Friends of the Arava Institute

Rating: 4.92 stars   210 reviews

Issues:

Location: 896 Beacon Street Boston MA 02215 USA

Mission: Friends of the Arava Institute is the North American nonprofit organization that is focused on raising visibility and support for the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies. The Arava Institute is a ground-breaking academic institution located in the south of Israel built on the philosophy that Nature Knows No Borders. Operating in a region of historic conflict, the Institute brings together young future leaders from Israel, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, and beyond, to study common environmental challenges as a platform not only for advancing sustainability but for developing the trust, respect, and understanding that can serve as a foundation for peace.
Geographic areas served: North America

2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I first learned about the Arava Institute when I attended a talk by Rabbi Michael Cohen. I was immediately drawn to the Institute's vision and impressed with the work that that its students and members are doing to address environmental concerns in the region. But what is even more inspiring is Arava's commitment to bringing Palestinian, Jordanian, and Jewish students together to work on common problems. Here's to clean water for all!

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the model it provides of inspirational energy to repair the world and not despair.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-2-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

In 2008 I participated in the Israel Ride, and visited the Arava Institute, a unique educational and research institution. I remember wanting to go as a student, stay and learn there. Through the Friends of the Arava Institute, I can keep that enthusiasm alive. Besides being people with a passion for the work of the Institute, they are committed to spreading the word, providing a forum the people and ideas of the Institute outside of Israel. Friends of the Arava Institute functions as a bridge between my life here in US and the work of the Institute halfway around the world.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

group meetings with people in Southern California who are familiar with Arava Institute and commited to fulfilling its goals.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I'm not sure what I would do. I am not that close to the actual workings of the organization.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

New information that the speakers have presented.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

friendly and interested in a personal connection with myself and the other people there. They were not just interested in trying to raise money.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Establish a companion school to the Arava Institute itself so that students could stay in the US and continue their work.

Ways to make it better...

There were more frequent meetings. At the moment the presence of this organization on the West Coast is still small.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

a reluctance on the part of the wider community to embrace the Insitute. I think that it is looked at as a small, eccentric group of people trying to do something impossible.

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

I can not recall how I learned about the Arava Institute, but since the moment I heard about it, I knew I wanted to be part of it in one way or another. The idea of such an institution, devoted to environmental studies, existing in Israel is an achievement in itself. However, above all, I applaud the institution for the way in which they carry out their mission that "nature knows no boarders". Having the heads of the institution, the staff and the students be Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians warms my heart. Coming together to work for a common goal is the way to go to bring the two nations closer to each other. This is holly work in so many levels.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Allow more students to come and take part in this amazing process that the institute creates for all its participants.

Ways to make it better...

Next time I am in Israel, I would like to visit the institution and if possible also volunteer.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

Having heard testimonials from various students who had the opportunity to study at the Arava Institute I am pleased to write a positve review in favor of this Institution. From American Jewish students who had never interacted with Muslims before to a Palestinian from Gaza who told me recently that attending the Arava Institute changed his life completely - it is a "Great Non Profit". The staff and students are to be commended in their quest for peace in the Middle East.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

meeting students and professionals involved with the institute.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

12 people found this review helpful

When peace finally comes to the Israelis and Palestinians, it will be because of the unrelenting efforts of institutions like the Arava Institute. And the people responsible for fueling the energy and passion of the folks who run the institution are the dedicated members of the Friends Of The Arava Institute. They quietly and tirelessly work to make sure the visions of the leaders and students at the Institute have what they need to realize the dreams and goals so needed by the region and the world. The Institute not only works for and teaches peace, but also is dedicated to sustaining our environment locally, regionally, and globally. The Friends of The Arava institute rate a triple “A” PLUS in my book.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

watching the betterment of our world, bit by bit. They're wonderful stewards of the seeds planted by 30 idealistic kids 36 years ago. I'm proud to have been one of them & equally proud of the Friends of the A. I. for taking our work many steps farther.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

This is a non-ivasive bunch. There are no pushy, glossy, high-tech, annoying foeple or techniques employed by the Friends of the Arava Institute.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Humble, dedicated and tireless

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

bring more students from inentitled areas to the Institute and fund the graduates' projects to interface with each other after graduation through their various NGOs.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

I visited the Arava Institute several times in my capacity as on-site coordinator for American college students in Israel. My first impression was "who would want to spend an extended period of time in such a distant, isolated place". As I learned about the program and met with the administrators and the students, I got the answer to my question. The Institute provides a creative, varied, meaningful setting for dealing with the most important elements of environmental awareness. Israelis, Palestinians, Jordanians, and students from around the world work together to find solutions to shared concerns. As one of my students reported to me, the Arava Institute changed her life in the most meaningful way. It is a cutting edge undertaking that I am proud to support.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing the changes it brought about in students who were there for the semester and in learning of their enthusiasm for their experience.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

improve the living conditions of students who are there. While the students made no complaints about the rugged conditions, I think that it would be good if there were a few more amenities.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

their openness, their pluralism, their commitment to peace and partnership in an area that lacks all of the above.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Enthusiastic, commited to their goals, intelligent, determined to improve environmental awareness.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

have a greater and more impressive impact on Israel and on the Middle East as a whole. It could engage in more innovative programs, bring together more students, and make a really significant contribution to the development of the Negev.

Ways to make it better...

I had had more time to be there, to attend some of the classes and participate in the projects.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Raising sufficient funds to be able to keep on with its work in the midst of tremendous competition in the non profit world.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I went to the Arava Institute for the first time because it was part of my job. I have returned and become a supporter because of how impressed I am by the impact it has had on all those with whom it has been in contact.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-1-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

An extremely well run ideological institute that has succeeded in bringing together hands on action along with ideological fervor making a true mark on Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian society

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Encountering the graduates all over the country along with seeing the actual results of the activities through initiatives of the graduates, along with the impact of the students on people the world over

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand the activity and open the center up to additional students

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The outstanding graduates are one of the most powerful and empowering experience one can have as far as the Israeli Arab conflict is concerned

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

True idealists deeply committed to the center and to the goals

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Truly change the Middle East!!

Ways to make it better...

If more people would know and be exposed to activity I would empower eachpersons experiance

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Financial and political

One thing I'd also say is that...

People need to get on board and give the Aravah institute the support it needs to bring their positive environmental and conflict resolving message to the Middle East

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

along with the many thing i have gotten during my studies at the arava institute, the things i value most are the wonderful friends i made. they made it possible for me to see the conflict from their eyes and opened their hearts to me and my story. these kind of personal connections, in my opinion, are the only way to break the wall and understand that the other is not that different. the arava istitute gives hope by bringing people from all over the world, people who want to change things for the better. thank you!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the friends i made and the knowledge i got which helped me to choose a direction

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

added more classes or activities that teaches practical knowledge

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the people!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

wonderful people

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

bring more people together and expend its action into more practical fields, such as projects all over the area the environment and the importance of cooporation

Ways to make it better...

i would have to share a room and had more space to study quiet...

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

growing with wisdome and not out of proportions, not loosing its heart

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

The American branch of the machon has done a great job keeping me engaged with the middle east. As a former student it was a great experience and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

an educational setting.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

they are extremely helpful and want to help me!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

very motivated.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

expand the facilities of the machon and attract more students of all backgrounds.

Ways to make it better...

I had more time with them!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

money and outreach.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Keep up the good work!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-6-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

The Arava Institute is involved in cutting edge research as well as in training a cadre of people who will be leading change in Israel and nearby countries. I learn something every time I read an Institute newsletter. It is inspiring to learn how the Institute is building bridges in the region.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

very competent and dedicated.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

further the cause of peace between Israel and its neighbors.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-6-01

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