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  

5 people found this review helpful

The Institute represents something much more significant than simply an educational establishment. It was wonderful witnessing and experiencing a sense of togetherness with humans from both sides of the 'border' (whether that be within Israel or outside).

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

amazingly friendly and supportive.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-11-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

As an Arab and Jordanian student my main concern was to meet and introduce myself to another culture were i can find understanding to the peace process that been going around for years now but not clearly going as fast as i expected . so i decided to find a chance to help in this process not through politics but through the people themselves , but arava institute didnt cover that side only for me , as i learned that our similarities more than our differences and i also learned about environment , leadership, energy , and created a great and lovely friends from all over the world . its more than anyone expectations from one course , so i cant call it a course i can call it a life chance for developing my self , wishing you all the best in the future.

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

professional staff with high level of education and down to earth people

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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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Volunteering at the Friends of the Arava Institute has changed the way I view the interplay between society and the environment. Gaining an appreciation for the caliber of the individuals, and the vision, behind the Institute has instilled in me a greater hope for the future. My lasting impression of interning at the Friends of The Arava Institute: the laughs I shared with students, co-workers and fellow interns.

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

seeing a mutual respect for cultural differences develop among the students, while at the same time seeing the individuals of the Institute brought closer together through the common ground of tackling environmental issues.

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

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

the lifelong relationships I developed with the amazing people who work there.

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

bright, energetic, and positive. Eager to help and to see their work make a difference

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

Build a network of alumni to engage in outreach to highlight the bonds of friendship made through trans-boundary partnership. Also, fund more research to help promote sustainable solutions to water resource management and alternative energy needs.

Ways to make it better...

the some of the spare housing units on the campus had better insulation to keep the rooms cooler in the summer.

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

Political fallout from regional conflicts whose scope are out the Institutes control, but whose consequences resonate with international student and researcher cooperation.

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?

2009-6-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

i have friends who have worked for, and are related to this place. they have chosen it over other international options as it is one of if not the best place.

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

how profesional it is

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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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

The students come to the Institute to learn, but it is the rest of us who have so much to learn from the students!

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

do exactly what it does now. What the students, faculty, alumni, and staff do every day is worth far more than money. It would, however, make it possible to give more scholarships to students, and fund more projects.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

 
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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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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  

2 people found this review helpful

Joining the Arava Institute was one of the most amazing experiences I ever had during the spring of 2008. Arava Institute brings me to a different world where I can see how some people in the other side can be my friends at the time I used to pre consider them to be my enemies. A desert hike with two Jewish and one Muslim friends without fears or conflicts is one of the things that Arava gave me the opportunity to experience it.

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

Very helpful, caring, and knowing what is the best thing to do in any situation.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-2-01

 
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Rating: 4 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

Israel needs this organization because it needs help in protecting its environment. The Friends of Arava is in the forefront of this worthy endeavor and deserves your support in safeguarding Israel's environment for future generations.

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

end the pollution of the Jordan River and make a cleaner, healthier environment for everyone in Israel.

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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