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Friends of the Arava Institute

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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

210 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

7

Donor

Rating: 5

I first learned about the Arava Institute when I attended a talk by Rabbi Michael Cohen. I was immediately drawn to the Institute's vision and impressed with the work that that its students and members are doing to address environmental concerns in the region. But what is even more inspiring is Arava's commitment to bringing Palestinian, Jordanian, and Jewish students together to work on common problems. Here's to clean water for all!

11

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

In 2008 I participated in the Israel Ride, and visited the Arava Institute, a unique educational and research institution. I remember wanting to go as a student, stay and learn there. Through the Friends of the Arava Institute, I can keep that enthusiasm alive. Besides being people with a passion for the work of the Institute, they are committed to spreading the word, providing a forum the people and ideas of the Institute outside of Israel. Friends of the Arava Institute functions as a bridge between my life here in US and the work of the Institute halfway around the world.

10

Donor

Rating: 5

I can not recall how I learned about the Arava Institute, but since the moment I heard about it, I knew I wanted to be part of it in one way or another. The idea of such an institution, devoted to environmental studies, existing in Israel is an achievement in itself. However, above all, I applaud the institution for the way in which they carry out their mission that "nature knows no boarders". Having the heads of the institution, the staff and the students be Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians warms my heart. Coming together to work for a common goal is the way to go to bring the two nations closer to each other. This is holly work in so many levels.

10

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Having heard testimonials from various students who had the opportunity to study at the Arava Institute I am pleased to write a positve review in favor of this Institution. From American Jewish students who had never interacted with Muslims before to a Palestinian from Gaza who told me recently that attending the Arava Institute changed his life completely - it is a "Great Non Profit". The staff and students are to be commended in their quest for peace in the Middle East.

12

Donor

Rating: 5

When peace finally comes to the Israelis and Palestinians, it will be because of the unrelenting efforts of institutions like the Arava Institute. And the people responsible for fueling the energy and passion of the folks who run the institution are the dedicated members of the Friends Of The Arava Institute. They quietly and tirelessly work to make sure the visions of the leaders and students at the Institute have what they need to realize the dreams and goals so needed by the region and the world. The Institute not only works for and teaches peace, but also is dedicated to sustaining our environment locally, regionally, and globally. The Friends of The Arava institute rate a triple “A” PLUS in my book.

9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

8

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

An extremely well run ideological institute that has succeeded in bringing together hands on action along with ideological fervor making a true mark on Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian society

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.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Arava Institute is involved in cutting edge research as well as in training a cadre of people who will be leading change in Israel and nearby countries. I learn something every time I read an Institute newsletter. It is inspiring to learn how the Institute is building bridges in the region.

4

Donor

Rating: 5

I have followed Arava through our connection with Rabbi Michael Cohen. It is one of the most impressive ventures in Israel, combining a love of the land and a love of peace, with the prayer that Arabs and Jews can live together in the land in harmony.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Institute represents something much more significant than simply an educational establishment. It was wonderful witnessing and experiencing a sense of togetherness with humans from both sides of the 'border' (whether that be within Israel or outside).

5

Donor

Rating: 5

I've known of the Arava Institute's work for several years and it is the only organization that truly understands that environmental issues are not defined by maps or borders. Only by working together on a practical level, through EDUCATION, can Israelis and Palestinians work towards resolving environmental issues AND political issues. The many students I've met have been stellar and I applaud and support the work of the Arava Institute.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As an Arab and Jordanian student my main concern was to meet and introduce myself to another culture were i can find understanding to the peace process that been going around for years now but not clearly going as fast as i expected . so i decided to find a chance to help in this process not through politics but through the people themselves , but arava institute didnt cover that side only for me , as i learned that our similarities more than our differences and i also learned about environment , leadership, energy , and created a great and lovely friends from all over the world . its more than anyone expectations from one course , so i cant call it a course i can call it a life chance for developing my self , wishing you all the best in the future.

5

Donor

Rating: 5

The efforts of the Arava Institute are inspiring! Methuselah is one of the most interesting projects in which they are involved (although likely not the most important). Nevertheless, the idea of restoring an ancient fruit is amazing.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Friends of the Arava Institute supports an incredibly visionary endeavor. Environmental research and education is needed everywhere, but perhaps noplace more than in the Middle East, where contention over scarce resources exacerbates all other regional tensions. On my visit to Israel several years ago, I participated in a hike/study session led by an Arava Institute educator, who integrated scientific insight, spiritual inspiration, and experiential education in a moving and effective way. I have followed their work, and support it, since that time, and have only grown more impressed with their international focus and their desire and ability to create dialogue and cooperation on important issues across national and ethnic borders. Highly recommended!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering at the Friends of the Arava Institute has changed the way I view the interplay between society and the environment. Gaining an appreciation for the caliber of the individuals, and the vision, behind the Institute has instilled in me a greater hope for the future. My lasting impression of interning at the Friends of The Arava Institute: the laughs I shared with students, co-workers and fellow interns.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

i have friends who have worked for, and are related to this place. they have chosen it over other international options as it is one of if not the best place.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The students come to the Institute to learn, but it is the rest of us who have so much to learn from the students!

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.