Frequently Asked Questions

What is your mission and vision?

Givat Haviva's mission is to further equality and understanding between Jews and Arabs in Israel.  Our vision is a Shared Future and Shared Society in Israel based on the principles of equality, cooperation, empowerment and understanding.

Givat Haviva is:

  • A catalyst for change that mobilizes Israelis in deeply divided communities to cooperate and work together for a Shared Future.  Our Shared Communities flagship program is a local to national project that serves over 350,000 people by building structured, multi-level cooperation between pairs of communities alienated from each other by the most critical social divides that threaten the democratic fabric of Israel today.  Israeli citizens and local leadership are engaged across these divides through the creation of inter-community alliances and frameworks that facilitate joint action around common values, projects and goals.
  • A place for dialogue, interaction and healing.  Tens of thousands of Arab and Jewish children of all ages, teachers and women have participated in programs that foster dialogue and the kinds of interactions and joint activities that break down stereotypes and enhance understanding.  Teenagers tackle some of the thorniest issues of coexistence, which include misconceptions and fears of the other in our Face to Face intensive encounter program.  In Through Others' Eyes, teens visit each other's homes and neighborhoods photographing one another's lives, enhancing mutual understanding and creating strong friendships. In Children Teaching Children, school classes of Arab and Jewish young adolescents are paired with one another and partake in a yearlong voyage of discovery with joint interaction programs and experiential learning at each other's schools.  Our Arts Center is a space that brings people together from diverse communities to participate in a variety of creative activities, unleashing the power of the arts to repair and build bridges. 
  • A place for Israelis and the International Community to learn and study.  In order to help foster coexistence and cross-cultural understanding, Givat Haviva has distinguished centers of learning and scholarship.  The Institute for Arabic Studies is one of the leading schools in Israel for teaching the Arabic language and culture.  The Peace Library also includes the largest collection in Israel of books and reference materials about Israeli Arabs, Palestinians and the Arab-Israeli conflict.  The International Center hosts study tours of the region and nearby Green Line, and facilitates seminars on the various issues and obstacles in Jewish-Arab relations.

Givat Haviva has always been ahead of its time.  For decades, its pioneering programs fostered coexistence and equality between Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews.  In our most recent years, we continue to develop and cultivate innovative programs and ideas that will help to promote and create an Israel where social justice is more than just an empty promise, where Shared Society is not a distant ideal, but a living, thriving reality.

Read a more in-depth explanation of the Givat Haviva Educational Foundation's mission here.

Where are you located? 

The Educational Foundation is the American arm of Givat Haviva based in New York City, check out our address and contact information here, this location is responsible for promoting and supporting Givat Haviva's mission and work.

The Givat Haviva Institute is a 40-acre campus in the Wadi Ara region of Israel and is dedicated to building a Shared Society and Shared Future in Israel.  All of our programs are carried out by the Givat Haviva Institute in Israel, with most of them occurring on our own campus. 

How long have you been in existence? 

The Givat Haviva Institute in Israel was founded in 1949 as the National Educational Center of the Kibbutz Artzi Federation.  We have over 60 years of expertise in Shared Society work, and our Jewish and Arab leadership in Israel have been leaders in the field for many years.  Read more about our history here.

In 2001, Givat Haviva was awarded the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education "in recognition for its outstanding efforts in the field of peace education and the promotion of peace and non-violence."

What does the name "Givat Haviva" mean?

Givat Haviva is named in memory of Haviva Reik, born in 1914 in Slovakia and an active member of the socialist-Zionist Youth Movement Hashomer Hatzair. Haviva later immigrated to Israel and became a member of Kibbutz Ma'anit, which eventually donated the land that Givat Haviva resides on today. During WWII Haviva volunteered in the British Army and parachuted behind Nazi lines in Slovakia to organize the Jewish Resistance. Haviva was eventually captured and executed by the Nazis in November of 1944.  Givat Haviva was named in her honor as the embodiment of one who dedicated her life to defend human freedom.

What are your target age groups? Who are your demographic targets?

Givat Haviva believes in the power of youth to be an alternative to the harsh reality of today, in their ability to make true contact with each other, to create productive dialogue, to work within the complexity of the situation, and to rise above the conflict in their work.  Youth are generally more able and more willing to recognize the differences and the complexities of each other, and to work within this complexity and not against it, as well as seeking the commonalities between them.  Our experience, in Givat Haviva's wide range of dialogue projects, has shown that youth take their new found insights home to their families and communities, thereby contributing to a widespread ripple effect.

Givat Haviva aims to reach students throughout the educational life cycle, starting in elementary school, through middle school and onto high school.  The educational programs thereby create opportunities for repeated encounters and personal development among Arab and Jewish young people -- laying the foundations for a shared, democratic future for Israeli society.

Within the framework of our flagship program Shared Communities, Givat Haviva also works with adults, from political and community leaders to the elderly.  Our equality programs are also targeted specifically towards minority groups within Israeli society, namely Israeli Arabs and women.

How many people do you reach in your programs?

Shared Communities, our flagship program that encapsulates each target sector (education, language, arts & culture, equality, etc.) is currently engaged with 8 communities, 4 pairs of Jewish and Arab towns, which reaches a population of over 350,000 people.

Givat Haviva's Educational programs are among our most celebrated and experienced programs, rooted in over 40 years of Jewish-Arab peace education programming experience.  Tens of thousands of participants have passed through over the years. Each specific program has uniquely tailored methodologies and either focus on a general, more expansive audience or a smaller, more intimate one.  Children Teaching Children and Face to Face have each reached over 30,000 students and teachers in their over 25 years of operation.  Through Others' Eyes is a more intensive program that has graduated over 200 young people, who have pledged to be Ambassadors for Shared Society in their communities, in its 13 year lifespan.

What happens to the participants after they graduate from your programs?

One of the unique features of Givat Haviva's work is our emphasis on follow-up.  Givat Haviva aims to reach students throughout the educational life-cycle, starting in elementary school, through middle school and onto high school.  The educational programs thereby create opportunities for repeated encounters and personal development among Arab and Jewish young people -- laying the foundations for a shared, democratic future for Israeli society.  The aim is for the same student to gain exposure to educational content and experience relating to Shared Living in elementary school, middle school and then again in high school.  These experiences build upon one another.  Experience has shown that a child who completes the elementary or middle school program is better equipped to effectively absorb the contents of the high school program, gaining more from the experience than those who have not participated in such programs.

Furthermore, when students graduate from an upper level, high school program, such as Through Others' Eyes or Face to Face, they pledge to be Ambassadors for Shared Society in their communities, schools, congregations and homes by sharing their experiences and imparting the knowledge they have learned.  

Do you have staff available for speaking events?

Yes, our Israel Representative is available for speaking engagements and meetings to discuss the mission and Shared Society work of Givat Haviva.  The Educational Foundation's New York office also regularly hosts Givat Haviva leadership from Israel who are also available for speaking events.  

If you are interested in having a Givat Haviva speaker, please email us or give us a call at (212) 989-9272. 

How do I join Givat Haviva's community of supporters?

Givat Haviva's Shared Society work is a reality because of the commitment of our dedicated base of supporters, to join them you can donate in three ways.
  1. Online via Paypal
  2. Personal Check made out to Givat Haviva Educational Foundation, and mailed to 424 West 33rd Street, Suite 150, New York, NY 10001
  3. Over the phone by calling (212) 989-9272
Givat Haviva is a nonprofit and a registered 501(c)3, all donations are tax deductible. 

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