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Friends of the Arava Institute
October 30, 2009

I visited the Arava Institute several times in my capacity as on-site coordinator for American college students in Israel. My first impression was "who would want to spend an extended period of time in such a distant, isolated place". As I learned about the program and met with the administrators and the students, I got the answer to my question. The Institute provides a creative, varied, meaningful setting for dealing with the most important elements of environmental awareness. Israelis, Palestinians, Jordanians, and students from around the world work together to find solutions to shared concerns. As one of my students reported to me, the Arava Institute changed her life in the most meaningful way. It is a cutting edge undertaking that I am proud to support.

The Great!

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

seeing the changes it brought about in students who were there for the semester and in learning of their enthusiasm for their experience.

Ways to make it better...

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

improve the living conditions of students who are there. While the students made no complaints about the rugged conditions, I think that it would be good if there were a few more amenities.

More feedback

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

their openness, their pluralism, their commitment to peace and partnership in an area that lacks all of the above.

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

Enthusiastic, commited to their goals, intelligent, determined to improve environmental awareness.

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

have a greater and more impressive impact on Israel and on the Middle East as a whole. It could engage in more innovative programs, bring together more students, and make a really significant contribution to the development of the Negev.

Ways to make it better...

I had had more time to be there, to attend some of the classes and participate in the projects.

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

Raising sufficient funds to be able to keep on with its work in the midst of tremendous competition in the non profit world.

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

I went to the Arava Institute for the first time because it was part of my job. I have returned and become a supporter because of how impressed I am by the impact it has had on all those with whom it has been in contact.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

MY ROLE:
General Member of the Public & Had an evaluation session with American students studying there.