Givat Haviva's Year End Letter
Spontaneous Silent Demonstration
"Arabs and Jews Want Peace"


It was an arduous summer for Shared Society in Israel.


It was a terrible summer for everyone who believes in a shared future.  It was a terrible summer for everyone who strives for democracy in Israel.  It was a terrible summer for Jews and Arabs alike.  But the most challenging has been the realization that this tragic summer is not over, and the healing process of Israeli society has only just begun.  Racism, segregation and ignorance tend to flourish in times of conflict, and few are the voices that stand out from the crowd and say: "This is wrong!" "Things must change!"  Even fewer are the do'ers, the voices that actually put their time and money where their mouth is.  Givat Haviva is such an organization that I am incredibly proud to belong to.  Your support is going directly towards healing the divide and sustaining a Shared Society in Israel.


Many progressive voices were muted and overwhelmed by the wave of polarizing discourse that swept through Israel.  While tensions between Jewish and Arab citizens boiled over this summer following both the kidnapping and murders of three Jewish and one Palestinian teen, as well as the launch and immediate aftermath of Operation Protective Edge, more questions were raised asking whether a sustainable collaboration between Jews and Arabs can truly prevail.


In the midst of all this violence and uncertainty, while I was struggling to stay optimistic and positive, worrying about my family, friends and colleagues in Israel on the one hand and praying for an end to this burst of violence on the other, I opened my inbox and there it was.  A ray of hope, as simple as that.  This hope came to me as a photograph from Givat Haviva of a demonstration for peace, carrying this simple message: "Jews and Arabs Refuse to be Enemies."  These silent demonstrations were held in major crossroads, places where Jews and Arabs are living side-by-side, and in the midst of this hotbed of sirens and bombings, they courageously carried this simple message to demonstrate that solidarity is in fact sustainable and will most certainly prevail.


We will not let this tumultuous summer invalidate the breakthrough achievements that Givat Haviva has lead this past year, and will continue to lead:

  1. The Givat Haviva Annual Conference:  Held for the second year, hosting prominent guests such as the Honorable Daniel B. Shapiro, Ambassador of the United States of America to the State of Israel; His Excellency, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the State of Israel, Ambassador Lars Faaborg-Andersen, as well as leaders in civil society government and business sectors from Israel.
  2. Mustashara: Forum of Arab Municipal Advisors on the Advancement of the Status of Women in Israel.  An innovative program in collaboration with the Authority for the Advancement of the Status of Women in Israel in the Prime Minister's office.  This game-changing initiative aims to build the capacity of female Advisors in Arab municipalities, thereby enhancing their performance and overall impact on Arab women in Israel.
  3. Yihiye Beseder: Hebrew Language Enrichment Program for Arab Schools, which focuses on enhancing the knowledge of Hebrew language and culture among Arab students in Israel.  The program aims to minimize the growing gap within the Israeli education system between Jews and Arabs.  This necessary response works to remedy this dilemma by providing tools for Arab teens that will ease their integration into the Israeli academic and labor circles.
  4. Shared Communities: Local to national program for building a shared society in Israel, it builds structured, multi-level cooperation between numerous 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.  This past year the model was successfully scaled up to include business, women, environmental and tourism forums.
  5. Through Others' Eyes and Heart-to-Heart: Throughout the midst of the heated conflict in the Middle East, two delegations of brave young men and women were making their way to the US and Canada to represent their respective projects in Israel.  The dilemmas that they face were a microcosm of the situation in Israel.  Having personally observed both of these groups, the trips were successful in allowing them to be more focused and sensitive, while also more active and engaged in fostering new leadership that will work towards an even better Shared Society. 

This is your time to join us in making a change.  Your generous support to Givat Haviva brings us closer to a sustainable and flourishing Shared Society in Israel.


We hope you will be able to contribute generously to Givat Haviva so that these projects and many new ones will carry on and continue to make a significant difference in the fabric of the Israeli society. With your contribution, Arab women are gaining access to services that were denied from them before, Jewish students are able to discover and know "the other side," and the language barrier increasingly diminishes.



Be'Amal Wa'Salam,

B'tikva ve'Shalom,

With hope and peace, 



Gal Peleg Laniado

Israel Representative

Givat Haviva Educational Foundation



Join Our Community of Supporters!
Don't wait! Make a difference this year.  Donate to Givat Haviva and support Shared Society in Israel.  You can donate online via PayPal by clicking the graphic above, or here.  Alternatively, we accept donations over the phone (212) 989-9272, and personal checks made out to Givat Haviva Educational Foundation, sent to 424 West 33rd Street, Suite 150, New York, NY 10001.

Thank you for your continued support and commitment to Givat Haviva.

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