Heart to Heart was founded in 2011 as a partnership between the Givat Haviva Education Foundation in Israel and Hashomer Hatzair/Camp Shomria in Canada. Givat Haviva is an Israeli non-profit organization dedicated to promoting mutual responsibility, civic equality, and cooperation among divided groups in Israel. Givat Haviva ensures parity between Palestinian and Jewish Israeli leadership at every administrative level, and was awarded the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education in 2001.
The Heart to Heart program brings a group of twenty Israeli teenagers to Canada every summer. Half of our participants identify as Palestinian Israeli, and half as Jewish Israeli. Upon arriving in Canada, the group spends two and a half weeks living together at Camp Shomria, an overnight summer camp near Ottawa. Daily activities include team-building workshops, camping trips, and facilitated dialogue about the narratives, politics, and power dynamics that participants face in their daily lives at home. The group also visits Parliament Hill in Ottawa, and spends four days living with Canadian host families while touring Toronto. The time spent in Canada is a focal point for the group, but it is complemented by workshops for participants at the Givat Haviva campus and in their respective communities leading up to and after their trip.