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Nonprofit Overview

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

Programs: Supported domestic and international programs that foster environmental cooperation between israel and neighboring countries

Community Stories

28 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

along with the many thing i have gotten during my studies at the arava institute, the things i value most are the wonderful friends i made. they made it possible for me to see the conflict from their eyes and opened their hearts to me and my story. these kind of personal connections, in my opinion, are the only way to break the wall and understand that the other is not that different. the arava istitute gives hope by bringing people from all over the world, people who want to change things for the better. thank you!

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

The American branch of the machon has done a great job keeping me engaged with the middle east. As a former student it was a great experience and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies in 2005-2006 with funding from Fulbright. My experience was challenging and fun, and, academically-speaking, a great transition into interdisciplinary pedagogy. Socially, it is a unique experience considering it includes a sub-section of conflicting parties in the region and actively includes activities for dealing with those issues constructively. In addition, the kibbutz, and of course, the desert life, are a fantastic view into how communities can live meaningfully in the margins.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

2

Client Served

Rating: 4

My experience as a student at the Arava Institute last fall is truly indescribable. The interactions, conversations, courses, and friendships completely altered my vision of the world. I have never felt so many complex emotions in my life, let alone have the opportunity to discuss them and unwrap them with a group of devoted and caring individuals working at AIES. My experience has inspired me to continue interfaith, peace and environmental work in my own locale, and not to judge a country or situation until I have truly heard the many voices involved.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was a student at the Arava Institute in fall 2004 and spring 2005. The Institute is clearly groundbreaking, inspirational, significant, and successful. One of the many ways in which the Institute impacted me was by seeing the work ethic of the staff and professors. One cannot find such a high level of professors being so accessible at other institutions. Their work ethic is something I have tried to take with me as I move forward. Lastly, whether or not you think that co-existence is attainable on a macro-level, it is unequivocally necessary to have organizations like AIES try and succeed on a micro-level, and they should be supported.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I spent about a year at the arave institute about 10 years ago (1999-2000). This year has been, by far, the most memreable year of my life and I have made two dgrees since, got married and had a child... The arave institute has been a magical place for me. Getting up every morning was exciting, people were beutiful, and activities and studies were more than just interesting. i learned a lot in that year, about people and about nature and about our world and in many ways, the year at the arava institiute shaped who I am today. this place is important for so many reasons but if to name just one it would be the understanding of how full life could be when you are in the right place. I was a student there for one year and I must say I have become less optimistic since I left this place but it certainly fills you up with spirit and will to make the world a better place

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a Palestine from Bethlehem city, and I live in the middle of the long conflict between Jews and Arabs. In February, 2008 I completed my studies at the Arava Institute (AIES), and I started the joint Master program between AIES and Ben-Gurion University. This unique institute, provide the students – Jews and Arabs- a peaceful environment, equal opportunities, and amazing tools and knowledge to understand the narrative of the other side, the need for a secure home, rights of existence and ways of cooperation to survive in this small land. It also provides us with good knowledge and methods of how we should cooperate to protect our shared environments, and a better chance for good education.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

I rode with the Arava last year. Myfirst long distance ride. The commraderie was great, and the enthusiam of the mult-ethnic support grtoup from Arava was contagious. I hope to repeat the trip next year. Ralph Rosenberg MD

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great way to travel and see the country from a totally different visual perspective, claiming the mountains out of the Dead Sea and riding through the dessert was a wonderful experience. The ride is not just about the bicycle but also about the many conservation challenges facing the region, The Arava Institute provided the riders with lasting long memories of a Israel spirituality, politics, environment, and its history