Givat Haviva Keshev Partnership Receives USAID Grant
to Promote Critical Media Consumption Skills
among Jewish and Arab Israeli Youth and Educators
October 23, 2011
Givat Haviva, Israel – Givat Haviva, the leading institute promoting Jewish-Arab coexistence education in Israel, has been awarded a two-year grant through a cooperative agreement from the Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation (CMM) of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The grant will support the Communicating Peace project to be carried out in partnership with Keshev – The Center for the Protection of Democracy in Israel, a leading organization that works to improve the media discourse and media consumption habits in Israeli society.
Communicating Peace responds to the growing mutual mistrust and animosity between Jews and Arabs in Israel which is significantly bred by problematic press coverage of Arab Israelis in the Hebrew media. By developing curricula in critical media consumption and offering workshops for students and teachers, the project seeks to “inoculate” young Israelis against the negative influences of coverage that incites against and otherwise defames Israel’s Arab minority.
The implementing organizations view this initiative as a key strategy for strengthening democracy and social cohesion in an increasingly fragmented Israeli society. “This project can help overcome the mutual alienation currently dividing Jews and Arabs in Israel, bringing us closer to our vision of a shared society for all citizens,” said Dr. Ghazal Abu Raya, Program Director. “By targeting youth, we believe that the impact of Communicating Peace will be felt for years to come.”
Through uni-national and bi-national workshops, the project will train over 500 high school students to read and view news reports from a more critical perspective. Through enrichment training and publication of a teachers’ guide in Hebrew and Arabic, the project will advise over 100 Jewish and Arab educators on ways to transmit this subject in their own teaching. Beyond these target audiences, the project will also reach influential policy makers and media editors. Toward the end of the project’s first year, a teachers' guide will be published and shared with educators and education officials at the Ministerial level and in local governments.
“We believe that if news consumers adjust their orientation towards news that they receive, they can better recognize and resist inflammatory and manipulative media messages,” said Yizhar Be’er, Executive Director of Keshev. “They will thereby be less susceptible to forming negative and hostile attitudes toward vulnerable minority groups, ultimately contributing to reduced conflict between Jewish and Arab populations and a stronger Israeli democracy.”
Givat Haviva is a non-profit organization founded in 1949 as the national education center of the Kibbutz Federation in Israel. It is dedicated to promoting mutual responsibility, civic equality and cooperation between divided groups in Israel as the foundation for building a shared future and shared society – critical elements of a sustainable and thriving Israeli democracy. To this end, Givat Haviva serves as a catalyst in activating divided communities to work together towards achieving their common goals, while engaging in a process of interaction, support and empowerment. This is done through facilitating cross-community projects; leading training and capacity building activities; convening seminars, workshops and conferences to cultivate concrete ideas that foster change; and translating these ideas into action. A leader in its field, Givat Haviva was awarded the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education for its longstanding work in promoting Jewish-Arab dialogue and reconciliation. www.givathaviva.org.il
Keshev – The Center for the Protection of Democracy in Israel was founded in 1997 by Israeli citizens concerned about the deterioration of the public discourse and its repercussions for Israeli democracy. Over the past decade Keshev has worked to promote critical media consumption and a more moderate media discourse through media research, education and advocacy. In its work vis-à-vis students and news consumers Keshev teaches how to evaluate news coverage critically in order to acquire informed viewpoints that can help citizens make reasoned decisions in their democratic participation. www.keshev.org.il
USAID - The U.S. Agency for International Development administers the U.S. foreign assistance program providing economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 80 countries worldwide. www.usaid.gov
For further information please contact:
Dr. Ghazal Abu Raya firstname.lastname@example.org