We are reaching out to you in this time of daunting uncertainty and disbelief. Our collective future is clouded and our path towards peace, equality and democracy is at stake not only in Israel, but also here at home in the United States. Across the world we have stood witness to rising right-wing populism, ethnic politics and steadily increasing polarization. Now in the United States we have become victims and participants ourselves. But the way is not lost, in fact, our direction is that much clearer – our obligation, our dedication and our drive has been ignited. The Center for Shared Society at Givat Haviva is the longest operating institution for peace in Israel, and as such we have witnessed and proudly stood up to attacks against our democratic values and ideals far too many times to count. For Givat Haviva and those of us steeped in years of Israeli politics, this fight is no stranger – we will weather this storm and rally together once again. Givat Haviva’s model benefits from over 60 years of practice, a meticulous honing of resources and strategy, and the relentless push towards our goal of a living, thriving shared society in Israel. We can achieve this ideal in Israel, and we will. We will transform this hate, anger and fear into a strong and unified movement. Our globalized world will feel those ripples of impact. Peace will prosper and equality will thrive across the region, across the world and to your own doorstep.
Take this walk with us today and join us for tomorrow’s future.
We are not alone – the endorsements of two Presidents, President Obama and President Rivlin, as well as the participation of a wide array of political leaders from all spheres of Israeli society, are a clear sign of the effectiveness and impact of Givat Haviva’s strategic work for a shared society in these challenging times. Each of these leaders has recognized the main task they and their society are facing – to champion the importance of building shared societies and making the case for it, politically, ethically and economically. As President Rivlin announced at Givat Haviva’s Fourth Annual Shared Society Conference, “rebuilding Arab-Jewish relations must be made first priority, consciously, politically, publicly, and in the media in Israel.”
We are writing to you, our community of committed and passionate supporters to strengthen the construction, the partnership, the hope and the ideal of a living, thriving shared society in Israel.
In our vision for a shared future and shared society, Givat Haviva dedicates programming to promote mutual responsibility, civic equality and cooperation. Givat Haviva is widely recognized as an integrator with facilitative leadership capabilities and an intensity that will gradually and diligently uproot the social divisiveness that exists in Israeli society. This is accomplished through facilitating cross-community projects that promote Jewish-Arab dialogue and reconciliation, through our flagship program called Shared Communities. This program pairs neighboring Arab and Jewish municipalities to build core partnerships. These partnerships facilitate the development of collaborative activities and programs which serve their mutual interests.
Givat Haviva currently engages eight Jewish and Arab municipalities – four pairs of communities in the Wadi Ara region. Various joint working committees and working groups across these partnerships are developing new innovative projects on the ground as we speak. Included among these endeavors are the renovation of the Wadi Misqa stream into an environmentally protected open space, the establishment of a new access road between Salame and Givat Oz, and the development of a Soccer Stadium which will be utilized for both cultural events and as a “power center” in Meggido Junction. In addition, our Mayor’s Forum continues to meet regularly to collaborate, share resources and celebrate successes together.
The reputation of Givat Haviva’s Shared Communities programming is so well demonstrated and impactful that we currently have a waiting list for communities who wish to join the program. Help us give these communities the opportunity they have been waiting for.
“Sitting and complaining about injustice will not help our citizens or help us progress. The beginnings of the program in Kfar Kara with Pardes Hanna-Karkur have produced positive outcomes. Before the program, only 2,000 Jews visited Kfar Kara per year - now we have 15,000 visiting per year. This is good for both economic and social development and community spirit. A good relationship between mayors can lead citizens towards the creation of a shared society."
- Nazia Masrawa, Former Mayor of Kfar Kara
“The Mayors’ Forum under Givat Haviva’s auspices that includes all of the Jewish and Arab mayors in our region strengthens our understanding of each other and our partnership and collaboration in creating joint projects that empower us. We also speak together with government representatives for the benefit of our municipalities.”
- Mustafa Agbaria, Head of Ma’ale Iron Local Council
Help us make real strides for shared society in Israel by giving these communities the strategic framework, resources and expertise to create authentic partnerships and good relations in their communities.