Providing an Outstanding Educational Experience

Givat Haviva International School in northern Israel is a coed boarding high school that brings together promising young students from diverse communities and varying economic backgrounds. Over three years they are developed as leaders for cross-cultural cooperation and conflict resolution through a unique approach blending academic excellence with emotional intelligence.

Students aged 15 to 18 live and study together in a respectful, listening community where their individual backgrounds and personal stories are truly valued. In this environment, they form enduring friendships that cross divides and connect communities. GHIS teaches the two-year IBDP, as well as a 10th grade class for Israeli and Arab Jewish day students with a rigorous pre-IB academic education.

About
About

Local and International Advisors

Central to the success of GHIS continues to be the practical and financial support of our dedicated local and international advisors.

Founding Team

We created GHIS as an educational incubator to develop ethical leaders for the future — to help move from disharmony to egalitarian societies that operate in peace.
Yaniv Sagee
Chair
Co-Founder
Nurit Gery
Executive Director
Co-Founder
Yuval Dvir
Head of GHIS
Co-Founder
Clare King Lassman
Director of Communications and Fundraising
Hadas Talmon
Director of Boarding
Yardena Spector-Nizri
Director of Admissions
Alumni Relations

Faculty

Leading GHIS is a team of experienced and empathetic academics, administrators and staff committed to supporting the school’s mission to prepare and inspire students to bring about positive change in the world. They are passionate about helping every student maximize their learning and development both inside and outside the classroom.
Hannah Wilpon
IB Coordinator
Head of English
Hiba Younis
Arabic
Ahmad Asali
Arabic
Mentor

David Zehavi

Hebrew Literature

Mentor

Katy Khoury
Chemistry

Victor Kapilevich

Economics
Kerrie Shvaike
English
Global Politics
Shani Manor

English

Theory of Knowledge

Haya Gelman
Hebrew Literature
Assaf Dagai
Mathematics
Computer Science
Mentor
Tamar Eshel
Mathematics
Nir Navon
Mathematics
Benny Tavory
Mentor
Natalie Krasnostein
Theater
Efrat Gal Shemesh
Visual Arts
Mentor
Dr. Josh Yarden
World Religions
Theory of Knowledge
Mentor

Merav Geva

Biology

Staff

As a community we firmly believe that education takes place not only in our classrooms, but also in the dormitories, dining hall, on the fields and stage, and anywhere faculty and staff interact with our students.
Student Guidance Team

Gigi Azem

Director of Students Well-Being
Carrie Golan

School Therapist

Rana Zahalka Younis
Educational Counselor
Dr. Jonathan (Yoni) Kaplan
University Guidance Counselor
Community Educators
Ahmad Ashqar

Community Educator

Ofek Schmorak

Community Educator

Campus Life Associates
Or Angel
Volunteer
Naomi Levin
Volunteer
Shira Medzini
Volunteer
Harel Matzrafi
Volunteer
Elena Hackenberg
Volunteer
Tabea
Volunteer
Shai Milstein
Volunteer

Employment Opportunities

GHIS is committed to recruiting and retaining an exceptional faculty and staff who reflect the empathy and kindness that underpins the school’s culture. Our dynamic educators are deeply committed to the entire student experience.

Thank you for your interest in GHIS. We welcome applications from recent high school graduates or current college students who would like to assist with admissions or marketing. Please email Nurit Gery at nurit@gh-is.org with your CV and a cover letter explaining your interest in our school.

About

Non-Discrimination Policy

GHIS is committed to a policy of non-discrimination in employment on any basis including race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin or sexual orientation. At GHIS we encourage applications from and do not discriminate against students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin or sexual orientation.

Covid Update

GHIS remained open throughout the pandemic with blended learning to accommodate quarantine situations. All students continue to be offered vaccinations and the school adheres fully to all recommendations of the Ministries of Education and Health.

Yaniv Sagee

Chair
Co-Founder

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.

Nurit Gery

Executive Director
Co-Founder

GHIS is more than just a school. Through our students, their families and communities, and the growing network of committed supporters, GHIS’s impact stretches around the world. Our mission of building peace through education is a message that is resonating far and wide to attract students and stakeholders alike—individuals who appreciate that they can be part of a project that is creating a new cohort of leaders for change.

Together, people of all faiths, from the United States and around the world, are building a like-minded community much larger than the GHIS population. Our school’s impact is creating a ripple effect across the globe, and I am grateful for the incredible commitment and contribution of all supporters—from diverse communities in the United States, to the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Northern Ireland, Morocco and many more.

Our supporters understand the value of educating our passionate and ambitious young students through a lens of shared experience. All will gain a global perspective, top-class education and applicable skills for their future, giving them confidence to be agents of change in all spheres of life both in Israel and across the world.

Nurit joined Givat Haviva in 2015 after 20 years in senior corporate roles. She has traveled around the world building a network of partners, friends, and supporters with GHIS at its core. Nurit graduated from Technion – Israel Institute of Technology with a B.A. in Biology, and has an MBA from the University of San Francisco, California.

Yuval Dvir

Head of GHIS
Co-Founder

GHIS provides a world-class educational experience that equips our students with the tools, knowledge, and life skills to thrive in a diverse, globalized society. We offer the internationally acclaimed IB Diploma Programme facilitated entirely in English, a robust extracurricular program, dynamic residential campus life, and a team of highly experienced, qualified, and dedicated educators.

We are fully committed to the well-being, personal growth, and academic success of each of our students. We have developed extensive support systems ranging from pastoral and emotional care, trained boarding staff, a learning support center, one-on-one tutoring, career counseling, and guidance through the university application process. We ensure that each of our students is matched with a teacher-mentor throughout their enrollment in order to holistically support them.

Above all, GHIS is a community of eager and passionate leaders. We believe in people. We believe in education. We believe that our graduates will carry our mission and expertise, and transform the world by connecting people and making their societies fairer, more just, and more inclusive.

Yuval is a doctoral candidate at the Institute of Education at University College London. He has a B.A. in Economics and Business Management, an M.A. in Education Leadership and Administration, and an M.Mus. in Musical Performance from Tel Aviv University.

Clare King Lassman

Director of Communications and Fundraising

Clare joined GHIS in 2017 as a fundraiser, forming part of the founding team that brought the project to life. GHIS gives Clare the perfect platform to share the very best of Israel with an international audience. “In the future we will see GHIS alumni leading their peers and making this region and the world more equitable.”

Clare came to Israel on sabbatical from the UK in 2007 having worked in fundraising for nonprofits for more than 15 years. She immediately volunteered in initiatives bringing together Arabs and Jews. Understanding the importance of bridging the divide, and wishing to connect diaspora Jewry to shared society projects, she committed herself to this role professionally. Clare and her family decided to settle in Israel and she has been working in this field ever since.

Before gaining her B.A. in Urban Studies from Sussex University, Clare graduated from the Institute for Youth Leaders from Abroad in Jerusalem.

Hadas Talmon

Director of Boarding

Hadas heads up the GHIS boarding team and also coordinates all the CAS activities. She spent an impactful year at the Arava Institute with international students, including Palestininans and Jordanians, which opened her mind to the power of cooperation in a multicultural setting.

“When I heard about GHIS, I knew I had to be involved in helping a new generation of young Israelis learn it is possible to listen and respect others’ opinions without judgment.” Hadas lives on campus with her young family, and is available to students 24/7.

Immediately prior to joining GHIS, Hadas was a geo-political tour guide and involved in environmental education. She earned her B.A. in Geography and Environmental Development from Ben Gurion University and an M.A. in Natural Resource and Environmental Management from the University of Haifa.

Yardena Spector-Nizri

Director of Admissions and Alumni Relations

Yardena sees a direct connection between her teenage role as the founder of the Scout troop in Kfar Saba, and the milestones that connect her professional life. From director of Young Judaea summer programs to dean of students for AMHSI, each involved her creating something from scratch, guiding teams, taking responsibility, and managing big and complex projects.

Even before GHIS was founded, Yardena was there to help; originally as a volunteer and later as the director of admissions. “I am proud to be the first person that potential students meet in their interview, and the one who will stay connected as they become alumni. I feel as if they are my own children, and am honored to celebrate their successes with them.”

Yardena obtained her B.A. in Education and Political Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and has recently completed an M.A. in American Jewish Studies from the University of Haifa.

Hannah Wilpon

IB Coordinator
Head of English

Hannah came to Israel from Washington D.C. as a teaching fellow with the Masa Israel Journey program, where she taught English to middle school students. As the year came to an end, she decided to stay and joined GHIS.

“I like to be busy, so as well as teaching English language and literature, plus Spanish, I recently took on the challenge of becoming the IBDP coordinator.”

Hannah earned a B.A. in History from Elon University, North Carolina, and is also a certified history teacher.

Hiba Younis

Arabic

Hiba is a GHIS superstar—no job is too big or too small. She teaches Arabic, and is both a school administrator and a mentor. Totally dependable, Hiba is outstanding in everything she does.

“To be a mentor is to give the students support as a mother. To be a teacher at GHIS is a totally different experience from my work in other schools. I wish I could have been a student here.”

Hiba obtained her B.A. from El Qasame College, and M.A. in English Literature from Bar Ilan University.

Ahmad Asali

Arabic
Mentor

Ahmad joins GHIS as an Arabic A teacher for the DP1 cohort, and also teaches Arabic to 10th grade students.  He is a newly qualified teacher in citizenship and nationalism, and has substantial experience in the area of Jewish-Arab shared education.  

“Facing and being aware of social issues has a big and meaningful value in my life. I believe that the mutual responsibility between citizens and countries is the key to creating a better place to live. My purpose is to be involved in promoting the face of the society and to be dedicated to human rights around the world. Being part of those changes and having had influence truly defines me.” 

Ahmad earned his B.A. in Political Science and Media from Tel Aviv University, where he also gained his teaching certificate.

David Zehavi

Hebrew Literature
Mentor

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 the elementary school level..

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

David Zehavi

Hebrew Literature
Mentor

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 the elementary school level..

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

Katy Khoury

Chemistry

Katy is an extremely experienced and highly sought-after chemistry teacher. Prior to GHIS, she worked for many years as a lecturer at Madatech, Israel National Museum of Science, Technology and Space, and also taught at top high schools in Haifa.

“GHIS is a special place which allows me to develop my abilities and express myself. I am accepted by students and staff as I am—which is different from other places where I have worked.”

Katy obtained a B.Sc in Chemistry Education and a Teaching Certificate from Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, an M.Sc. in Education in Technology and Science, and a B.Sc. Chemistry from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Victor Kapilevich

Economics

Victor has a diverse real-life business background. Prior to GHIS, he worked for international schools teaching Economics and Business and Management. Before starting his teaching career, Victor had various marketing roles in global consulting and banking companies.

“GHIS is a unique environment that allows me to utilize and combine my international practical experience and teaching passion. My key goal is to widen students’ horizons from standard “bookish” knowledge to real life application of Business and Economics theory.

Victor gained a M.A. in Socio- Economic Geography from Moscow State University after M.V. Lomonosov and and M.A. in Pedagogical Science, from Moscow City Pedagogical University. Victor holds a professional IB Professional Development IB Certificate  Cat.2  Economics and Business management.

Victor has a diverse real-life business background. Prior to GHIS, he worked for international schools teaching Economics and Business and Management. Before starting his teaching career, Victor had various marketing roles in global consulting and banking companies.

“GHIS is a unique environment that allows me to utilize and combine my international practical experience and teaching passion. My key goal is to widen students’ horizons from standard “bookish” knowledge to real life application of Business and Economics theory.

Victor gained a M.A. in Socio- Economic Geography from Moscow State University after M.V. Lomonosov and and M.A. in Pedagogical Science, from Moscow City Pedagogical University. Victor holds a professional IB Professional Development IB Certificate  Cat.2  Economics and Business management.

Kerrie Shvaike

English
Global Politics

Kerrie has been writing all her life; she was a journalist and worked in radio before deciding that teaching was her true vocation. She has always believed in the advantages students gain from living in a multicultural and diverse environment, and she wants to show GHIS students that any of them can have an impact if they chose the path of politics.

“The IB system gives me the leeway to teach new things and develop new initiatives. I encourage the students to always speak up, even when they do not feel confident.”

Kerrie has an M.A. in Politics from the University of Edinburgh, a UK Teaching Certificate from University of London, Celta English Teaching Certificate from Cambridge University, and is currently working on an M.A. Education at the University of Bath.

Shani Manor

English

Shani is an experienced educator with a background in American and Israeli education institutions and international NGOs. Having grown up in both Israel and the USA, she is thoroughly familiar with the experience of studying abroad and understands the challenges students face. Shani loves knowledge, interactions, learning, and teaching, and once in a while, she’ll bring her guitar and sing the material to students.

“For me, education is a mind-blowing experience — big bangs that happen in our brain as we connect the dots of our experience of existence. As a teacher, it is my way to teach students to think for themselves and believe anything is possible for them to achieve.”

Shani has an MA in Government Studies from the Interdisciplinary School, where she wrote her thesis on the US Security Council’s decision making process on military intervention. She also holds a BA from Manhattanville College in Philosophy, Writing, and African Studies, as well as a teaching certificate from Levinsky College of Education.

Haya Gelman

Hebrew Literature

Haya had not planned to continue teaching, but after meeting the students and faculty at GHIS she knew that joining was the only way forward.

“Literature and humanities enable my students to learn how to rethink their life and surroundings in open and pluralistic ways. I see my role as opening their minds and teaching them tools to develop critical and broad thinking.” In her additional role as a mentor, Haya aims to support her mentees through their years at GHIS.

Haya earned her B.A. in Mass Communication and Management from Tel Aviv University, and M.A. in Hebrew Comparative Literature from the University of Haifa.

Assaf Dagai

Mathematics
Computer Science
Mentor

Formerly a senior software developer at Amdocs in Israel, Assaf decided in 2018 to leave his hi-tech career behind in order to teach math and computer science at GHIS. Assaf is an adored teacher and colleague and spearheaded the planting of a forest adjacent to GHIS.

“I believe the essence of education is to instill learning skills, strengthen the students’ self-confidence, and bolster their ability to communicate effectively.”

Assaf earned his B.A. in Finance and Business Management with a minor in Computer Science from Connecticut State University. He holds an M.A. in Leadership and Management from Tel Aviv University.

Tamar Eshel

Mathematics

Becoming a high school teacher was an unexpected professional diversion for Tamar, who prior to joining GHIS, was a statistics mentor at the Open University of Israel and a statistician at the College of Management Academic Studies in Rishon L’Tsiyon.

“Teaching a diverse group of students at GHIS has broadened my horizons and allowed me to put my values into action.” She has a reputation for being wholly devoted to her students.

Tamar earned her B.A. in Economics and Agriculture from the Hebrew University’s Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment in Rehovot, and her M.A. in Statistics from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Nir Navon

Mathematics
Nir joined GHIS as a math teacher supporting individual students with their learning. This year he is expanding his role as a class teacher in the PDP and DP1 cohorts. Nir is transitioning into teaching having previously worked as an industry and management engineer.

Benny Tavory

Mentor

Benny’s professional path has taken many twists and turns; between periods in the security services he worked in agriculture, education, and industry on the kibbutz where he lived.

After retiring, Benny was looking for a new challenge. Living close to GHIS, he had heard about this unique school and offered his services as a mentor and personal tutor. He is deeply connected to the students, to whom he is wholly committed

Natalie Krasnostein

Theater

Natalie is a writer, artist, performer, psychodramatist and workshop facilitator originally from Melbourne. She has been involved in theater projects with Aboriginal and Jewish communities in Australia, and has run workshops in countries around the world.

“Joining GHIS to teach theater was a natural move, allowing me to fulfill my ideas and ideals while connecting with the country I now call home.”

Natalie has a B.Sc. in Psychology from Curtin University in Perth, a Diploma of Education from Victoria University in Melbourne, and is a graduate of John Bolton Theatre School.

Efrat Gal Shemesh

Visual Arts
Mentor

Efrat was co-founder of the Alfred Cooperative Institute for Art & Culture, and was the director of Rawart Gallery in Tel Aviv.

“Art is a tool to engage with issues of identity and self-expression, and to express political and social issues. The IB’s high-level curriculum enables the students to combine theory and practice as they examine and analyze the essence of art works.”

Efrat earned a B.A. in Art from Hamidrasha at Beit Berl, and an M.A. in Fine Arts from Utrecht School of Arts (HKU).

Dr. Josh Yarden

World Religions
Theory of Knowledge
Mentor

Josh grew up in the USA and completed high school in Jerusalem where he graduated from the International Institute for Youth Leaders. He first attended a seminar at Givat Haviva when he was 17. Over the years he has returned to Givat Haviva to study Hebrew, Arabic, and community leadership; facilitate Arab-Jewish encounters; and lead seminars for students from abroad.

“I’ve taught at boarding schools in Israel and the United States, led programs at camps, international study tours, and devoted thousands of hours to the professional development of early and mid-career educators. GHIS stands out as an opportunity to draw upon all of my experience to take part in building an amazing school.”

Josh earned a B.A. in Middle East Studies from McGill University, in Montreal, and an M.A. in History, from the University of Haifa. He holds a Ph.D. in Education, Culture and Society from the University of Pennsylvania.

Merav Geva

Biology

Prior to realizing that science education was her true calling, Merav had been working in scientific research as well as scientific writing. The experience she accumulated in research and industry is an asset that she brings to the classroom to share with her students.

‘Scientific literacy in general, and biology in particular, are essential to every high school graduate. GHIS and the IBDP encourage independent thinking, and provide a unique environment for teaching’

 

Merav earned her B.Sc. in Chemistry from Ben Gurion University and her M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Structural Biology from the Weizmann Institute of Science. She also holds a Teaching certificate from the Feinberg Graduate School of the Weizmann Institute.

Gigi Azem

Director of Students Well-Being

Carrie Golan

Therapeutic Counselor

Carrie has been working with international students in Israel for the last decade. Prior to joining GHIS, Carrie was the mental health counselor for the international student population at Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. She also worked for many years as a drama therapist with young Israeli special-needs adults residing in group homes through the Kesher Association.

At GHIS, Carrie relishes the opportunity of counseling students from diverse backgrounds and creating a safe atmosphere for those who require additional support. She provides individual and group therapy, facilitates psychoeducational workshops, and supports the educational staff.

Carrie obtained her B.A. in Theater Performance from Marymount Manhattan College and M.A. in Creative Arts and Drama Therapy from Haifa University. She is currently studying Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – Mindfulness.

Rana Zahalka Younis

Educational Counselor

Rana is an experienced high school educational counselor and was the psychological counselor at the International School at Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. Previously, she was the director of the Youth Education Unit in Ar’ara Municipality.

Among her many different positions, Rana is most proud of her role guiding teachers and principals in the City Without Violence program. “The aim is to educate children and youth about alternatives to violent behavior by providing them with tools and activities which stress the importance of human dignity, tolerance and coexistence.”

Rana earned her B.A in Behavioral Science and Psychology from Max Stern Emek Israel College, and an M.Ed. in Educational Counselling from Beit Berl, Haifa.

Dr. Jonathan (Yoni) Kaplan

University Guidance Counselor

Yoni has spent over 40 years working with international students in Israel as a teacher, administrator and institutional leader. In the past he served as the deputy director of the Institute for Youth Leaders from Abroad, the founding principal of Israel’s first Virtual High School, ORT Aviv, and the director of undergraduate studies at the Rothberg International School of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which included overseeing undergraduate admissions. Most recently he was vice provost at the Rothberg School.

Over the years, Yoni has taught Jewish and Israeli history at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem University College, the Schechter Institute and various other academic institutions in Israel.

Yoni has a B.A. in Education and Jewish History, an M.A. and PhD in Jewish History from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, as well as a teaching certificate for secondary schools.

Ahmad Ashqar

Campus Life Associate

Ahmad is from a village in the north of the West Bank. He studied mechanical engineering and also attended the Arava Institute in the Negev desert, both as a student and then as a Program Associate.

Ahmad’s experience in community building began when he was a community youth group leader in his home village.

He is committed to the use of renewable energy and deeply interested in related energy policies.

Ofek

Boarding Counselor

Ofek is 22 years old and from Petach Tikva.

She attended a democratic school and fully believes in this kind of educational system as it gives students the freedom and opportunity to explore their interests and passions. For Ofek, an integral part of her school experience was participating in Krembo Wings, a diverse youth movement for children and youth with and without special needs.

Ofek was a Hebrew teacher during her compulsory service, helping those for whom Hebrew was not their first language. After her service, she continued teaching Hebrew and was a counselor for people with special needs.

Now she is at GHIS and very excited to be part of this unique international community.

Or Angel

Volunteer

Or is from Givatayim, and loves both arts and sciences. At school she majored in chemistry and conducted academic research at a lab of Tel-Aviv University. For eight year, she danced in a professional studio.

Or decided to take a gap year because volunteering and contributing to the community has always been very important to her.

Naomi Levin

Volunteer

Naomi is from Kibbutz Yizre’el near the Gilboa, where she has lived with her family since they moved to Israel from the Netherlands. She recently graduated high school from Ein Harod, where she majored in art and chemistry.

Naomi’s hobbies include playing music, baking, and painting. She enjoys hiking and loves going to the beach.

Shira Medzini

Volunteer

Shira is from Ramat Hasharon, where she recently graduated from Ankori’s media program, majoring in cinema and business management. She loves dance, photography, music, and math. 

Shira is grateful for the opportunity to contribute through a gap year at GHIS because she likes to get out of her comfort zone, and meet new people from other cultures.

Harel Matzrafi

Volunteer

Harel is from Moshav Mashen. At school he majored in physics and music. Having spent four years learning music production and playing two instruments, he hopes to one day be a professional musician.

In addition to music, Harel loves all sports—particularly football and basketball.

Elena Hackenberg

Volunteer

Elena comes to GHIS from Germany where she recently finished high school. She will spend her gap year volunteering at GHIS.

Elena has been a scout since she was a child and has been both a group leader and youth leader for years. She spent a year going to school in England.

She likes meeting new people and experiencing new cultures, while working on meaningful projects – a perfect fit for GHIS.

Tabea

Volunteer
Tabea is from Berlin where she worked in a children’s residential home. On her way to Israel, she spent two months living in Greece, where she worked with troubled teenagers. Now she is excited to bring her experience to GHIS as she discovers a new country and its cultures and traditions.

Shai Milstein

Volunteer
Shai Milstein is from Brazil. In 2019, he moved to Israel to attend high school. This year he became an Israeli citizen and chose to volunteer at GHIS to learn more about the different cultures and people who live in this country that he loves so much. He can’t wait to meet the diverse range of students at GHIS.