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Coexistence Through Horticulture: Jews, Arabs and International Students Learn to Grow Together

There are so many ways to learn about each other and the world around us. In biology, it can happen in a greenhouse!

Partnering With the Ecological Greenhouse

GHIS partners with the innovative Ecological Greenhouse in Kibbutz Ein-Shemer as part of our STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, Math) education. In this program, students of the Biology and Environmental Systems and Societies (ESS) class gain hands-on experience for their internal assessment in biology in designing, planning, executing and evaluating their practical research studies. 

 At the Ecological Greenhouse, GHIS students were joined by students from a local Jewish school and a local Arab school to work together to execute a joint research project. The project itself was conducted through the Davidson Institute of Science Education, which is the educational arm of the Weizmann Institute. There they met other budding scientists as they checked, measured, and learned about different plants, bacteria, unicellular animals, and the various effects of different substances on them. Experiments were completed under the strict guidance of scientists at the Greenhouse and the GHIS biology teacher, Karine Roch.

This project enabled GHIS students to acquire a real understanding of science and the research process. By doing their research at the Greenhouse, they also understand why it’s important that their experiments are meaningful and the positive impact they can have on their communities. As is true with all things GHIS, they learned this by working together with other student scientists from different societies.

Environmental Goals are Joint Goals

Noam Geva, the director of the Ecological Greenhouse, noted that environmental goals such as food production, water distribution, and waste management, are joint goals. These are topics that connect Jewish, Arab, and international students. At the Greenhouse, students come together under one roof where they need to work together and cooperate to accomplish their goals. Students have noted that since they speak different languages, they need to find other ways to communicate.This video (in Arabic, English, and Hebrew) from May 23, 2021, was from a special day when GHIS students joined students from a local Arab high school at the Greenhouse.

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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