I visited the Arava Institute with my Palestinian partner in 2007 and had a first hand impression of the people and atmosphere there, as we held a talk with a group of dozens of Arava participants on the grass there. I especially remember a woman from Nablus, and some guys from Jordan. I happen to meet and greatly appreciate at least two alumni of Arava Institute, Rina Kedem and Ilana Moalem, and I cherish them both, and know how much they appreciate the Arava Institute. I meet other alumni from time to time, and only hear good things about the institute. Also, I think that the institute simply make a lot of sense, and if it didn't exist, it had to be invented! I also know the head of the institute through some people I work with, and really, all I hear is positive and appraising. So, 5 stars to Arava Instutute
As Executive Director of Camp Tawonga, I hired Arava Institute associate Rina Kedem to be director of our Peacemakers Camp. For five years, this project brought hundreds of Israelis, Palestinians and Americans (Jews, Christians and Moslems) together in the Sierra Mountains next to Yosemite. Rina was also an organizer and fundraiser for Friends of the Arava Institute. My many experiences with Rina and other members of FOAI impressed me immensely with their passion and professionalism. Today, as Executive Campus Liaison for Hillel (Schusterman International Center) I see the Arava as one of the most positive and visionary opportunities for college students to engage in the issues of the Middle East.
From the ease of using their website to accesibility to staff,, leadership and students, I have nothing but good things to say about Friends of the Arava INstitute -- and , of course, the critically important wirrk that they support: promoting peaceful coorperaion, higher education and envirmonental sustainiability in Israel and the Middle East. Living in Colorado, the organization has managed to cordidate a one-on-one meeting with me and the executive director, a well as bring a Jordanian student out here to speak to our congregation about the fabulous work we do. kol tuv! Rabbi Jamie Arnold Evergreen, CO
Arava Institute gives me hope for the future! This is the ONLY place for all people who realize that the only way to advance the quality of life for ALL in the Middle East is to find issues of mutual need and dependence. We all can either learn to live together or we will disappear in a cloud of toxic dust. Arava Institute recognizes there are differences and yet celebrates that we have more to gain from each other than in investing in hate and pollution of the environment. The warmth and cameradie of the personal relationships overcome the somewhat spartan conditions. Friendship and learning are there to endure for a life-changing experience. If only there were more opportunities like this in other places in a region filled with so much enmity.