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Talking About Common Social Justice Issues in Israel, Tennessee and Beyond

Does separating education between ethnic groups make it more fair or equal?

What power do governments have to increase or decrease racism?
Have inequalities around you become more apparent during the COVID pandemic?

These and other questions were grappled with on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, as the GHIS community met with hundreds of Memphis youth over Zoom. This was the culmination of three months of planning by a GHIS team and representatives of the Memphis Ambassadors Program. This program serves 400-500 youth across Memphis, focusing on community service, leadership, education, entrepreneurship, and perseverance.

Through this project students learned to collaborate and lead a diverse team using digital solutions on an international scale. Students in Memphis and Israel got to know one another’s interests, values and priorities, giving a new perspective to the value of using video conferencing to develop international friendships and deepen their understanding of life in other cultures.

For many GHIS students, it was the first time that they understood the importance of Memphis to the Civil Rights Movement.  As a city that experienced the segregation and disenfranchisement of African Americans, today’s youth have a similar motivation to the GHIS students in resolving the inequalities in their communities.

The day itself was eye opening for all the participants, as they understood the commonality of so many issues regardless of geography.  It is hoped that a similar event will be repeated in the next academic year.

We expect that our first African American students will come from these connections; young people who will take their experiences in leadership, conflict resolution and profound kindness back to Memphis to become catalysts for change.

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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