Educational Updates

May 2019


In April, Children Teaching Children (CTC) held uni-national class sessions and group facilitator meetings to develop the program, with the aim of increasing knowledge and developing a discourse on the subject of "shared society".

May saw the final meetings of the pairs. Here are examples of a few final projects initiated by children in one of the pairs:

  • “CTC in One Word" – one of the participants surveyed all the students in the pair, asking them to capture the CTC program in one word. Then she wrote each word on a card, and colored and decorated them, creating a "book of meanings."
  • "The Big Questions That Remain Open" – participants created a poster, including questions like “Why only three joint meetings?” “Why is everyone afraid to talk about politics?” And “What is the influence of the CTC group within and outside the school?”
  • “Kahoot” presentation and quiz prepared by 8th graders, and an original video by 9thgraders, including humorous street interviews with current and past CTC students.


Heart to Heart program ambassadors Emma Zaid and Eshkar Kates from the 2018 delegation traveled to Canada in early April to participate in a fundraising event. The evening focused on the theme of a shared society and the journey they took together during the summer program in Canada and the continuation project after returning to Israel. The responses to Emma and Eshkar's speeches were very positive and embracing, and they left a strong impression on the Canadian donor community.

Graduates of the Canada 2018 Heart to Heart delegation held a discussion panel at a local high school, as part of the follow-up program. The panel was in the style of the local TV show "Pardon my Question," in which the graduates answered questions related to their joint journey, the program continuation, social change, identity, language, and joint Arab-Jewish youth leadership.

 In addition, a special alumni meeting was held for Heart to Heart, with Canadian donor Barbara Landau as a special guest. Alumni from 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2018 gathered at Givat Haviva to discuss and try to predict the future of our alumni program. Afterwards, participants enjoyed a delicious Iftar dinner at Baka al Gharbia. Thanks to the Nissim family and Amani Abu Mokh for hosting!

Meanwhile, graduates of this year’s Heart to Heart delegation met for Iftar in the home of the dear Wajdi and Adele Zaid from Kfar Qara (thank you!). It was an instructional, moving, and inspiring evening on rights, activism, leadership, and willpower with program sponsor David Lipsky of Canada and lawyer Abbas Abbas, head of the Al-Manara organization from Nazareth. The evening was another important step for the alumni program that focuses on continuing joint and long-term work as part of building a joint regional leadership of Arab and Jewish youth and parents.

Heart to Heart also began the process of preparing the 2019 delegation. A number of meetings were held for participants and, some of which were attended by the parents. All the meetings gave hope for significant action of Arabs and Jews together. 

In April, Givat Haviva held a training seminar for our Youth Encounters facilitators, which focused on successfully navigating the challenges of facilitating dialogue between Arab and Jewish youth in today’s charged political atmosphere, characterized by the aftermath of the Nation-State Law and the imminent elections. The seminar included working together as an Arab-Jewish facilitation team and coping with personal issues within the various processes. It was an exciting, close, uncompromising, and encouraging experience, that enhanced the facilitation team’s sense of partnership and solidarity.

The Education Department staff and facilitators, and the teachers who participated in Givat Haviva’s youth programming this year, are taking part in Dr. Anat Avrahami-Marom's research on the impact of the National Law on the atmosphere in Givat Haviva’s encounter programs. The youth, in our view, constitute a sensitive and important seismograph of the public, political, and social discourse in society, in a climate saturated with racism. We hope to learn much from her study.

Staff leadership has been busy planning a training for new Shared Society Dialogue Facilitators, scheduled for June, to train new facilitators in the approaches developed and refined in Givat Haviva’s youth encounter programs, teaching the skills needed to guide dialogue groups, working as an Arab-Jewish team, and familiarity with the world of content and complex issues of Shared Society.



Through Others’ Eyes 2018 reached the end of their program, but not of their connection and involvement. At the end of the final meeting, the participants prepared a coffee shop for their parents in the form of a quiz about their knowledge of the other society, an exciting Internet game in the same spirit, and a wonderful presentation about their time at camp. The event culminated in the awarding of certificates to the participants, witnessed by each other, their parents, and the Givat Haviva program team.

The 2019 "Through Other Eyes" group toured the separation fence with Director of Givat Haviva’s Jewish-Arab Center for Peace, Riad Kabha, and at the same time exercised the photographic skills acquired in the project.


 February  -  March 2019

Director of Givat Haviva’s Education Department, Samer Athamneh, shared these words in anticipation of Israel’s national elections:
I recommend that both new and veteran members of the Knesset from the whole political spectrum attend our civics classes and hear what Jewish and Arab students have to say about the true meaning of equal citizenship that embodies the hope of creating a better future for all of us. 
We will soon complete the 2018-19 school year, during which about 4000 Jewish and Arab students participated in ongoing educational programs from elementary to high school. All of our programs were conducted through the schools, some led by professional facilitators, others by schoolteachers, on subjects close to the physical and emotional world of the students. The Jewish and Arab students learned together. They studied both languages and the area in which they live, with all of its communities. Other students focused on art and creativity, others on shared public space, others dealt with culture and identity, and many made plans for the shared society we all yearn for. We could not do this without the generous support and support of educators in the region (teachers, principals and directors of education departments), program coordinators in the Education Department and many other public figures.
 Let us learn from the youth leadership groups that the Education Department sponsors through a variety of special programs aimed at nurturing an Arab-Jewish youth leadership that aspires to a normal and egalitarian life in this country. Come look the Jewish and Arab students in the eye and hear what they have to tell you, our dear representatives in the Knesset. We hope that after you hear them, laws will be enacted that will affect the common future of all of us.


Youth Encounters:
 In March, apart from our regular seminars, we were also able to meet students for learning sessions and meetings summing up series of encounters held, at our initiative and at the initiative of the teachers, while collaborating in content and process.
We held the year’s last two-day seminars for 10th and 11th graders, dealing with the complexity of our lives as Arabs and Jews. The students were given the opportunity to express and listen to the issues that concern them and to think about them in other perspectives. Teachers also went through a process of learning as educators who deal with this content, as well as their students.
Ninth graders from Umm al-Fahm and Pardes Hanna came to us after a series of meetings held by their teachers, organized by a Jewish teacher of Hebrew in Umm al-Fahm from our Hebrew Language Enrichment program "Yihyeh B’seder". Together the schools designed and carried out two successful reciprocal visits, and then came to us to continue the cultural learning with the professional facilitation of a dialogue and to discuss issues of common public space. It was a good meeting with fruitful cooperation.
Students from Ramle and  Gedera, who met for the second year in a series of meetings, also came to us as a pair of schools that had met as part of our "Shared Living" project and came to us to deepen the conversation that began in the last meeting the teachers had organized. It was a good day, as the teacher from Gedera wrote to us: "We were very happy to meet, to get to know each other and to visit you. We and our students were lucky to have this opportunity. Thank you for a meaningful, thought-provoking experience that we will continue to process in our classrooms, as well. We are certain we will meet again." The teachers also underwent a significant process during their visit to Givat Haviva, and we met a committed, dedicated and inspiring team of teachers.
The last seminar of the year was also between two schools that have been cooperating for many years, whose students had met for the first time about two months before they came to us. There was an interesting seminar. The students wanted to ask and challenge and left with a lot of learning. They will continue to meet, under the devoted care of their teachers.


Heart to Heart:
The second annual alumni conference of the Lev El Lev program was held at Givat Haviva in mid-March, under the title "Connected Together". The conference lasted for three consecutive days, and included leadership workshops and a cultural-political tour in search of shared spaces. An activist panel was held, which hosted representatives of civil society organizations such as Reut-Sadaka, Shinui-Mahapach and the Arava Institute, which inspired and motivated the alumni.
 The goal of the conference is to build a community base and a social network for alumni of Canadian delegations over the years, in order to provide them with professional tools and leadership skills to develop the idea of a shared society and institutionalize the principle of partnership and continuity in an annual forum that supports the alumni and strengthens them towards joint action in their communities. From this point of view, the conference focused this year on the theme of “from theory to implementation”, which provided alumni with various skills in community, social and political activism, the advantages of collective action and the importance of social initiatives for social change, equality and social justice.
We also had a visit from Prof. David Lipofsky, one of the hosts of the Heart To Heart program in Canada. He visited the home of Lynn Saif, an alumni of the 2018 delegation, joined by her friend, Reut Cohen, and her family, and 2016 alumni Vered and Noam for a festive dinner at the Saif family. They also visited the Al-Manarah Association for Support of Special Needs in Nazareth. During this visit, they shared experiences from the process they underwent during the delegations for the Al Manara website podcast. Lynn Saif wrote about the moving visit and the powerful experience she had with Reut Cohen: "Today we had the opportunity to accompany our amazing host, David, to Almanara, the first organization of its kind in Arab society in Israel. It was launched in 2005 by a group of community activists, led by Abbas Abbas, himself a visually impaired person, in Arabic, "Al-Manarah" means "lighthouse", reflecting the organization's commitment to serve as an information tower on disability rights and a source of empowerment for the disabled community.”


Children Teaching Children:
CTC Students from Musheirfe and Megiddo, met with a delegation from St. Louis at the Musheira School. The students told the delegation about their experiences in the program and how it affects the way they want to see Israeli society in the future.
Here are some of the CTC participants’ words:
“Different cultures and similar youth,
We will deal with difference and accept the other,
Outside, society is divided, burning, storming and raging
Inside is warm and fun, with a lot of smiles, and together despite our differences."


Elad Samama, CTC facilitator, wrote of the program from Kfar Kara and Pardes Hanna:
“CTC is an exceptional educational program that conducts multi-year activities in Jewish and Arab schools, focusing on acceptance of the other, equality, recognition and friendship. This is the fourth year that our school has participated.
“The program emphasizes the construction of preconditions necessary for the existence of meaningful dialogue in a reality in which spontaneous dialogue between Jews and Arabs is almost non-existent. The greatest part deals with uni-national work that emphasizes various Jewish and Arab groups, creating the ability to hold meaningful discourse that enables construction of a complex worldview through the learning and familiarity with oneself and the other, without canceling or rejecting the self, observing the conflict on both sides. Its purpose is dual construction, both of a unique national identity and of a civil identity. Creating a meaningful and authentic dialogue between Jews and Arabs in Israel as part of building a pluralistic social fabric. 
“We gave the students a joint summary activity - building a joint collage, which summed up the work of the program in the last two years. The two groups of students behaved impeccably! They were charming and exciting, and demonstrated cooperation, tolerance, and a desire for relationship and connection, and it was a pleasure to observe and experience them so excited about the encounter. Our students also shared that they had a great time, and it seemed to be a very meaningful experience for them.
“I would like to thank the Education Department at Givat Haviva - Orit and Zachariah - for their loving support and professional and dedicated guidance. To Samir, the legendary leader of the teams from Kfar Kara, working with him for the past five years has been a privilege. I would like to thank the Education Department of Givat Haviva - Orit and Zakaria, Michal Jaeger, the Class Coordinator, the educators for their cooperation, Moshe School Director, Lior Ozman, Junior High School Director, Galit Dagan, who enable me to make my dreams come true here at school - thanks for believing in me!
“I believe in the program, believe in a common society, and will proudly continue to lead our students in hopes for a better future, hoping for a better world ...”


Lev – Learning Together
This program includes nine pairs of Jewish and Arab classes (18 classes in total) from the entire region.
The program is led by teachers and educators themselves, with every Arab teacher and Jewish teacher leading the process in the pair they are responsible for and the meetings taking place alternately in the schools themselves. The content studied is a regional geography through which students learn and acquire knowledge about the area in which they live.
The atmosphere in the joint study sessions in all pairs is very positive and the educators report in-depth processes the children undergo, both in the experience of learning together, studying in two languages, and in turning the visits to the schools on the other side into a normal, accepted part of their routine. Some of the pairs chose to hold the last meeting outside of the school, in one of the sites in the region that they studied.


Together for the Environment
Three pairs of classes from different schools in the region participated in this program. The project involved six classes and 180 students from the two societies, who are only beginning to learn to write in their mother tongue. Ten meetings, necessitating communication between children of this age with no common language. Moreover, the program is designed to be taught by the school staff, and so can be run directly between the Arab and Jewish schools. The goal is for a child who enters the education system to meet the “other” each year through through content, until they are no longer "other."
This experiential program is based on communication through play, body language and especially art and a shared environment. The atmosphere reported is an empowering and enriching experience for the children, who enjoyed being together, despite the language barriers. At the closing meeting in Baka al-Gharbia, the students prepared pita bread with hyssop and played darboukas. The echoes from this encounter were tremendous.

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:

  • To enable Arab and Jewish students who live in the same geographical and social space to get to know each other on a personal and cultural level, and learn about their similarities and differences, while they host each other's schools.
  • To deal with regional issues: to get to know the common and diverse area in which they live, and the different characteristics of the localities included in it.
  • To develop civic awareness of the common public spaces around them (the meeting points) and how different people feel about them, by learning the concept of a "common public space" in different, broader and local contexts.

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.

November 2018


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.

October 2018

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.

July 2018


Heart to Heart:
While the government is busy enacting racist laws against the Arab population in Israel, the Heart to Heart delegation of 20 Jewish and Arab participants left for the Shomria camp in Canada and embarked on a fascinating and experiential journey of intercultural encounter and in-depth dialogue to promote the creation of a democratic and equal society in their own surroundings.
During their stay in the camp, they met with Canadian youth and the Heart to Heart community in Toronto, stayed in their homes, spoke to them and learned from their experience regarding the challenges of the intercultural encounter in general and Jewish-Arab relations in Israel in particular.
The delegation returned to Israel at the end of the month, full of exciting experiences in high spirits after a meaningful journey that they will remember for the rest of their lives. The delegation will continue to meet for a 15-month follow-up program under the dedicated guidance of veteran Children Teaching Children facilitators Rubi Sapir and Samira Asi.


We, the 2018 Heart to Heart delegation, have come together to express our opposition to Israel's recently legislated Nation State Bill.
We are Jewish and Palestinian youth, between the ages of 14 and 15 who are all citizens of Israel. We believe in creating a better future by working together towards a shared society. For the past three weeks we have been participating in a youth delegation in Canada in order to give hope to the next generation. read more...

June 2018 

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 program instructors Orna and Samir were invited to the Ruppin Academic Center and the Ibn Sina School in Kafr Qara to participate in a special ceremony devoted to the Israel Declaration of Independence. In front of a large audience of educators and students who attended the two events, our facilitators spoke of the value of equality, which is the main value in their educational practice, in order to promote a future shared society in Israel.



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.

February 2018

Pictures from a month of activity – Givat Haviva Education Department


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:




December  2017


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.



התמונה של ‏‎Samer Atamni‎‏.PRINCIPALS' CONFERENCE

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.


Encounters Program:

התמונה של ‏‎Samer Atamni‎‏.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.


התמונה של ‏‎Samer Atamni‎‏.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:


  1. Grades 8 from Meiser and Mevo'ot Iron.
  2. 7th grade from Sindyanna and Mevo'ot Iron.
  3. 7th grade from Sindyanna and Gvanim.
  4. Grades 7 from Meiser and Gvanim.
  5. 6th graders from Al-Khwarizmi and Re'ut.
  6. 6th graders from Meiser and Nitsaney Re'ut.


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.





November 2017

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.




Shared Public Space


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!

for more information...

October 2017

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.


A volunteer Jewish-Arab youth leadership program is underway!
This is a joint initiative of Givat Haviva and the youth departments of Baqa al-Gharbiyye Municipality and the Menashe Council.
The program was designed for volunteer youth in the community: youth counselors, young paramedics, volunteers in old age homes, mentors for at-risk youth and more. During December, the participants will attend an intensive one-week seminar led by the Kurt Loewenstein Foundation for Democratic Values and Active Citizenship in Germany.
The “Pardes” team, together with the Youth Departments of the partnership communities and Givat Haviva, will lead the Youth Leadership Program.
The program will focus on empowering civic values and youth volunteer activities in the communities in the region.

August 2017

Children Teaching Children Delegation – Heart to Heart 
The seventh Heart to Heart delegation, a leadership group of 20 Jewish and Arab graduates of the Children Teaching Children program, left for Hashomer Hatzair camp in Canada for three weeks earlier this month. The participants went through a preparation process of seven meetings in which they worked on consolidating the group, identities, narratives, and shared living. Their parents participated in two sessions that included getting acquainted, an explanation of the program, and a reflection on the involvement of the parents in the follow-up program. The group's experience in the camp was positive and the group continued to deal with the issues of a shared society and multiculturalism through acquaintance with Canadian society and meeting with Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religious leaders from Canada.
Unlike previous delegations, this year there is a pre-planned follow-up program.
The group began to work on planning joint projects on issues of education and language in Jewish-Arab relations. The participants returned at the end of the month with positive experiences and motivation to continue to participate in the follow-up program.



July 2017


The Education Department at Givat Haviva is in the midst of preparation for our next year of activity. We enlisted schools for the Encounters program, and we are preparing for activities in teachers' rooms in the coming month of September and for teaching the materials we developed, while also planning the regional school principals seminar, which will take place in the next few months. We wish all our teachers and students a pleasant and energizing summer vacation!
Read here about the Heart to Heart Delegation and the Children Teaching Children Program

Children Teaching Children Program  

The CTC program came to a close at the end of the school year. Festive diploma ceremonies were held during the past month, exposing the program graduates to the other students at their schools. Here is what one of the graduates from the Megiddo Regional High School said:  "The Program gave me the experience of a lifetime, and sharpened the meaning of the values of friendship and listening. I learned how much we need real listening, especially in the single-nation meetings, not only in the Jewish-Arab encounters." Several graduates of the CTC Program from Megiddo and Ma'ale Iron presented the Program and Givat Haviva during a meeting with the CEO of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, in the presence of the Mayor of Megiddo Municipal Council and the school principals. The meeting was very successful and left an excellent impression on the visitors from the Federation.

Heart to Heart Delegation to Canada
Six preparatory meetings for children and their parents were held in anticipation of the camp in Canada in early July.  The group is composed of children from various schools that participate in the Children Teaching Children Program. During the meetings, they had a chance to work as a group and participate in workshops on leadership and living together.

June 2017
On May 10, 2017, the Education Department held the last one-day seminar for the current academic year, for the Amal School from Qalansuwa and Hadassah Ne'urim. Since the beginning of the 2016-17 school year, the Education Department at Givat Haviva held 25 one-day seminars on Shared Public Space and 17 two-day seminars on the topic of Building a Shared Society.  Over 3000 Jewish and Arab students attended the programs.
The Education Department in collaboration with the Arts Center held two final meetings in May for Together in Art, the project for students in the 4th grade, which was implemented this year in two pairs, Emek Hefer–Zemer and Megiddo-Ma'ale Iron. The parents, the school principals and other guests attended the final celebration. The positive atmosphere was accompanied by an earnest request from students and parents alike to continue the project.
The joint learning encounters continued this month in all three pairs of schools, once at the Jewish school and once at the Arab school. The final sessions were held at Givat Haviva at the end of the month, and each pair chose to sum up its joint work in a different manner.
End of the year encounter between the Mu'awiya and Megiddo schools, May 21, 2017.

Children Teaching Children
May was full of end-of-the-year activities.
The President of Germany visited one of the meetings and was impressed with the joint group's work on the topic of the common public sphere, and building a common village.
Some of the sessions included a visit to the exhibition Ḥamsin at the Arts Center. The groups studied the subject through an examination of the process they had experienced together in the program, and as a way to clarify their individual and group vision and goals.
Most of the students summed up the program as very meaningful, and said it illuminates and raises many questions and thoughts for continuation of the journey, and for them as Arab and Jewish citizens in the country.

Canada Delegation – the 2017 group is on its way
After a long and complex process of selecting the CTC participants for the Heart to Heart delegation, a leadership group was selected, combining graduates of the Children Teaching Children program from various schools. We held a joint meeting for parents and children, focusing on getting to know each other and providing a general explanation about the delegation. Additional meetings were held separately for the Jewish and Arab children. The delegation will be accompanied and led by Robi Sapir and Esraa Kabha.