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

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

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

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

taking with participants of their program, there, in Lotan. And in meeting alumni of the organization, like Rina Kedem and Ilana Moalem

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

Make it bigger, with a branch near the Dead Sea and possibly also south of the Sea of Galilli

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

the atmosphere, the positive attitude, the "original" location and original thinking, the spirit, the sources of the people (Palestine, Israel, Jordan), their success in building strong ties between people from those three sources, and overcome difficulti

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

super duper

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

Make a positive difference in the environment in the land I cherish so much, my home, Israel (Palestine). They would build more projects to educate people and bring people together, they would introduce innovative ideas of how to better live here

Ways to make it better...

I visited them more

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

probably funding...

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

Arava Institute is unique, a charm, a pearl

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

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.

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

working on Northern California college campuses with students who have participated in Arava programs.

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

connect it to more US campuses.

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

the way that even in their fundraising events, they demonstrate balance and sensitivity between Jews and Arabs by making sure that they always had both represented equally at the microphone.

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

intelligent, sensitive, hard working, and inspiring.

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

engage many more students and open their eyes to the possibilities of peace.

Ways to make it better...

I had actually visited the Institute in Israel.

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

not sure.

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

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-5-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

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

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

Everyone has been remarabl knowledgable, helpful and committed -- a joy.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

12 people found this review helpful

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.

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

visiting the program twice and seeing the facility

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

continue to expand the vital role that it undertakes

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

relationships with staff and students both current and former

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

rational, intelligent, committed, passionate,experts and open to debate

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

start to change the face of the Middle east - one person at a time

Ways to make it better...

the program had been larger

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

hatred and apathy

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

Need to open a similar institution in another Middle Eastern country

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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