Meet our Through Others' Eyes Jewish and Arab youth photographers!
Join us for our Through Others' Eyes photography exhibitions presented by the Jewish and Arab youth themselves

Sunday, August 9th and Tuesday, August 11th
Check out the photographs on our blog and read more about this year's group here !

The Faces behind Givat Haviva:

Lydia Aisenberg

You've heard about our work in Israel, our outreach events and gatherings here in the states, but what about the hardworking, dedicated people who work behind the scenes at Givat Haviva? Lydia Aisenberg is one of those people, a personality that makes Givat Haviva tick.

Lydia is a journalist, informal educator and special tour guide for Givat Haviva's International Department, which brings in diverse groups from all over the world to learn about the history of Israel, the conflict, and Givat Haviva's role in our vision for a Shared Future and Shared Society. Lydia is originally from South Wales, Britain, made aliya in 1967, and has been a member of Kibbutz Mishmar HaEmek ever since.  Lydia has been a constant, welcoming face at Givat Haviva's campus and the nearby Arab villages where she frequently takes visitors for an authentic look at the "other" Israel.

But Lydia's story is much more than just her work at Givat Haviva, she is a mother of five and a grandmother to eight (nine in two more months!) and has been an active member of her community since coming to volunteer during the 1967 war. Lydia is also an incredible writer who has a knack for poignantly capturing the duality of living in Israel.  In a piece she wrote for the Jewish Telegraph (based in the UK) back in 2012, she describes a moment while leading a tour in Barta'a, a nearby Arab town divided in half by the Green Line, during the second intifada when she was struck with a stone by an impassioned Arab young man from the Palestinian side of the town. 

Lydia wrote, "Looking back on that incident I now realize just how much of a watershed experience that was. I never told my husband about the rock on my head or complained to him about the headache and was thankful that my hair was long, the bump on the right side of my head well covered. I didn't tell him because I knew he would ask me to stop working at Givat Haviva and being involved in Israeli-Palestinian educational projects after this particular encounter of a rather nasty kind.

I made the decision to continue not because I am of a particularly stubborn nature - which I suppose I am actually - but based on the fact that I could not, would not, let a 10 year-old be the one who would alter my belief that once people meet and listen to each other there is often an acceptance that the other has a right to a different narrative but also discover they share a great deal in common upon which it is possible to begin to build positively if they so desire.

The rock-slinging boy would now be somewhere in his early 30s. I wonder if he has ever given any thought to the day he chucked that rock and why the lady he managed to clobber is still bringing so many people to Barta'a, to meet and speak with those living on either side of their and our divide."

Lydia's tours and educational lectures are driven by a perspective governed by her own experiences living through both intifadas, years of the Arab-Israeli conflict, searching for her husband's name among a list of identified soldiers during the Yom Kippur war, and her encounters with not only the whole scope of Israeli society, but also with the diverse groups she leads through the International Department's work. Lydia writes frequently, keep up with her articles here and check out the International Department's monthly newsletters and contact information if you're interested in meeting Lydia and taking one of her eye-opening tours.
Introducing our Newest Program -
Bara'em Hi-Tech

Israel is famous for its hi-tech industry, but Arab citizens have thus far been almost completely excluded from this economic success story. The Bara'em Hi-Tech program at Givat Haviva will offer industry career training to Arab high school students.  Giving 80 students a year, many from disadvantaged backgrounds, the opportunity to study computer engineering and technology, and begin earning credits toward a bachelor's degree in computer engineering while still in high school. The computer courses will be taught by faculty from Netanya Academic College's Department of Computer Science and will be identical to those offered at the college, and students who complete the two-year program at Givat Haviva will be eligible to complete degrees in computer engineering at the Netanya Academic College in an additional two years at a discounted rate.

Unique advantages make this program accessible to talented Arab high school students in the region:

1. The course will be offered at a 20% discounted rate, in addition to scholarships given out on a need-based case-by-case basis. By being subsidized and running in parallel to high school, this program will give talented students the impetus to remain in school and pursue higher education.  Students who go on to complete their degrees at Netanya will receive an identical discount.

2. In the program, Givat Haviva will utilize its language instruction experience to offer Hebrew enrichment classes alongside the computer courses in order to bring the students' spoken and academic language skills up to par, preparing them to participate in the workforce, academia, and socially on campus. 

3. The Bara'em Hi-Tech program will be held at the Givat Haviva campus, a centrally located space that is not only more accessible, but also a more culturally sensitive and comfortable environment for the Arab Israeli students.

The Bara'em Hi-Tech Program has been granted partial start up funding by the Puffin Foundation, join our community of supporters and contribute today!

Givat Haviva's Third Annual Conference Video
Givat Haviva's Third Annual Conference Video
President Rivlin's Conference Speech
Did you miss our third annual Givat Haviva Conference in Israel this past May? Now is your chance to catch up on the inspiring speech Israel's honorable President Rueven Rivlin made at our conference. 

Check out our other programs, events and news at