November 2017
New Staff at Givat Haviva Educational Foundation

We are delighted to welcome Dan Rostan , who joins the GHEF staff this month as Director of Development. Dan brings experience in a number of fields including peacemaking (he served as a major gifts officer with the Fellowship of Reconciliation), nonprofit management (as CEO of the Brooklyn Music School and the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra), and in growing a national affiliates network (as Vice President of Field Services with the Tourette Syndrome Association). 

“I’m so excited about our work at GHEF to share what Givat Haviva is contributing to the cause of shared society in Israel,” Dan said. “Givat Haviva is not just a thought leader in conflict resolution – we’re also leading the way by forging municipal and regional partnerships, education programs that teach equality, and engaging the Israeli and the global communities in important conversations about how shared society can become a reality in our own lifetimes.

“I see Givat Haviva as like The Little Engine That Could in the children’s story,” Dan added. “We think we can, and so we ignore the politics and negativistic punditry, and simply move forward with a humanistic mission. And our work is now being proven to be as pragmatic as it is altruistic.”

Dan would love to hear from you with ideas about how GHEF can spread the word. Contact him at

We also welcome Meirav Levy-Bernstein as our new Communications and Development Coordinator. Meirav's background is in politics and communications. She has spent time in New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's office, at the BerlinRosen public relations firm, and was the field director of a judgeship campaign in Albany, New York. She was the counselor for our Through Others' Eyes group in the summer of 2012, and is happy to be working with Givat Haviva again. Meirav can be reached at

Dan and Meirav are excited to be joining Linda Rubin , our Chief Operating Officer, who has been a part of Givat Haviva Educational Foundation for many years. Contact Linda at
Do You Believe In Shared Society?
Dear Friends,

Thanks to you, this year Givat Haviva – the Center for Shared Society in Israel – was able to engage 10 Israeli Arab and Jewish communities in community building and constructive collaboration on mutual interests; teach over 22,645 Israeli Arab students Hebrew skills focusing on employment and academic themes; facilitate cross-cultural encounters between over 1,800 Jewish and Arab young people; develop a road map for shared society in Israel funded by the European Union; and host a prestigious visit of German President Frank Walter Steinmeier. Your dedicated and continued support is what drives these successes, which ultimately generate real change in Israeli society.

In President Steinmeier’s words, “Where politicians failed you are succeeding in showing that Jews and Arabs can live together in Israel and as you say, the goal must be to show youngsters co-existence is just not enough but co-operation is necessary, to have Jews and Arabs not only live in communities close to each other but to share and want a common future.”
With the end of the year quickly approaching, we are featuring one of our most impactful programs – our Hebrew Language Enrichment Program for Arab Schools – as an inspiration for your year-end gift. We have begun this school year with dramatic extension in reach and inclusion: increasing our target audience from 22,645 Arab Israeli middle school students, to over 30,000 students this year . This includes an increase to 71 Arab schools covered (from last year’s 58) and 59 Jewish teachers (from last year’s 45) working in Arab schools.

The program's potential to benefit the Israeli economy is underscored by the Israeli Ministry of Education’s financial investment in the initiative, covering all teachers’ salaries and amounting to over one million dollars this year alone!
For Givat Haviva, it is not just the promising statistics that drive our work, but the small, individual success stories that motivate us. Grassroots change may be the little victories, but they inform our strategy and give hope to our goal of establishing a Shared Society for Israel.

The story of Reda Saabneh, an Arab teenager from Kfar Kara, illustrates the significance of this program :

“When they told us about the new spoken Hebrew class at the beginning of 7th grade, I thought it would be like all our regular Hebrew classes. Instead, it was fun and interactive, letting us students take an active part in the exercises. It was more effective and enjoyable, which made us all look forward to class. In the class, we learned a lot of material and improved our Hebrew speaking ability dramatically, even giving us courage to speak in front of an audience. The class also taught us useful messages and phrases for life in general, and helped all the students speak Hebrew much better.”

Reda's younger brothers and sisters hope to have the same opportunities he had this past winter. The Hebrew Language Enrichment Program is just one of the many initiatives at The Center for Shared Society at Givat Haviva that are bridging divided communities, and minimizing the gap between tomorrow's generations of Jewish and Arab Israeli leaders.

We value your involvement with and financial commitment to Givat Haviva and pledge to work toward an Israel where social justice, collaboration and equality is more than just a distant ideal, but a living thriving reality!
Be’Amal Wa’Salam,
B’tikva ve’Shalom,
With hope and peace,

Mohammad Darawshe, Director
Center for Equality & Shared Society
Givat Haviva Israel