Breaking New Ground, The Roadmap for a Shared Society

Over the past two years, Givat Haviva has worked with the Israeli government, civil society organizations, the media the academic community and hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens to create Israel’s first-ever "Strategic Master Plan" on shared society:  The Roadmap for a Shared Society
The Roadmap represents a “people’s statement” on how to address the country’s most pressing issues: the reconciliation of divided Jewish and Arab societies, and the social/economic empowerment of Arab citizens.
70 Arab and Jewish authorities cooperated on the generation of key recommendations in the areas of education, economic development, government and governance, land use, cultural representation and restorative processes.
The recommendations were reviewed by over 160,000 Israeli citizens, and 60 concrete proposals were presented to Israel’s Knesset this past December in a conference sponsored by the Knesset Coalition for Shared Living. 
This event signals Givat Haviva’s emergence as Israel’s pre-eminent thought leader on shared society. The Roadmap offers Americans an invaluable view into what shared society looks like to the Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel.  We will soon announce the availability of an English translation of the Roadmap document as presented in the Knesset.
So what’s next?  A consortium of NGOs are now working together to begin to chart the course for implementation of these ambitious proposals.  Givat Haviva Educational Foundation is currently organizing live educational events throughout the US featuring key Israeli organizers of the Roadmap process who will share about what has already happened – and where these efforts are heading.

Earlier this month, Mohammad Darawshe, Director of Givat Haviva’s Center for Equality and Shared Society, discussed the Roadmap at the home of board member Claude Ghez in New York City.

"Instead of assuming the continuation of the problematic and discriminatory “status quo” between us and Arabs, it is possible and feasible to propose new directions, allowing the Arab society in Israel full partnership in the decision-making process, and full political and professional representation, to the benefit of the whole of Israeli populace...

"...The Roadmap is shelf-ready for government officials in all the relevant ministries and offices. Violent protesters in Wadi Ara are a small and dangerous minority. The vast majority of Arab society needs a different and honest conversation, not racist generalizations to escalate alienation and incite the region."

Highlighting the People of Givat Haviva and The Givat Haviva Educational Foundation

Emily Deakins
Board Member, Houston TX

How did you become involved with Givat Haviva?

I first heard of Givat Haviva’s Through Others' Eyes program, bringing together Israeli Arab and Jewish teens to explore the notion of culture and identity through the medium of photography. After learning more about the broader organization and its programs, I became committed to supporting it and making others aware of its work and mission.   

What is your favorite Givat Haviva program?

A number of years ago I visited the Givat Haviva campus and Wadi Ara region in Israel and saw some of the work in action. I was most impressed sitting in a classroom in an Arab middle school listening to the students learning Hebrew taught by a Jewish teacher. In many cases the teacher is the first Jewish person the students have met and interacted with. More impactful, however, is the skill gained in Hebrew language acquisition which will enable students to function more readily in Israeli society as they continue their educations and enter the work force.   
Where do you see Givat Haviva in five years?

I am most inspired by Givat Haviva’s leadership in the past year in responding to a Knesset request to lay out concrete recommendations to move to a true Shared Society. Givat Haviva has taken the lead in convening experts in the field, getting input from a broad swath of Israeli society (over 170,000 people) and has presented its specific recommendations for Knesset consideration. The recommendations are being advanced with Knesset support and Givat Haviva is working collaboratively with other NGOs in the field to put the recommendations into action. It is exciting and inspiring work, but we know reaching the vision of a Shared Society in Israel will be a multi-generational endeavor. I see Givat Haviva leading the efforts for many years to come.

What is your secret talent?

I can hold a (yoga) tree pose for a long time.
Givat Haviva in the news!
The Jerusalm Post | January 28, 2018

Haaretz | January 17, 2018

Jerusalem Online | January 3, 2018

The Jerusalm Post | December 30, 2017
By Yaniv Sagee

The Jerusalm Post | December 26, 2017
A great profile of Lydia Aisenberg, the lead study tour guide of Givat Haviva in Israel, and the town of Barta'a.

A summary of a recent survey conducted by Givat Haviva, finding that most Israelis want to live alongside one another.

Six reasons to study Arabic at the Givat Haviva Institute for Advanced Arabic Studies and Peace Education.

Yaniv Sagee, our Executive Director, writes about the needed change in Israeli society to build a shared future between Jews and Arabs.

Mohammad Darawshe , Director- Center for Equality and Shared Society, discusses the need for investment in Israeli Arab education in order to make Israel more equal for all of its citizens.
If you are interested in  hosting a Givat Haviva speaker  in your synagogue, mosque, home or communi ty center,  please reach out to Meirav . | (212) 989-9272