nakba of the Palestinian people and its implications.
Left: Dr. Batya Dvir from the Moreshet Heritage Center on Holocaust denial after World War II.
Students of Musmus learn to give a speech in Hebrew
Sanaa, a student from the elementary school in Musmus, speaking at the graduation event of the Yachad – Children Teaching Children program, led by the Givat Haviva team.
The program was implemented this year in the Ma'ale Iron municipal council, together with schools from the Megiddo Regional Council. You are invited to listen to Sanaa:
NOVEMBER IN THE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT was full of activities involving programs for the full educational life cycle. Many students of all ages and from a wide range of schools attended programs run by the department, in addition to a principals' conference and meetings in teachers' rooms to expose the curricula we have developed on regional geography and civics.
On Nov 9, 2017, the first Regional Principals' Conference was held. The conference was the first of its kind in Israel, attended by 53 principals of Jewish and Arab schools from our region, all the directors of the education bureaus in the region, mayors, the Director of the Department for Civic Education and Coexistence at the Ministry of Education, Ms. Dana Friedman, the Arab Superintendent at the Ministry of Education in the Haifa District and others. At the conference, Givat Haviva’s Education Department unveiled the regional educational strategy that has been operating successfully for four years, from elementary school to high school. In addition, the Department of Education presented the educational content developed in the areas of regional geography and civics. The feedback we received from the principals following the conference was very positive, and many of them who did not take part in our work in the past expressed an interest in integrating it into the next school year.
Teachers' Room Meetings:
In November, we held four meetings in teachers' rooms in four schools in the region, where we showcased the content developed by the Department of Education in Givat Haviva on the subjects of regional geography and civics. A total of 90 teachers participated. In December, we will continue to do this in more Jewish and Arab schools.
Participation in conferences:
Samer Atamneh, Director of Givat Haviva’s Education Department, presented a workshop on Education for Shared Regionality in a conference at the Adam Institute in Jerusalem.
380 Arab and Jewish students met in our seminars in November, as part of the "Encounters" program. There were three meetings of the "Shared Space" program, three two-day seminars ("Shared Society") and a one-day seminar ("Civic Awareness for a Common Public Space").
In the "Shared Space" program, which takes place between two pairs of schools from our regional partnerships, the remaining ninth graders from the four schools met after all their peers had already participated in this program at Givat Haviva during October.
These were the first encounters in the series of meetings of the program, as a class from an Arab school with a class from a Jewish school, and they focused on personal and cultural acquaintance and building a foundation and alliance between the students and the pairs of teachers in preparation for the next stages of the program: visits to each other’s schools, acquaintance with the students’ different home communities and the common area in which they live, and then, once again, coming to Givat Haviva for a seminar on civil awareness of common public space.
The students got to know each other, learned and asked about each other and came out with a good feeling and a desire to continue to meet. The students told their friends at school about the meeting, so that the last groups from each class arrived for their first meeting with great anticipation. The pairs of educators also became acquainted and left with a sense of a good experience that would serve them in leading the program.
In the two-day seminars, 10th-12th graders met with "shared society" issues, with all the opportunities and challenges involved. They got to know each other, including their similarities and differences, as individuals and as groups. The students asked questions related to the society in which they live, and its degree of equality and democracy, from the different points of view. They learned about the education system and asked whether and how it taught them about each other. In addition, they experimented with dialogue and discussion tools in complex situations. Two of the three seminars brought together schools located in a nearby geographical area.
Children Teaching Children Program:
In November, over 400 Jewish and Arab students from the Menashe region, Baqa al-Gharbiyye, Kafr Qara, Pardes-Hanna, Mu'awiya, Musheirifa and Megiddo participated in the joint meetings.
Two meetings were held at Mevo'ot Iron (eighth and ninth grades) with the Al-Andalous School. The encounter included personal acquaintance and group acquaintance. In addition, there was a joint and guided tour of the school with learning about every place. The Arab children taught the Jewish group Arabic words related to the tour.
Two meetings were held at the Megiddo school. The Megiddo group met with the group from Mu'awiya (ninth grade). At the meeting, the children talked about their expectations. There was a connection between the children especially since this was the second time that the students of Mu'awiya were hosted in Megiddo, and the children came out feeling very good and comfortable.
The 8th grade in Megiddo met with the group from Musheirfa. It was the first meeting, and we could see that the children came with great enthusiasm, joy, excitement and a desire to meet.
In addition, a meeting was held at the Meiser School with the Pardes Hanna Democratic School. This was a new group, and the first part was devoted to personal and group acquaintance. The second part included a guided tour of the village accompanied by the facilitators and teachers, where the children were given explanations about the Arab village and its uniqueness. Finally, they visited the mosque.
Another meeting took place at the Ruppin School with the Ibn Sina School, which was the first meeting for these groups. The principals and the head of the parents' committee attended the meeting and welcomed the Ibn Sina students from Kfar Qara. The head of the parents' committee suggested holding follow-up meetings with the children's parents.
Yachad/Together Program for 4th graders:
Two pairs of schools are participating in the program this semester:
1- Omarim Elementary from Megiddo Regional Council – Musmus Elementary from Ma'ale Iron Regional Council.
2- Plagim Elementary from Megiddo Regional Council – Musmus Elementary from Ma'ale Iron Regional Council.
The meetings were held alternately in each pair, once in the Jewish school and once in the Arab school. Two facilitators (Jewish and Arab) accompany the meetings in the schools on behalf of Givat Haviva. In the first half of each meeting, there is an experiential activity based on a structured curriculum related to the Jewish-Arab subject - two art teachers (Jewish and Arab) are joined by the homeroom teachers. The reports we receive from the team that runs the project and from the school principals are very positive and the students seem to enjoy the activity and the mutual visits.
Project LEV (Study Together):
This program includes six pairs of classes that conduct a joint learning process on the topic of regional geography. It is held alternately in the following schools:
Each pair has six meetings, the first in Givat Haviva and then four meetings that take place alternately in the schools, led by the two teachers of the classes. At the sixth and final meeting, the classes go on a joint tour of the area. All the pairs have held five meetings so far and in December will hold the joint tour. The educators who lead the program, the principals, the program coordinators from the Department of Education and the students themselves report a positive atmosphere and a rich educational and learning process.
Givat Haviva Education Department at the peak of its activity
The Department of Education in Givat Haviva began to implement its various educational programs about three weeks from the start of the new school year 2017-18.
As part of the "Mifgashim" ("Encounters") program, promoting dialogue and the values of shared society between Jewish and Arab high school students in Israel, we have held four seminars so far. Two were held last month between Megiddo High School and Arraba Albatouf High School, and the Leo Baeck High School from Haifa and the Albayan High School in Sakhnin.
The program seeks to address the challenge facing Israeli citizens in the common public space that Jews and Arabs share daily. Comfortable and accessible sharing of the same public sphere - hospitals, parks, malls, etc. – by Jews and Arabs requires learning and acquiring skills. The program focuses on these issues and deals with them on three levels: the first - the level of knowledge, the second - the level of the encounter and the third - the level of skills.
In this framework, entire classes of ninth graders in our region participate this year. In total, we conducted 8 seminars this month, in which 485 students participated.
Meetings in teachers' rooms:
Since the beginning of the school year, we held numerous meetings with schools in order to schedule 11 meetings in teacher rooms for 11 different schools in the area. The intent is to expose the teachers’ community to the content developed by Givat Haviva’s Educational Department in the subjects of regional geography and civics. In October, the first meeting took place in the al-Haouarni school in Kafr Kara, attended by the entire faculty.
Givat Haviva International School – The Academy for Leadership in a Shared Society
In recent years, we have experienced trends of social polarization in Israel, in Europe, in the U.S.A, and all over the world.
Many people are not interested in getting to know other cultures, and cultural conflicts arise.
We have realized that there is a lack of leaders who believe in a vision of shared societies and lead in that direction. We at Givat Haviva decided to take the knowledge we have acquired during decades of activity, and apply it in order to establish an international school where teens from Israel and from around the world will learn how to become global citizens and celebrate multiculturalism.
Our academy will serve as an incubator for a community of young leaders who have the skills, knowledge, practical experience, and commitment for leadership in a shared society. The academy will open in September 2018 for students in the 11th and 12th grades, who will study, experience and live at Givat Haviva for two years. The school will offer classes in English, in a renowned, prestigious academic program, which has a proven record in admission to leading universities around the world.
We will soon begin recruitment of staff,faculty and students. Stay tuned!
Beginning of the school year
We began our educational activity in September, at the start of the 2017-18 academic year. As part of the Encounters Program, we already held two seminars for groups from the Ma'ayan High School from Emek Hefer, Franciscan Sisters IHM School from Nazareth and Ostrovsky HS in Ra'anana. Both seminars were excellent and students and teachers alike reported having a meaningful experience.
We also held a professional development workshop for teachers who lead the Lev (Learning Together) Program, and we had the first two encounters between the pairs of 7th grade classes taking part in the program – Meiser and Re'ut, G'vanim and Sindyanna. The rest of the pairs will begin their encounters in early October.
During this month, we continued preparations for various activities, including the first regional directors' conference for education for a shared society, to be held on Nov. 9, 2017 in Givat Haviva.