In its 5th year, the Givat Haviva Annual Shared Society Conference is widely recognized as the primary convening event for all actors working to build a shared society in Israel. The first four conferences (2013 - 2016) brought together hundreds of citizens and leaders from diverse sectors of Jewish and Arab society, including civil society, government, private sector, academia and the donor community, and garnered high-profile backing from State of Israel President Reuven Rivlin, U.S. President Barack Obama, and Palestinian Authority Head Mahmoud Abbas. These events provide a much-needed platform for discussions, experience sharing, and collaborative strategy development towards building a shared society in Israel.
Roadmap for a Shared Society
In 2016, with the backing of the European Union, Givat Haviva launched the project, “Roadmap for a Shared Society” to conduct the first inclusive process of developing and advocating for a comprehensive program of implementable, measurable goals toward a shared society in Israel. During the first stage, the project convened Jewish and Arab leading public figures in Israel in an historic process to formulate a document consisting of practical steps to move the State of Israel toward a shared society. Five professional groups, with members from government, business, and civil society, each led by prominent Jewish and Arab public figures and a facilitator with expertise in the area, met over a period of nine months to articulate concrete goals and measures in the areas of education, economic development, governance/local governance, land use, and cultural representation and restorative processes.
The 5th Annual Givat Haviva Shared Society Conference marked the first presentation of these recommendations to the public, and the launch of the public engagement stage of this project. Leaders and participants from each of the 5 professional working groups presented the recommendations and their rationale. Arab and Jewish public figures responded, including Mayor Mahmoud Aasi of Kfar Bara, Dr. Chaim Weizmann of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, and former MK Rabbi Dov Alan Lipman. Two international experts on minority populations from Europe, Dr. Francesco Palermo, Director of the Institute for Studies on Federalism and Regionalism, and Dr. Bryn Steiner of the Nansen Center for Peace and Dialogue offered their remarks on the project. The conference concluded with the first of 40 public engagement meetings of the Roadmap for a Shared Society program.
Funding for the conference was generously provided by: