Givat Haviva Educational Foundation has been awarded a $150,000 grant from UJA-Federation of New York, in support of the Givat Haviva Hebrew Language Enrichment Program (HLE).
The HLE program places Jewish educators in Arab middle schools to enhance students’ spoken Hebrew skills. Lack of Hebrew fluency prevents many Arab Israelis from advancing socially, economically and professionally. By enriching their Hebrew, Givat Haviva enables young Arabs to participate more comfortably in everyday Israeli life, while reducing the anxiety, animosity and/or stereotypical viewpoints they may have about Jewish citizens. The Israeli Ministry of Education has praised the program and provides financial support for faculty costs. In just five years, the program has grown to serve more than 28,000 Arab teenagers. Givat Haviva plans to make HLE a regular part of the curriculum for young Arabs and to offer the program to all 176 Arab middle schools by 2021-22.
Yaniv Sagee, Givat Haviva CEO, expressed great satisfaction about the news. “We are thrilled to receive this support from UJA-Federation of New York. It means so much to us that they believe in Givat Haviva, the Shared Society Movement, and in the work that we do to make Israel a more just and open society. Our Hebrew Language Enrichment Program is a critical part of that goal and UJA-Federation’s support is making the day come sooner that the dream of a shared society in Israel will be realized.”
Since 1949,the Center for a Shared Society at Givat Haviva has been working to build an inclusive, socially cohesive society in Israel. It engages Arabs and Jews in collective action towards the advancement of a sustainable, thriving Israeli democracy based on mutual responsibility, civic equality and a shared vision of the future. Over the last 70 years, its hallmark programs have made Givat Haviva a globally respected thought leader and a pioneer in the field of conflict mitigation.
By Yvette Finkelstein