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October 18, 2009

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October 18, 2009

I know the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies (AIES) since 2003. I was student in this wonderful institution for two years and their i started my Masters in the joint program with Ben Gurion University. in 2003, after my undergraduate studies at the Technion, I was looking for educational body that has long-term activities in Arab-Jewish interaction. AIES was the only one doing this, and, i guess, still the only one that does that in the best way. despite living in Israel, the Israeli university system prevented, or at least did not encourage, such dialogs. as an Arab-Israeli, I find this strategy shameful and irresponsible. AIES builds understanding between Jewish, Arabs, and more. it builds comprehensive, productive network of environmental-related scientists and community leaders who play an active role back in their communities and countries based on the principle AIES introduced to them. and i am one of many who keep doing this. right now I am studying towards my PhD in the US based on the idea i developed back in AIES.

The Great!

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

my communication skills, knowledge, study, networking and being exposed to good people

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

interaction with other student with different backgrounds and building relationships

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

open minded and progressively willing to help for environmental causes

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

gather more students to study and interact with people whom they would never have such experience in their entire life professional and personal. will initiate and administrate socially-environmentally oriented projects that will positive impacts

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

October 17, 2009

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October 17, 2009

I first learned of the Arava Institute about seven years ago via the Friends of the Arava Institute. The "Friends" are relentless in getting out the word of the Institite's mission of saving the environment and establishing understanding between Israel and its neighbors through environmental concerns. The Friends have created a window in the U.S. into this very impressive institute. Without their outreach, informational, and fund-raising efforts, I'm not sure if the Arava Institute would have the where-with-all to carry out its truely vital work for both the environment and coexistence in the Middle East. The Friends keep me informed and constantly stimulate my interest in and concern for the Arava Institute.

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

its in-deepth reporting and its keeping me informed on a regular basis of the progress and events of the Arava Institute.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 17, 2009

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October 17, 2009

I have known of the Arava Institute and the Friends of the Arava Institute since the inception of both entities. The dual roles of the Arava Intitute (research environmental issues and promoting co-existence) address the vital concerns facing our world. The fundraising by the Friends of the Arava Institute is volunteer driven with low overhead, enabling the most results for every dollar donation.

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

bring the middle east (particularly Israel, Palestine, and Jordan) closer to better environmental cooperation and . . . closer to peace.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 17, 2009

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October 17, 2009

I first learned about the Arava Institute during a visit to Kibbutz Ketura in 2007. Shortly after my return to the US, an aquaintance mentioned the Israel Bike Ride. I immediately registered and spent the seven months raising substantial funds to support the Arava Institute and preparing for the ride. It was the most incredible experience of my life. Meeting the students and hearing about their work and the leadership seminars was a high point of the bike trip. This is a unique way to support a unique organization, which is one of a kind. Friends of the Arava Institute does a terrific job telling the Institute's story in the US and thereby attracting the support the institute deserves.

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

meeting with the students and visiting Kibbutz Ketura

Ways to make it better...

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

add more spokespeople to spread the word about the Arava Institute.

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

raising funds and participating in the May, 2008 Arava/Hazon Bike Ride.

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

terrific ambassadors for the great work done at the institute

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

expand the capacity of the Arava Institute to bring more Muslim and Jewish students in the Middle East together to make a greater impact on the earth's environmental crisis.

Ways to make it better...

I could have spent more time at the institute and continued my fund raising efforts to do the Israel Bike Ride again.

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

competition among all the Jewish and Israel Advocacy Organizations for funds that have been more harder to obtain during the present, difficult economic situation.

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

the Friends of the Arava Institute deserves recognition and increased funding in order to help the institute solve environmental problems and bring opposing populations together for peace, one person at a time.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 17, 2009

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October 17, 2009

I studied at the Arava Institute in the Spring of 2005. Since my semester there, I can't seem to get away from the Middle East. Now I live in Jerusalem and work in economic development in the West Bank, and not a day goes by without me thinking of my Arava experiences or where my colleagues are. A great institution training the future leaders (both environmental and other) of tomorrow!

The Great!

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

My everyday life.

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

the connections I've made to others around the world.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 17, 2009

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October 17, 2009

I am the Producer of The Shtick, the only Jewish TV show in Australia. I had the great honour and pleasure to meet , film , and interview an Israeli student Ilana , and a Palestinian student Mutasim, who together were touring Australia with the message that 'The environment has no borders". I was very impressed with their attitude and enthusiasm to bring conflicting countries to the table to discuss and further ways of making peace.To watch the interview go to www.theshtick.info , follow the link to YouTube, and go to Episode 13.07 Segment 3. Well worth a watch....

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

I have been receiving their Newsletter , and found it a most rewarding experience. When I visit Israel next time, i will definitely go to the Arava, to see for myself the great advances that the Institute has achieved.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 17, 2009

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October 17, 2009

I attended the Arava Institute and it changed my life. I went from being a sheltered American college student with an ego-centric outlook on the world to having a broad perspective on environmental politics and the all the grey that colors in between black and white political stances. During the program, I witnessed people from "different sides of the track" working together, playing together and learning together. Among my cohert, there were people from Jordan and Egypt, Palestine and Israel, America and Europe. Whereas there are other groups out there that bring people of these great lands together to dialogue, most of them fall short in that the participants can always get up and walk away from the discussion when it gets too hard or they bring people together at too young an age to really put their words and collective projects into play. The Arava Institute always encouraged us to look beyond the racial, religious and cultural differences that might otherwise stand as road blocks to peace and see the common factors that impact all of us regardless of family history-our environment. Today, I have the opportunity to share what I learned at the Arava Institute about tolerance, keeping a open mind and celebrating diversity with the many young Jewish children I work with in the capacity of teaching 2nd-5th grade Sunday School and serving as the advisor to a wonderful Jewish Teen Group, called Shorashim, in Northern California. I am happy whenever I get a copy of the e-newsletter from Friends of the Arava to see all the good work the Arava Institute continues to do.

The Great!

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

please see what I wrote above.

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

reach out to environmentally-conscious students to teach them what true cooperation and teamwork looks like.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

October 17, 2009

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October 17, 2009

My daughter and I went on a bike ride to support the Arava Institute this past May. We had the opportunity to meet some of the alums from the Arava as well as had a chance to visit the Institute. We could not have been more impressed. We met people, who had life changing experiences because of the Institute. Their understanding of other cultures increased exponentially. The educational experience to work together to optimize the resources in the Middle East makes so much sense. I can only hope that more people from a variety of cultures take advantaage of the opportunities available to learn more about this wonderful resource/ institute located in a part of the world that needs to be appreciated more than it already is.

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

some of the most wonderful people that I had ever met. All of them were intelligent and extremely friendly with the goal to make this world a better place

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 16, 2009

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October 16, 2009

Because the mission of the Arava Institute and by extension, the Friends of the Arava Institute, is so important to the cause of peaceful and collaborative co-existence, I believe that support of FAI will continue to grow exponentially as people learn about the Institute. FAI is an organization full of people who are dedicated and passionate about its success. It's an honor to be associated with FAI.

The Great!

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

its successes in raising awareness about the Institute and in fundraising in support of the Institute.

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

working with the Executive Director and the Board.

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

fabulous.

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

promote peaceful co-existence and continue to educate Jordanian, Israeli, Palestinian and Western students with its advanced environmental work as well as expand the research that will make a huge difference in the future.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 16, 2009

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October 16, 2009

I have followed the Arava Institute on its website, having been referred, or linked, by my membership in Hadassah. From the first encounter I was struck by the brilliance of a global membership working toward a global solution to the effects of climate change. This year I lost two very dear friends and was able to memorialize them with donations to the Arava Institute. The nature of these memorials are that they are an investment in the future of mankind, and I could think of no more appropriate way to honor great friends who have faded into the past. When I recently read about the involvement of a Palestinian in the Arava program, my heart responded with the longing felt by many Jews and Muslims, for the friendship of each other. With the goal that healing the environment can heal the wounds of nationalism, I have dedicated my limited philanthropic ability to Arava Institute.

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

Memorializing two friends who died this year.

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

Recruit a diverse staff and faculty of thousands.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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