An essential component of Givat Haviva's programming involves Equality initiatives, which focus on the minority groups within Israeli society, most significantly Israeli Arabs and women.  The establishment of a Shared Society in Israel necessitates the development of equal capacities for all citizens. To this end, Givat Haviva leads capacity building processes among disadvantaged, marginalized and minority populations through various training, empowerment and development initiatives. These activities enable people to affect change in their own lives, their communities and their society, thereby enhancing quality of life and strengthening the foundations of a just and sustainable Israeli democracy.

Recognizing that civic equality and empowerment are critical to creating a Shared Society, Givat Haviva develops and implements programs that build on capacity, promote equality and encourage civic engagement among the Arab citizens of Israel. Equality programming currently features two key projects targeting populations that hold significant, untapped potential for generating positive social and economic progress in Arab communities: women and young people.  The Mustashara program builds the capacity of female Advisers on the Advancement of the Status of Women in Arab municipalities, enhancing their performance and overall impact on Arab women in Israel.  The Hebrew Language Enrichment program enhances knowledge of the Hebrew language and culture among Arab students, increasing their capacity to succeed in Israeli society.  In addition, the Count My Vote initiative promotes the participation of Arab citizens in the political process in Israel, increasing their civic engagement and capacity to have a meaningful impact on the shape of Israeli democracy.

Hebrew Language Enrichment Program 

With the belief that language plays a critical role in empowering socio-economic mobility, while fostering cross-cultural understanding and reducing racism among divided groups, Givat Haviva has developed a unique Hebrew Language Enrichment Program for Arab schools in Israel.  The program aims to enhance the knowledge of Hebrew language and culture among Arab middle school students in order to increase their capacity to succeed in Israeli society, while reducing animosity, fear and stereotypes towards Jewish citizens.

The Hebrew Language Enrichment program aims to strengthen and deepen the knowledge of Arab students in Hebrew language and culture, with an emphasis on spoken language and contemporary everyday culture.  Currently in a pilot stage, the program will be run for students in seventh, eighth and ninth grade classes in Arab schools across the country.  In the 2014-2015 school year, there are 3,459 classes (across all three age groups) spread over 373 educational institutions.  This target audience was chosen because in these classes, all students are taught four weekly hours of Hebrew (as opposed to high school where the number of Hebrew study hours is affected by the number of study units chosen by the students).  We believe that the success of the program in middle schools will improve the students' level of Hebrew, thereby encouraging them to choose more units of Hebrew study prior to matriculation in high school.

The Hebrew instruction program will include 15 weekly sessions that will take place consecutively over several months in the middle of the school year.  In these sessions, a Hebrew teacher will engage the students in conversational Hebrew and Hebrew culture.  The lessons will be taught by Jewish instructors specifically trained for this purpose.  In addition, the program will facilitate meetings between the students and well known figures in Jewish-Israeli culture, business and local/national government. The program will be led by a Steering Committee comprised of prominent business and academic leaders committed to forging Shared Society in Israel.

Middle-school aged Arab students will learn real-world Hebrew language and culture from a Jewish teacher through weekly lessons conducted over a three year period for each participant.  The goal of the program is to strengthen and deepen the knowledge of Arab students in Hebrew language and culture, with an emphasis on spoken language and contemporary everyday culture. The three main themes of the course include:

  1. Cultural Integration
  2. Integration into Higher Education
  3. Increased Employability
To this end, the program aims to achieve the following objectives:

  • To increase the amount of innovative material available to instructors to strengthen and deepen the knowledge of Arab students in Hebrew language and culture.
  • To increase the knowledge and capabilities of instructors from the current 0 to 11 instructors in Hebrew language instruction.
  • To increase the number of youth who are trained in Hebrew Language with a focus on cultural integration.
  • To enhance familiarity and understanding between Jewish and Arab educators.

 Mustashara مستش ارة                                                                                                                                             Advancing the Status of Arab Women in Israel

While Arab women are among the most vulnerable population groups in Israel, they also hold the most promising opportunities to advance socioeconomic progress in Arab society.  Recognizing this need and potential, the Israeli Parliament adopted a law mandating the appointment of female Advisers on the Advancement of the Status of Women in local authorities nationwide.  These advisers can be critical agents for improving the social, economic and political status of Arab women, thereby cultivating positive change in Arab communities.

In order to help maximize this potential, Givat Haviva has developed Mustashara, a program to build the capacity of women appointed to these advisory roles through the forum, in coordination with the Authority for the Advancement of the Status of Women in Israel of the Prime Minister's Office.

The Mustashara program aims to build the capacity of female Advisers by enhancing their performance and overall impact on Arab women in Israel.

Goals include:
  1. Enhancing the understanding of female advisers regarding the roles and responsibilities of their position;
  2. Providing female advisers with the tools and skills required to effectively carry out their mandate in their communities; and
  3. Developing a peer network of Arab municipal advisers across Israel and facilitating networking with their Jewish counterparts and counterparts in the Arab world for further cooperation and collaboration.
Givat Haviva will establish a Mustashara forum for the 40-70 Arab Municipal Advisers on the Advancement of the Status of Women in Israel.  Participants of the forum will be engaged in a three year program comprised of the following key components:

  • Skill Building Training Workshops: A series of 4-5 hour workshops held on a monthly basis to increase knowledge and skills relating to advancing and integrating women in society. 
  • Arab Women Peer Networking - Annual Conference and Issue Committees: Holding a two-day annual conference where participants engage in peer learning and prioritization of issues for action as a basis for establishing committees to advance specific issues (i.e. employment, education, health).
  • Peer Networking with Jewish Municipal Advisers in Israel: Forging linkages with Jewish counterparts through peer learning and Jewish-Arab collaboration on issues affecting all women in Israel.  In addition, the forum will enable 10 Arab women to participate in national conferences related to the status of women in Israel every year.
  • Peer Networking with Counterparts in the Arab World: Four women will be selected to participate in two conferences/events per year taking place in a neighboring Arab country, facilitating peer learning with counterparts across the Arab world.
  • Community Program Development - Activity Kits: Issue committees will develop "Activity Kits" for distribution among Arab municipalities that facilitate easy implementation of community programs that advance priority issues.  Small budget allocations will be provided to each Municipal Adviser to help implement programs.
  • Online Networking and Knowledge Platform: An online platform will support the forum, enhancing networking capabilities and serving as a knowledge repository for the program.