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

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

3 people found this review helpful

The Institute represents a unique model in using the environment as a tool in enhancing peace and building trust between people in the Middle East. The Institute has opened the scientific door for students from Jordan, Israel, and West Bank and Gaza to learn more about the common environmental problems facing the region and more importantly how to approach them in an integrated way. Additionally, the Institute has been providing excellent lessons that can be transferred to the other regions around that peace needs actions and practical measures to sustain. I highly appreciate the role of the Institute in protecting the environment and promoting peace between people and believe that a place like Arava Institute deserves all support to continue spreading the message of hope for the whole region.

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

Establishing connections with people working in the field of protection the environment and sustainable development.

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

Update you with the information about alumni of the Arava Institute

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

very active in providing help and assitance to the alumni of the Arava Institute.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

The strongest learning for me was the to understand the extraordinary hurdles that the participants had to clear to pusue their ideals. With the threat of isolation from their own families and friends they pursued the participation in the programme. This gives me hope in the uture for the region. this programme is fostering the foundations of the stability in the region. The fabric of the leaders of the future is being interwoven. There is clarity that more will be achieved through cooperation and mutual respect in this complex political and enirnmental regional crossroads.

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

Though participating in 2007 Jerusalem - Eilat bike ride

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

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

Seeing the capacity of people t oharminise.

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

enthusaitic,great examples of mutual respect

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

There is a huge global media industry looking for stories. Strategic coverage of the stories from the institute like that the appeared on CNN and for example I attended a function with the 2 of the alumni in Australia. Jewish schools should be visited.

Ways to make it better...

Emphasise the importance of preparitory training and fitness.

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

the difficulty in getting the message out to the broader communities throughout the region and globally. reinforce the interdependence all the countries have in their environmentall activities.

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

The strap line is pivotal. "Environment knows no boundaries" Its a unifying cause regardless of politics.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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Rating: 4 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Almost not too new to Arava. They are performing in a very positive direction with its candidates. I'll strongly recommend their programs to friends and foes.

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

I had follow up from staffs who contact me when, when I sent application.

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

Maximize and probably harness great impact to applicants willing to take a course program with them. Personally, no doubt about the next level its been headed.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

it's sawsan.b from Jordan, i was a student in the Arava Institute for the year 2006/07. i consider that year as one of my greatest years i ever had. living in Arava was such a great experience, i learned and gained a lot in the institute. in a place like that where u can find Jordanians, Palestinians, Americans & Europeans living together for at least 4 months, sharing everything in their daily life become as one family going over all the barriers (politics, religion,etc) and become friends for life. where they also learning from each other and about each others' believes, country, thoughts, etc, strengthen their friendships. it is consider as a unique place with all the students' differences that becoming shallow later, studying and concerning for one important thing, our environment, having the logo of "nature knows no borders", hence nothing will stop this massage that we all believe in, and will always work to protect our shared environment and improve it. i'm glad for being an alumna from Arava Institute, i do appreciate the time i spent there and everything i learned, Machon Arava did change things in me, and for sure it was for good.

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

my life

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

learning about environment and peace, having friends scattered all over the world.

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

make a huge difference, and make new environmental and peace leaders

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 4 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I have enjoyed meeting Jews and Muslims who have come to the U.S. and shared experiences that they have had studying at the Arava Institute. Their environmental work - across Middle Eastern borders is amazing and opens lines of communication that are often closed, with little hope for reconciliation. The Arava Institute offers hope and initiative, that positively influences our world - in an area of our world which is very volatile.

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

the enthusiasm of participants, the wonderful achievements and the fact that Muslims and Jews work together to make the Middle East a healthier, greener place.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-5-01

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Rating: 4 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

My name is Elan Gerzon. I was originally born on a kibbutz in northern Israel, founded by my grandparents as refugees, and at a young age moved to the states. That being said, I have grown up exposed to several perspectives of cultures, often those cultures who seem to stay in conflict. But when I arrived back in Israel, to be a student at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, I actually learned that i knew very little about anything, regarding the history of the culture I come from, and that of those that so many Jews and Israelis regard as enemies, if not at the very least, strangers. I was forced to wrestled with the conundrum of having descended from a culture of refugees whose wounds reacted through creating another culture of refugees. I learned a great deal about the depth of my past, and no longer felt that the world of those "strangers," who identify themselves as either Arabs or as Palestinians, was as alienated from my life as before. I had to question a great deal of the education i was brought up with, while coming into an ever-deeper empathy and understanding of why the world may be the way it is today. My own Jewish identity has grown in such a sense that I could hardly imagine who I might have continued to become without the Arava Institute as a corner-stone in my own life's maturity. The lessons I learned regarding the inter-relationships between Israel and the Palestinian Authority's and the land they live on, have been invaluable. The questions raised as a student there always brought more questions than answers, which is quite an accomplishment. The connections and friendships I have with people of all ages from several otherwise conflicting backgrounds, are a rare occurence among young Israelis, let alone US. Americans. My work as a student with Dr. Elaine Solowey has ever since focused the rest of my life. The courses that the Arava Institute provides, and the intimate experience we cannot get away from so far south in the desert, gives every student a chance to find an intimate passion through so many inter-disciplinary fields of study, that their cohesion inevitably creates a kind of diversity, no other program in Israel, Jewish or otherwise, has yet even attempted, on such a scale. I am now and forever will be deeply indebted to all that the Arava Institute has taught me. Thank you Elan Gerzon AIES alumn 2004-05

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

its constant evolution, and its undying effort to keep bringing together people from backgrounds who have few chances to meet, under a canopy that ultimately attempts to keep serving the environments we come from.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-12-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

Fantastic organization in the heart of Israel's Negev Desert, bringing together Palestinians and Jews to work on the environment. Common issues, different approaches. A bridge to peace, in the process.

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

bringing together diverse cultures to work on the environment and peace

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

give it even more money to expand

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

The people, their dedication and committment

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

passionate, articulate and dedicated

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

create a huge cultural bridge to work toward peace and the environment.

Ways to make it better...

we had even more contact with the students of the Institute

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

getting the attention it deserves

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

arava deserves the best support

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

The institute has been working, for over ten years, to do what is common sense - to recognize that environmental stress in the Eastern Mediterranean is a shared, and very serious issue. As a social scientist, I am interested in it as an organization that works hard to turn idealism into practice. When I was invited to do research on the institute and then to participate in some of the institute's regional research, I accepted. Often we study problems; this was a chance to study an ambitious project to make solutions. I later joined the advisory board because I was impressed by what I had learned. Both the environmental and the peacebuilding challenges in the region are immense. The institute is building relationships - between those who come as students and between regional experts and policy makers - to help those in the region work together on them.

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

the alumni and regional experts I have met

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

being in touch with hopeful, constructive, and practical idealists

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

hopeful, constructive, and practical

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

support its alumni and others who share the agenda of developing research projects and policy initiatives that bring together the peoples of the Eastern Mediterranean and the wider Middle East.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

My daughter studies in the institute for two terms in 2007-8. I have visited there few times. Its a wonderful and illuminating place. it has transformed her life as far as the environment is concern. The institute does a phenomenal work in developing relationship between Palestinians Jordanians and Israelis, a very valuable contribution to the area. In my opinion this place deserves a world recognition for its work in all its aspects.

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

contribution to the academic and practical understanding of the need of the environment.

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

their professionalism, students activities and kindness.

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

excellent!

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

make a big positive ecological in the desert , to start with.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-10-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I was a student at the Arava Institute for one semester, fall 2004. I thought it was a phenomenal place, engaged in very important work, with a wonderful culture and vision.

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

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

dedicated teachers, caring advisors and organizers, and community members willing to open their kibbutz to us.

Ways to make it better...

I had been an undergraduate or graduate student and not someone floating in between. My experience would have been better if I had been in a different place in life.

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 once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

Was this review helpful?