Givat Haviva
Givat Haviva the HaKibbutz HaArtzi Seminar

The Givat Haviva Centre, named after paratrooper Haviva Reik, was founded in 1949 as the central seminar for HaKibbutz HaArtzi HaShomer HaTzair. It is a unique educational centre, holding seminars and workshops, recording, investigating and publishing, holding conferences and offering programmes for youths and adults in the formal and informal education systems on a variety of professional and academic topics.

Several different action and research centres operate in Givat Haviva, chiefly Yad Ya'ari, HaShomer HaTzair records and research centre, which we describe in detail in this book on page ____, and the Jewish-Arab Centre for Peace. The Jewish-Arab Centre for Peace leads the programme for inter-community cooperation, acting alongside the Institute for Arabic Studies, the Sarah and Ya'acov Eshel Peace Library, the international department and the art centre.


The Jewish-Arab Centre for Peace

The Jewish-Arab Centre for Peace at Givat Haviva is the oldest, largest and the leading centre in Israel for peace and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians and for encouraging understanding between Israelis and Arabs in Israel. The Centre has been active since 1963, its goal being to bring the Jews and Arabs in Israel closer together and to teach familiarity and partnership between the two peoples. The Centre is staffed by Arab and Jewish personnel working side by side and the Centre serves thousands of pupils, teachers, public figures, social leaders and others, who participate in our various programmes every year.

The Jewish-Arab Centre for Peace at Givat Haviva is well known around the world outside Israel and has won many international awards, including the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education (2001) in recognition of its many years of activity promoting Jewish-Arab dialogue and reconciliation.


Inter-Community Cooperation – the Givat Haviva flagship programme

The inter-community cooperation programme as a Givat Haviva initiative and it represents an aspiration for social strength in the settlements and communities through the involvement of all their residents in public and social life. The primary goal is to create a sustainable partnership between Jewish and Arab communities, which will form the basis for a civilian society and co-existence in Israel.

The programme has been running for four years and has set itself the goal of integrating civilians and leadership in a variety of settlements characterised by social division. In the coming years, activity will be focussed on forming a network of partnerships between neighbouring Jewish and Arab communities as a basis for cultivating a shared society in Israel. This would not be merely an institutional cooperation, as these municipal frames would cultivate a core of communal leadership and activists who will bring in more and more partners through activity in the field.

Through common civilian discussion, the programme will set up sustainable frameworks for cooperation between communities in dispute, will train and instruct men and women in all strata of society to build programmes suitable for their home communities to provide for common interests and needs. The programme is meant to drive people as agents of change and empower them through common frame-shattering activity in implementing community programmes. The programme will also work hard on research and development of new models for building partnerships between communities as a basis for a life together of cultural and social differences.

Givat Haviva aspires through this programme to set up a current and innovative model that will run for years and lead to a change in the social climate in the settlement, the region, the country and the world.


Other projects:

·         The "Children Teaching Children" (CTC) project for ninth graders in 10 schools.

·         "Mifgashim" (encounters) project for around 5,000 eleventh graders in 30 schools (the project is supported by the ministry of education).

·         Courses for the Arab sector in advocacy, courses for public activists, for educators in Givat Haviva and at the extension in Sakhnin.

·         Women's empowerment.


The Institute for Arabic Studies

Alongside these various projects, the Institute for Arabic Studies, founded in 1963, runs as part of the Jewish-Arab Centre for Peace, with the goal of teaching students Arab culture and the Arabic language. Thousands of students have graduated so far from the programmes at the Institute, which is considered the best school in its field. For over fifty years the Institute has held a variety of day and night classes for beginners as well as advanced students, in both the spoken and the classic Arabic language, while studying and getting to know Arab culture and society. Courses range from weekly meetings throughout the year to five-month long full-time courses.

The Institute is attended by approximately 30,000 students participating in the various programmes, of which 60% are Arab and 40% Jewish. The Institute runs joint programmes for guests from Jewish communities around the world together with the Arab communities in the area.

In recent years, the Institute has held a unique and intensive seminar in Arabic for students from abroad, the "Masa" programme.


The Sarah and Yaacov Eshel Peace Library

The Sarah and Yaacov Eshel Peace Library at Givat Haviva was opened in 2001. The library brings together three different collections which scattered around the campus. The library serves a varied audience, from academic researchers to high school pupils and hobby researchers and other interested people.

The main collection, founded 50 years ago, contains books and magazines on a wide variety of subjects, such as education, economics and business, psychology, sociology, Zionism, Judaism, the history of the Land of Israel and the State of Israel, socialism, the settlement movements, the Kibbutz Movement, Hebrew literature and more, and is updated regularly with new magazines and books as they are published.

A unique branch of the library is the Sauly Marcus Knowledge Centre Collection, focusing on matters relating to Israeli Arabs, Jewish-Arab relations, the Jewish-Arab conflict, the Palestinians, the Palestinian Authority, Arabic language and literature, teaching Arabic, and the Middle East in general.

This collection also includes two unique sub-collections: a central archive of Palestinian press in the Land of Israel and the State of Israel from 1920 to the present, and a collection of newspaper clippings from the '50s to the present on the Arab population in the State of Israel, catalogued under 900 categories and sub-categories. In addition, an index of articles in Arab periodicals is being developed.

The "Moreshet" library is the third collection, focusing on the holocaust and the Second World War. This extensive collection includes books, albums, original documents and written testimonials of this key period in the modern history of the Jewish people and of the holocaust.

The library is home to about 70,000 books and 400 journals, as well as other materials. Most of the collection is computerised and available for search and retrieval through an efficient and user-friendly interface. In addition, the library provides access to online databases.

The library was constructed thanks to the contributions of Marilyn and Harry Cagin from Cleveland, Ohio, and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany.


The Arts Centre, Givat Haviva

The Arts Centre acts to combine artistic creation with social ideological doing, to advance various populations in fields of plastic art and to provide an advancing studio for artists. The Peace Gallery at the Arts Centre in Givat Haviva has been active since 1983 and is much appreciated by many artists applying for exposure through it. The Gallery shows about ten exhibits every year and holds meetings and workshops:

·         "BeEynayim Aherot" (through other eyes) – weekly meetings for Jewish and Arab teenagers and for Jewish and Arab women.

·         Art workshops hosting some twenty schools from across the country.

·         Unique art workshops for members of Akim and those with Downs Syndrome, attended by some 100 people at each session.

·         Ceramics courses at different levels some 90 men and women from across the country.

·         An art project for Jewish and Arab youth, as part of Givat Haviva's community project.


Givat Haviva's International Department

The international department holds seminars in different languages and workshops on a variety of subjects for international and new immigrant audiences, where the guests are given a look at the multi-faceted Israeli society and brought closer to the activity in Givat Haviva. The subjects discussed contribute to the understanding of the political, social and financial problems of Israel and the region. These programmes incorporate fascinating activities with lectures, discussions, films and tours. As part of the tours of Israel programme, international delegations of students and professionals visit the place to discuss the current matters faced by Israeli society. The main topics are co-existence, tolerance, democracy and peace.

The department will be particularly emphasizing the subject of the kibbutz to those attending in the near future. This is in addition to familiarisation tours in the area, introductory and background lectures and first-hand accounts regarding the different subjects discussed at present: the Jewish-Arab conflict, Israeli society and its complexities, Zionism and post-Zionism, personal, group and national identity, familiarisation with research and understanding the holocaust from the Israeli perspective, and acquaintance with the land, its scenery and its people.

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