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  

3 people found this review helpful

I have taught environmental law several times at the Arava Institute. Teaching there is EXCITING and presents a challenge like no other, because of the diverse backgrounds and histories of the students. Without exception though, the students are engaged, and curious. They are there because they not only want to study cutting edge environmental issues, but also because they care most deeply about co-oexistence in the fragile Middle East. I am not aware of any place else in the world like the Arava Institute.

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

passion of those involved

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

The Arava Institute's program provides a valuable prototype for Israelis and Arabs to coexist long term. There are too few safe places for people with shared priorities to build relationships, and share their individual perspectives. Having the bike ride experience last year to raise funds for the program, and assisting the US friends of the arava institute back home has been a wonderful experience. B'Shalom, Eric Metzman

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

the visit to the institute last year.

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

the warm and friendly students, and meeting fellow bike riders.

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

very engaging and intelligent.

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

build a model for long term peace through education for the middle east.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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Rating: 4 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

During my time at the Arava Institute I was blessed with the opportunity to work and learn with brave individuals who in spite of their conflicting identities and narratives were committed to giving each other a chance and working together to combat the environmental issues that threaten our planet. The Arava Institute and the seemingly unlikely friendships that I made there give me hope that we can one day build peace and respect each other and Nature. A specific example? Looking around while building mud and straw benches and realizing that I was doing something constructive with people who otherwise might not have ever met someone from the "other side". Amazing.

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

dedicated, inspiring individuals who gave themselves fully to the goals of this organization.

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  

6 people found this review helpful

the arava institute has changed my life and many others since it first opened its door to teach people about how the environment knows no borders and that we have to work together to keep our planet healthy. i have met many people from very different walks of life, countries, and religions that are now my friends. what an eye opening experience. I wish everyone could study there.

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

help bring about BIG changes in the dynamics of Jewish- Arab relations as well as fighting antisemitism and anti Arab/Muslim sentiment in the world. AND just as important, save the planet.

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  

7 people found this review helpful

Working with the Arava Institute was a very multifaceted experience and I was very impressed with the efficiency and enthusiasm with which they are accomplishing their goals. Each of those facets is critical it its own right; together they combine to create global accomplishments which enhance life in the Middle East in many ways. Working with Arava I learned that education, conservation of resources, research into new environmental technologies and promotion of intercultural understanding ARE keys toward advancing the political problems in the region. On a fiscal note- I feel that it is important to say that the funds garnered through Arava's activities are well-spent. These people are not getting rich and the facilities are not palaces. The funds go to where they are needed most- for students, faculty, programming and research.

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

IsraelRide 2007 and spending a couple of days at Arava.

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

Expand the student population.

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

The enthusiasm of the students and faculty and the efficiency of their budget.

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

Enthusiastic, helpful, very responsible.

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

Turbocharge its research and bring in more students.

Ways to make it better...

I could have spent more personal time with individual students.

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

Decreases of funding with economic turmoil in the US and political instability in the Middle East.

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?

2007-5-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

The mission of the Arava Institute and the effectiveness of its work give it great magnetism for me. I first learned about Arava through meeting an American rabbi who has taught there. We were at a conference on a completely different subject. His description of Arava was instantly compelling for me. The way it combines environmental education and peace-making in the Middle East relates strongly to my own career in other parts of the world. Natural systems recognize no political boundaries.

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

Serious, deeply committed and well informed about Arava and its programs. Some have taught there, many have visited. All sought wide participation by people of various religious beliefs.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

AIES provides a truly unique experience not only for those in the region but for students from all over the world.

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 relationships made between people of opposing points of view.

Ways to make it better...

I had spent a full year with AIES.

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?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

1999-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

Friends of the Arava Institute is adept at supporting and building the Institute through communication and cross-cultural connectivity. I am impressed that AIES continually builds on the tripartite mission of increasing scholarship, building networks based on peace and understanding and being a positive contributor to environmental awareness and conservation.

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

Recruit more people and accelerate the success in more communities.

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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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

In Nov of 2008 I was fortunate enough to participate in in the Israel (Bike) Ride which is co-sponsored by the Institute. The ride itself was one of my lifetime highlights, never to be forgotten. But what I am writing about now was our overnight visit to the Arava Institute itself. Meeting the participating scholars and students convinced me that the important environmental work that is being done there is second in significance to the cross cultural relationships that are being formed there as well. I heartily recommend the Arava Institute for a Jewish Choice Award James Oser Philadelphia, PA, US

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

Seeing some of the research that has resulted there, and meeting some of the students who are studying there

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

Extremely smart, politically savvy, and joyous in their demeanor

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

Become the most important environmental research institute in the middle east.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-11-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

I have been voluntarily helping the Friends of the Arava Institute to promote the the Arava Institute by speaking of my experiences as a student in this amazing program

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

Enjoying a scholarship while a student at the Arava Institute a few years ago. Now I give back by volunteering at the organization.

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

Having the opportunity to see the positive responses of all audiences to whom we told about the important work the Friends of the Arava Institute is doing.

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

dedicated, passionate, serious and visionary

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

Significantly expand the Arava academic facilities and sponsor more scholarships for Middle Eastern students to allow spreading their mission of dialogue among the Middle East nations through care and nurturing of the environment

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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