Givat Haviva's Third Annual Conference

Givat Haviva Announces Our Third Annual Conference

May 28th, 2015

Featuring Special Guest President Rueven Rivlin of the State of Israel

About the Conference

This high-profile conference will be held as a key milestone in a three-year "Joint Vision 2020" program led by Givat Haviva together with partners to develop, promote and implement the first Jewish-Arab joint vision for a shared society in Israel. In the past, separate visions for Israeli society have been developed by Jews and Arabs respectively. However, no such vision and operative, implementable goals have been created jointly to reflect the mutual interests, needs and desires of both populations. With the continued downturn in Jewish-Arab relations threatening democracy and peace in Israel, there is increasing importance in consolidating a long-term vision as a guide towards which policies and programs can be directed. The event will provide a high profile platform for launching the visioning initiative, engaging diverse stakeholders in the process and gaining media attention for national impact.

What is on the agenda?

The conference will engage all participants in plenary sessions and participatory working groups for a high profile 1-day event emphasizing active participation of Jewish, Arab and international attendees around the "Joint Vision 2020" theme. International attendees will provide a global perspective and the Honorable President of the State of Israel, Mr. Reuven Rivlin, will be featured as the Keynote Speaker.

Who is attending?

The Conference will bring together prominent leaders and representatives of national and local government, civil society organizations, private sector, academia, donor community, media and members of the wider Jewish and Arab publics. In addition, partners, friends and colleagues will be invited from around the world to share experiences and lend support. The event is expected to attract a large number of influential leaders and activists.

What will be the outcome?

The conference will initiate an inclusive process for the development of the first joint vision and implementable goals for a shared society in Israel. Recommendations developed by participatory working groups will serve as the basis for further exploration and analysis in the next phases of the Joint Vision 2020 program, including professional working groups and a public campaign.

Why Givat Haviva?

This initiative builds on 60 years of experience gained by Givat Haviva, a non-profit organization founded in 1949 as the national education center of the Kibbutz Federation in Israel. A pioneer of Jewish-Arab joint programming, Givat Haviva develops new models for building a shared society and fostering a sustainable, thriving Israeli democracy.

Givat Haviva Hosts a Mayoral Delegation from Israel

Givat Haviva hosted 35 Arab-Israeli Mayors, led by Mohammad Darawshe, our Director of Planning, Equality and Shared Society, and sponsored by Moti Kahana of Micro4Women, for a Study Tour exploring the significance of minority civic participation.

The Mayoral Delegation at City Hall in New York

The Mayoral Delegation Study Tour represented 35 Arab-Israeli Mayors who visited New York City and Washington, DC from February 5th to the 11th to explore and study civic participation among minority groups and leadership in the US. The delegation was comprised of Mayors from Arab towns that ranked among the lowest in voter turnout rate (below 50%) in the previous national elections, but at the same time ranked the highest in municipal elections (above 85%).  Local Arab leadership is seen as particularly influential over Arab voter attitudes and political discourse.  The delegation represented almost 40% of the Arab population in Israel.

The tour presented a unique opportunity to hear from Israel's Arab Mayors - individually and in dialogue - about what current issues make up Arab political discourse today and what their visions are for Arab Society in Israel.  Givat Haviva held two receptions, one in New York hosted by B'nai Jeshurun, and one in Washington, DC hosted by Jeremiah Baronberg and the McKenna Long & Aldridge law firm.  Special guests included Deputy Consul General of Israel, Amir Sagie, former Governor Howard Dean of Vermont and former Mayor Anthony Williams of Washington, DC.

Deputy Consul General of Israel, Amir Sagie at B'nai Jeshurun

To read more, check out this article in the Jewish Week.
See the photos from the Welcome & Farewell Receptions here.

Citizens' Accord Forum

Jaffa Convention 2015: The Big Event

In light of the upcoming elections in Israel, Givat Haviva will be holding a conference in Jaffa with leading organizations and individuals from the community on February 25th.

The conference will be a cross-sectoral meeting with candidates running for the Knesset, leading decision makers, civil society social activists working in the field, as well as academic and cultural leaders.

Together we will deliberate the question of the future of Jewish-Arab relations in Israel and we will try to distill a common civic approach.

Statement from Mohammad Darawshe, our Director of Planning, Equality and Shared Society at Givat Haviva:
"We are getting ready for the upcoming national elections to be held on the 17th of March.  I have been conducting many consultations with colleagues on methods to increase political participation of the Arab citizens in Israel. The last turnout rate was merely 56%.  If it increases to the 1999 rate of 77%, the Arab representation in the Knesset will increase from 11 seats today to potentially 18 seats in the next Knesset.  This will impact decision-making in the country on two critical matters: equality inside Israel and peace in the region with Israel's neighbors, especially peace with the Palestinians!"

Further details will be sent out in the coming days.  Stay tuned!

Givat Haviva at the White House!

Gal Peleg Laniado, our Israel Representative, was hosted by President Barack Obama in the White House at the official Hanukiah Lighting Ceremony.

Givat Haviva Hanukiah designed by 
Tamar Meshulam, Salma Samara Shehade, and Yoav Weiss

Givat Haviva was honored at the White House at the President's annual Hanukkah Lighting Ceremony.  The Hanukiah (menorah) was designed by three artists, two Jewish and one Arab, with a group of first and second grade children involved in cross-cultural dialogue sessions.  The Hanukiah features the word "LIGHT" written in many different languages by the children.  The candle holders were carved by a Palestinian stone mason. The artists built the Hanukiah as a testament to the values of coexistence, tolerance and cooperation. The artists, concept and materials embody and express the notion that when Arabs and Jews collaborate, they bring light not only to their homes, but let it shine beyond our borders.

Gal and Moshe at the White House Hanukiah Lighting Ceremony

From the White House Official Correspondence

"... [the menorah was sent] to the White House by Givat Haviva, an educational foundation in Israel dedicated to promoting mutual responsibility, civic equality and cooperation between divided groups in Israel as the foundation for building a shared future and shared society.  This menorah was made by children who attend a Hand in Hand School in Jaffa.  On the menorah, children have painted the word "light" in many different languages and in different colors.  Holding the glass upright are eight blocks of polished pink Jerusalem stone, which also have recesses to hold the candles."

Click here to see the email blast!
Check out the rest of the photos here!

Givat Haviva's Response to the Tragic Attack on the Synagogue in Jerusalem

Givat Haviva is deeply shocked by the attack on worshipers yesterday morning at the "Congregation B'nai Torah" synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem, and sends its condolences to the families of those victims, and wishes for a quick and full recovery to those injured in the attack.  There is no justification for harming innocent civilians, and there is nothing that can excuse the slaughter of worshipers in their place of prayer.

Givat Haviva strongly condemns all targeted attacks on Israeli and Palestinian civilians, in synagogues and in mosques.

We call upon the leaders of both sides to avoid any unnecessary incitement and to take all possible steps available to stop the deterioration and acts of revenge that are leading us to a vicious circle of violence.

We expect the leaders to react strongly to terrorism while also returning to the path of reconciliation and hope.  The root of this enormous pain, suffering and loss is in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

It is impossible to continue to "manage the conflict" in the midst of this bloodshed.

We must return, swiftly, to the path of conflict resolution.  It is possible. Stop the cycle of bloodshed, and give us a chance to enjoy a peaceful and nonviolent life.

Yaniv Sagee
Executive Director
Givat Haviva, Israel