Beyond Skin partners in Palestine & Israel

Beyond Skin are working in partnership with organisations, individuals and a school in the region. In 2016 supported by WOMAD Foundation and Arts Council Northern Ireland a partnership began with members of HeartBeat - an organisation uniting Palestinian and Israeli youth through music.  Management and teachers that are or have been involved with Heartbeat have been actively working with Beyond Skin up to the present time. In 2020 we began a partnership with Givat Haviva International School (GHIS), where a quarter of the students are Israeli Jews, another quarter Israeli Arabs, and the remaining half international students from more than 20 different countries. Also as members of United Network of Young Peacebuilders we have been complimenting peacebuilding in the region.

Givat Haviva International School (GHIS)


Givat Haviva International School (GHIS) based in Israel brings together Jews and Arabs from Israel & Palestine, Armenians and Turks, Russians and Ukrainians together with teenagers from all over the world. In 2023 we hope to have four students from Northern Ireland to earn a prestigious IB (International Baccalaureate) diploma while engaging in conflict resolution education.


There are four placements for students who are entering the last 2 years of high school. The course is in place of 'A’ Levels.

It is a two year program. The tuition and accommodation on campus is funded

Directors Nurit Gery and Clare King Lassman from GHIS will visit Belfast 27th February to 29th February to host information sessions.

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At a time when world tensions run high and few solutions seem at hand, Givat Haviva International School (GHIS) rises to this challenge with its unique approach to developing future community leaders.

Our students learn to see past stereotypes and historical narratives. Rather, they learn to value diversity and respect each others’ opinions and perspectives. They learn to trust, not to fear.

A new generation dedicated to respect and kindness rather than divisiveness - they return home as peacemakers.


1. To build a network of young leaders who learn the skills to work together towards a more peaceful and just future in Israel and in the world.

2. To develop ambassadors for diversity and social rights

3. To give opportunities for future leaders to receive top class education, including those coming from under privileged backgrounds who could never afford such an opportunity

The Montecito article - Leaders to heal the world - Montecito Journal - July 2022

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Heartbeat is a global community of musicians who unite to break down barriers, build empathy, and promote equality. 

Heartbeat enables music-driven, youth dialogue programs that build bridges and critical awareness between communities otherwise divided by conflict, racism and injustice. Using music education as a medium for transferable learning, youth ensemble members build critical awareness, respect, and trust while harnessing their creativity to imagine possibilities, ask questions, and publicly address systemic problems and injustices.

Since 2017 four Music Teachers / Producers from Heartbeat have visited Northern Ireland many times each year to assist facilitate projects -Luna Abu Nassar, Gani Tamir, Ami Yares and Mark Smulian. All four are professional musicians with solo careers. Ami Yares in now the Director of BuildaBridge Philadelphia and Mark Smulian has been developing mental health programmes with the MindHarp application technology he invented.

Below are photos & videos related to Northern Ireland visits and projects.

Heartbeat Founder & Director Aaron Shneyer & Beyond Skin Founder & CEO Darren Ferguson