In November of 2008 I participated on the Jerusalem to Eilat bike trip. An inspirational and spiritual event. This program is essential for not only environmental reasons but for the incredible work it does to spread understanding of cultural, religious and social differences in the Middle East and the world at large. If you know what this program is all about there is no question the vital work it does should be not only maintained but expanded. If you do not know what it does then I suggest, no I implore you to find out first hand by speaking with the students themselves. They hold the key to the future of us all. SSS
I began to learn about the Arava Institute when I signed up for the Spring 2008 Israel Bike Ride. By the end of the ride, I was sold. The ride was beautifully organized, with care and consideration for the riders' physical, psychological and spiritual health. And the opportunity to learn more about the work of the Arava Institute and meet their current and former students was awe-inspiring. This small organization is making an impact on the environment of many countries in the middle east, and is a model of cross-cultural collaboration. Their influence exceeds their size, and they use their limited resources wisely. Amy Goldman
I was fortunate enough to be present for Kibbutz Ketura's one year birthday celebration in 1974 when I was a volunteer there. I am so impressed and proud of "my chevre" for what they have accomplished and for their vision for the future of the region. I plan to introduce the Arava Institute to my local Jewish community.
I went to a house party in support of the Arava Institute a few weeks back, and I was inspired by the work of this organization. I've since joined a host committee for their next local fundraiser.
An outstanding organization, where every penny donated does double duty: helping to protect the environment and advance the peace process in the Middle East. Worthy of everyone' support.
As alumni of the Arava Institute I can say that the Arava Institute is much more then an academic institute for environmental studies. This body not only give the opportunity to meet and engage in a grass root level with the 'other side' but also help with scholarship for higher studies, help graduates to find a job when possible and serve as an important network for alumni all over.
I rode on the Israel Ride twice--in May, 2007 and in November, 2008. Each ride was fantastic--wonderful people leading the ride and riding the ride, the land is gorgeous, I learned a lot about the geographical area-- the desert, I had the opportunity to make friends from all over the world, Jews and Arabs alike, and shabbat in the Negev was a wonderfully spiritual experience.
The Arava Institute for Environmental and Peace Studies (AIES) is taking groundbreaking strides in the areas that truly need the most attention and resources: the environment and peace. The two go hand in hand. I was a student at the Arava institute for one year. During this time I learned so much by being immersed in the carefully structured and diverse curriculum, including sitting with a group of internationally diverse students and engaging in discussions that address many difficult issues. For me, the joint projects and collaborations between Arab and Israeli graduates of the Institute is the 'proof in the pudding'.
I am most impressed with the Arava InsitiuteÂ´s program because it helps improve the ecological environment of the middle east with regard to water issues while simultaneously bringing together IsraeliÂ´s and Arabs in constructive dialog that is both personal and ecologically oriented. I attended a meeting where I met the director of the program and heard two alumni of the program tell of their personal experiences.
What the Arava Institute is doing in Israel is incredible. I was so amazed when I heard several students and professors speak about building peace through focusing on the shared environment in the Middle East, when they spoke at Hazon's New York Jewish Environmental Bike Ride.