Dedicated group of people. Great organization. I got to hear about their cutting edge research and work to forge friendships and participation in worthwhile causes.
Friends of Arava is an amazing group. Listening to the stories of their student who take the time to travel the US and share their experiences with us is captivating. I can't think of an organization which better integrates two of the most challenging issues facing our time - the environment and peace in the Middle East.
this organization is awesome. They do really great things for the environment of Israel and the world. They help people of all nationalities come together to work towards the cause of making a better world.
I have met students from the Arava Institute and heard them speak about their life-changing experience studying there. The Institute's facilitation of personal interaction and relationships among Israelis and Palestinians is an extremely important grass-roots effort to bring people from the two cultures together as a step toward peace among the two groups. Some of the Arab students have gone on to hold positions in their governments where they will have real opportunity to guide policy. Giving them a personal connection to Israel and Isrealis through the Institute can have unmeasured positive impact on the choices they make in those positions.
I studied at the Arava Instetute for Environmental Studies (AIES) and participated at few projects with the AIES mainly Environmental Education.
I am the Producer of The Shtick, the only Jewish TV show in Australia. I had the great honour and pleasure to meet , film , and interview an Israeli student Ilana , and a Palestinian student Mutasim, who together were touring Australia with the message that 'The environment has no borders". I was very impressed with their attitude and enthusiasm to bring conflicting countries to the table to discuss and further ways of making peace.To watch the interview go to www.theshtick.info , follow the link to YouTube, and go to Episode 13.07 Segment 3. Well worth a watch....
I attended the Arava Institute and it changed my life. I went from being a sheltered American college student with an ego-centric outlook on the world to having a broad perspective on environmental politics and the all the grey that colors in between black and white political stances. During the program, I witnessed people from "different sides of the track" working together, playing together and learning together. Among my cohert, there were people from Jordan and Egypt, Palestine and Israel, America and Europe. Whereas there are other groups out there that bring people of these great lands together to dialogue, most of them fall short in that the participants can always get up and walk away from the discussion when it gets too hard or they bring people together at too young an age to really put their words and collective projects into play. The Arava Institute always encouraged us to look beyond the racial, religious and cultural differences that might otherwise stand as road blocks to peace and see the common factors that impact all of us regardless of family history-our environment. Today, I have the opportunity to share what I learned at the Arava Institute about tolerance, keeping a open mind and celebrating diversity with the many young Jewish children I work with in the capacity of teaching 2nd-5th grade Sunday School and serving as the advisor to a wonderful Jewish Teen Group, called Shorashim, in Northern California. I am happy whenever I get a copy of the e-newsletter from Friends of the Arava to see all the good work the Arava Institute continues to do.
I have followed the Arava Institute on its website, having been referred, or linked, by my membership in Hadassah. From the first encounter I was struck by the brilliance of a global membership working toward a global solution to the effects of climate change. This year I lost two very dear friends and was able to memorialize them with donations to the Arava Institute. The nature of these memorials are that they are an investment in the future of mankind, and I could think of no more appropriate way to honor great friends who have faded into the past. When I recently read about the involvement of a Palestinian in the Arava program, my heart responded with the longing felt by many Jews and Muslims, for the friendship of each other. With the goal that healing the environment can heal the wounds of nationalism, I have dedicated my limited philanthropic ability to Arava Institute.
I attended the Arava Institute in 2000 as an undergraduate student, and was forever changed by the open dialogue and frank discussions that took place about the Middle East, cultural differences, peace, environmental issues, and the ways we can all work together toward common goals. Since my semester-long experience, I've kept in touch with folks I met there through the alumni network, and my current workplace hosted an intern from Jordan through an Arava connection.