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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

39 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

8

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been blown away by the amazing work the institute is doing. The students graduating from the institute speak with such passion about how they were transformed by their experience at the Arava Institute. This organization is addressing at least two of the most important issues of our time...the environment and peace in the middle east.

8

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I participated in the Arava Institute Israel ride several years ago and my experience when from participating in a bike ride to raise money for what I understood to be a good cause to something far more profound. Once I met the students and faculty of the Arava Institute I discovered what I believe to be one of the greatest examples of coexistance between Israelis and Palestinians. The existance of this organization is one of the greatest beacons of peace that exists today in the middle east.

9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Arava Institute brings together all kinds of Middle Eastern people for one cause. Environmental concerns in the Middle East. Christians, Jews and Muslims working together to COEXIST :)for the good of all.

7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Friends of Arava funds excellent research; has an excellent leadership academy for both Arab and Jewish leaders; promotes ecology and a green economy.

8

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I met some of these wonderful people who are doing more to aid the peace process than elected leaders. I hope my daughters will consider going to visit one day.

11

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

i was a student at the arava institute in kibbutz ketura for the fall semester in 2008, studied and experienced.

11

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

It is so beautiful to see the Palestianian students and Israeli students working together to solving the problems of living in the desert! Your work is remarkable!

11

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

FRIENDS OF THE ARAVA INSTITUTE IS DOING A JOB THAT SO MANY OTHERS HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO ACCOMPLISH. THE WORLD NEEDS MORE SELFLESS ORGANIZATIONS LIKE FRIENDS OF THE ARAVA INSTITUTE WHERE THEIR PURPOSE AND GOALS TRULY TAKE PRIORITY OVER ANY INDIVIDUAL OR POLITICAL AGENDAS.

7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was a student for one semester in the Arava Institue. It was a life changing experience that taught me a lot about myself and my environment, about my zionism and my world view. The place and the time in which the institue is placed is ideal. I think the desert make you think.

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I studied for a full year at AIES and the experinces i had in that year will stay with me always. My fellow students are some of the most brave and intelligent people i've ever met, who inspired and challenged me almost daily. I've made friends who will be with me for a lifetime and i've learnt lessons that taught me patience and courage in the face of adversery. Most of the faculty there are encourging and incredibly knowledgeable in their field and i've always felt able to turn to them for support and advice even now as an Alumni. The PELS sessions were the most challenging aspect of the program but the one that has embedded itself deeply in my understanding of conflict and conflict resolution. My time at AIES inspired me to carry on with my environmental education and as well as completing my Permaculture design course i am now studying for a MSc in Arboriculture and Urban Forestry in the UK.

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

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.

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I studied at the Arava Instetute for Environmental Studies (AIES) and participated at few projects with the AIES mainly Environmental Education.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

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....

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.