Friends of the Arava Institute

Rating: 4.92 stars   210 reviews

Address:

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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617-266-7100
http://www.friendsofarava.org

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Reviews for Friends of the Arava Institute

Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I attended the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies as a student there my junior year of college. The Institute is not only of a high academic caliber; not only does it engage incredible and motivated participants and coordinators; not only does it lead to research in sustainability and environmental cooperation; but most importantly the Institute is a place of peace. This is a value that every religion in the world shares and is demonstrated every day at the Arava Institue.

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

my everyday life (internal growth, the friends I made, the beliefs I have challenged)

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

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

Its ability to challenge the mind, enlarge the heart, and expand the possibilities of peace in the Middle East.

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

Awesome!

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

Provide scholarships to more students from West Bank, Israel, and around the world. Enlarge its already too small campus. Get all of its alumni to convene together from all around the world to share information & show how much progress has been made.

Ways to make it better...

I lived with a family from the other side (aka lived with a Palestinian family for a couple of days)

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

funding, politics, religion, people who don't desire peace.

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?

2008-6-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

I ride every year to raise money for an extraordinary institution, the Arava Institute, that started as an environmental organization but soon learned that it does little good to stop polluting on your side of the river if the Arab village upstream is still putting waste into the water. From here began an experiment of Israelis and other Jews working with Palestinians and other Arabs. The efforts have been difficult but rewarding as the Arava Institute has provided an example of how to learn to work with enemies and become friends with your enemies as you learn to work on common goals.

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

building bridges between Jews and Arabs

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

Arabs and Jews who had, much to their surprise, found common ground and built friendships

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

make peace 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?

2009-9-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

The FAI is a unique organization that merges environmental issues and middle east peace making all in one. It has a wonderful and creative executive director and a dedicated board working tirelessly for funds to support the Arava Institute.

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

change the faceof the middle east and the environment world wide

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

As a former student and staff member of the Arava Institue I can say that it is an absolutely amazing institution. I learned so much during my time there and met people from other cultures that I am still in touch with today. As a current resident of Toronto, I have made use of my connections with other Arava Institute alumni to continue to do multifaith work here in Toronto.

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

Kind and driven to help help this organization succeed. They believed in the mission and that's why they were part of the organization.

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

Save the environment and help create peace in the Middle East

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-5-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

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.

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

meeting with the students and visiting Kibbutz Ketura

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

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

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?

2009-1-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

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.

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?

2009-5-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

The FOAI and AIES are two of the most wonderful organizations I've participated in. They are working together to build a cohort of leaders across cultural, religious, and national boundaries that recognize one another as fellow humans with the same needs and wants.

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

Israel Ride Spring 2009

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

I would like to suggest a interfaith bicycle ride to support the work of these organizations

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

meeting the students who are benefiting from the scholarships

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

devoted and energetic

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

create peace and environmental sustainability

Ways to make it better...

couldn't be better

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

ongoing, long-term stable funding stream

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?

2009-5-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I've had the opportunity to see the relationships that developed between Arab and Israeli students, when we had a Palestinian and an Israeli student from the Arava Institute staying at our home. Their closeness and level of cooperation was truly amazing. It revived my feelings of hope for the future of the Middle East. Since then I have had the opportunity to meet numerous students and alumni and made a visit to the Arava Institute. They are truly an inspiration. After 11 years of struggle just to survive, there are now enough alumni of the program to see the impact they are beginning to have in their own communities and governments. The Arava Institute's is all about transborder cooperation and the building of personal relationship and trust that advance both the effect on the environment and progress towards peace.

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

my personal contact with the students and faculty. Arabs and Israelis who had never had contact with the other, and viewed the other as the enemy, were able to appreciate and empathize with the others position even if they disagreed.

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

the commitment of the students and faculty to the environment and coexistence.

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

extremely committed and hard working. The volunteer Board of Trustees for the Friends of the Arava Institute is very active and hard working.

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

build a real campus and triple the number of students. I believe that this could have a huge impact on the environment, transborder cooperation and peace efforts in the Middle East.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I visited Arava as a participant in the Israel Bike ride in 2007, and with the Friends of Arava support presented a program recently to gain knowledge and support for Arava in the Northwest of the US. Though peace building is in a way secondary to its academic purposes, Arava represent a huge hope in the deeply cynical maze of mid east feelings. The young men and women I met there are some of the most amazing people I've known. As a long time environmental activist in the US, I am also impressed by the sophistication of Arava's environmental programs, especially compared to the overall rather undeveloped Israeli environmental movement.

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

getting to know some of the students and staff at Arava, and understanding the unique role they are playing in the mid east

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

Friend of the Arava Institute supports work that gives us hope - working on the idea that nature has no borders and that people bond over common goals, creating a new generation of Middle East environmental problem solvers will help bring peace as well as a healthier earth.

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

Israel, seeing their work in solar power.

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 sense of optimism it gives in a very bleak time of deteriorated environment as well as Arab/Israel relations.

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

Dynamic and smart!

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

Expand the vision of Arabs and Israelis working together to promote healthier ecosystems, generate clean energy, and approach the water crisis together.

Ways to make it better...

they sold Carbon Offsets!

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

Finances, post meltdown.

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

I would like to see adult internships, classes and work projects, short term on site.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

 
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