Givat Haviva to open International school for ‘shared society leaders’

Half of students will be Arab and Jewish Israelis, half from abroad.

Leaders of a shared society school  (photo credit: GIVAT HAVIVA)
Leaders of a shared society school
(photo credit: GIVAT HAVIVA)
Israel’s first international school for “leaders for a shared society,” is set to open in September, the Givat Haviva center announced last week.
The Givat Haviva International School (GHIS) will be the first high school of its kind in Israel to feature focused preparation for leadership and conflict resolution. It will be located in the Givat Haviva campus in northern Israel.
The school will be an Authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School; after two years of study, graduates will receive the globally respected IB diploma.
A quarter of the students will be Jewish Israelis and another quarter will be Arab Israelis. The other half of the student body will hail from all over the world, including Iran, Egypt, Syria, Pakistan and Jordan.
The curriculum, for students in the eleventh and twelfth grades, will incorporate the internationally acclaimed IB program taught in participating high schools worldwide as well as a unique program focused on shared values of peace and understanding with the aim of bridging cultural divides.
The school’s vision is to create a global network of young leaders who can return home after the program – whether that be in Israel or overseas – equipped with tools to aid their communities to become more inclusive and just societies.
The students will participate in a diverse range of activities near the Givat Haviva campus and throughout Israel, including cross-border humanitarian efforts.
“Addressing a significant gap in existing academic options in the region, GHIS offers young future leaders a program of theoretical study and experiential practice for actualizing progress toward a shared, sustainable and inclusive society,” said Givat Haviva Director Yaniv Sagi.
“With this launch, drawing on decades of experience in developing and operating award-winning peace education programs, the Givat Haviva Center extends the already impressive reach of its educational impact in the international arena,” Sagi continued.
“The GHIS mission is to seed the world with future leaders oriented toward shared solutions across cultural boundaries, within and beyond national borders.
“In today’s highly polarized global reality, the resurgence of racism and intolerance in Israel and elsewhere demands redoubled efforts to foster acceptance and understanding of the others with whom we must learn to share our world in mutual respect and dignity,” he said.
Sagi told The Jerusalem Post that on a recent visit to Mexico’s Jewish community, youths from the country had expressed interest in joining the school. He anticipates that young Jews from across the Diaspora will attend the school.
Stipends will be granted to outstanding candidates who are perceived to demonstrate future leadership potential.
Givat Haviva International School principal Yuval Dvir described the program as “an extraordinary opportunity for our students to combine two years of rigorous academic studies toward a coveted IB high-school diploma with training in leadership for a shared society at Givat Haviva, drawing on its vast educational resources and extensive know-how. Plus, the chance to spend two years in an international living-learning community offers a unique and highly relevant bonus, reflecting as it does the great diversity of the surrounding area.”
Founded in 1949 by the Kibbutz Federation, the Center for a Shared Society at Givat Haviva was created with the aim of building an inclusive, socially cohesive society in Israel by engaging divided communities.