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Grigor, from Armenia, is forever grateful for the excellent education he received at GHIS and the warmth he received from Israelis during his time there. Coming from a poor country, this brilliant young man was given the education that he couldn’t get back at home–GHIS was the portal to his future. Because of his experience, he has become an “ambassador” for GHIS and Israel, showing that by giving opportunities, we can all benefit.

Currently: Grigor is in Shanghai, China, where he’s majoring in finance and business in the first part of a dual-degree program with NYU University. His next stop is two years studying at NYU’s New York City campus. 

A reason to study in Israel: When he thought about studying in Israel, Grigor talked about how intrigued he was to go to a country and meet a people who had so much in common with his homeland, Armenia. His country experienced a genocide during World War I and the Jews experienced the Holocaust during World War II. He was intrigued to figure out how, after experiencing such an incredibly sad and devastating event, Israel grew so much, while Armenia did not. His drive to help his country is what motivates him to understand Israel’s achievements and what Armenia can learn from it to achieve more. 

The GHIS impact: This dedicated student found the writing assignments and regular discussions, in class and out, were instrumental in preparing him to study at an international university. He says that having a prestigious IB diploma was also helpful when applying to universities, especially American ones. 

Especially important for him were the Global Politics course and the ongoing lessons in conflict resolution, which helped him see that even when people are in a conflict, there are similarities amidst the differences. Our students live this in the shared society that they create on campus. Grigor notes that the environment “helped them get to know each other and because of that, they could always find common ground, and their strong friendships were the result.”

The international environment: Grigor credits his two years at GHIS, where he was in a completely new environment, where he met people from all over the world, to be the impetus for him to grow in ways he wouldn’t have otherwise. He says that the cultural diversity and the different mindsets that people came with made it so that they always had a lot to talk about and they were always learning from each other. 

Summing up 2 years at GHIS: “Fun, educational, adventurous, and full of new things: connections, friends, and experiences!” He credits the experience with both personal and academic growth. He is “grateful for the many opportunities that came during those two years and the doors that the experience opened for me, even after graduating from GHIS.” 

Feeling at home with his host family: Grigor (like so many of his GHIS peers) found his host family became like his real family in Israel. They made him feel at home on his weekend and holiday visits, taking him hiking and exploring all over the country which enhanced his GHIS experience and time in Israel.

Plans for the future: Grigor wants to focus on either investment banking or financial management, and perhaps get an MBA before or after his compulsory military service. He plans to eventually return to Armenia where he can apply the knowledge and wisdom that he has gained through his international experiences.

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Yaniv Sagee


yaniv sagee

For more than seven decades, Givat Haviva has provided educational programs aimed at developing a just, equal, and inclusive society. In 2018, we created GHIS as an educational incubator to develop leaders for the future of our world, the Middle East, and Israel—to help move from competition and struggle between nations to a shared, egalitarian society that operates in peace.

GHIS students study the complexity of global conflicts, the differences, and the similarities between them. They learn that individual identity can exist while accepting the identity of the other, and that conflict can be transcended through greater mutual understanding.

Our school draws on the insights of the IB program and the experience of our students from around the world, and supplements it with conflict resolution knowledge accumulated over more than 70 years in Givat Haviva. With this formula a responsible cohort of young people is being created that will one day lead our shared society.

As CEO of Givat Haviva from 2012-2021, Yaniv was one of Israel’s primary leaders of shared society. In this role he created programs that promote these values and educate as many citizens as possible to the benefits of working together.

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David Zehavi

Hebrew Literature

David joined GHIS because he was looking for the right educational establishment to develop personally and professionally. As soon as he heard about GHIS, he realized that it suits his values.

“As someone who has always been committed to coexistence in Israel, I see GHIS as a great vehicle to bring young people together in an accepting and non-prejudicial way.”

As well as being a teacher, David is also trained in special needs education at all school levels.

David holds a joint Honors B.Ed.  in Special Education ages 6 to 21, and BA in Literature at Oranim College