In a ceremony to be held this week in Vienna, Givat Haviva – The Center for a Shared Society will receive an award for its innovative program of educational cooperation between neighboring Jewish and Arab regional councils. “At a time like this, when Israel is in the eye of the storm, this recognition helps strengthen us and our activities,” said Executive Director Yaniv Sagee, welcoming the award.
Givat Haviva’s Center for a Shared Society in Israel won the special prize from the Austrian government in the category “Innovation” for the educational project. Givat Haviva Executive Director Yaniv Sagee will accept the award at a ceremony to be held in Vienna later this week.
“Especially during these difficult days for Israel at home and abroad, this recognition strengthens us in our work”, welcomed Sagee. “Activity promoting a shared society is an imperative and one of the areas in which Israel can stand out worldwide. Achieving coexistence and equality strengthens the democratic foundation of Israel against the statements of incitement elected officials have been making lately.”
The prize will be awarded to Givat Haviva for a regional education program that is part of Givat Haviva’s flagship program “Shared Communities” that is partnered by FES Israel. In the framework of the program neighboring Jewish and Arab municipalities create ties and initiate joint projects in the fields of economy, education, culture, and more. The program promotes joint educational projects and youth encounters as well as a joint industrial park, a river restoration project, establishment of a regional bike trail, construction of a shared football stadium, and many other activities.
This is the third prize the center has won recently, after receiving the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Human Rights Award 2015 and the annual Constantiner Prize for Jewish Education for 2016 from Tel Aviv University.
“The recognition of our difficult and intense efforts honors us and our partners, continued Sagee. ”We work from a sense of mission and an understanding that the only way to ensure prosperity and security for the Israeli population is through a vision of shared society. The road is not easy and the challenges are enormous, but we are making progress. I hope that, just as foreign governments have come to realize this, the Israeli government will be more willing to adopt the vision of building a shared society and will pursue it at all levels.”
FES Israel congratulates Givat Haviva on this prize!