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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
The strongest learning for me was the to understand the extraordinary hurdles that the participants had to clear to pusue their ideals. With the threat of isolation from their own families and friends they pursued the participation in the programme. This gives me hope in the uture for the region. this programme is fostering the foundations of the stability in the region. The fabric of the leaders of the future is being interwoven. There is clarity that more will be achieved through cooperation and mutual respect in this complex political and enirnmental regional crossroads.
I was a student at the Arava Institute in the Spring of 2003 and Fall of 2004. It was a life changining experience that truely affected my life, and still does, on so many different levels. I have many friends from various backgrounds that I will have never considered possible before. The Arava Institute did not only help on a personal level, they also provided me with all the help possible to continue my graduate studies, and used all their resouces to help provide me with the best experience, and a well-rounded interaciton. It is a great place to grow to be a human and to get in touch with life.
What a great way to break down cultural and religious barriers in the Middle East and benefit the environment at the same time. The Arava is unique in its mission and methods.
i have heard these young people speak and to learn from them the importance of contact between these two groups. their approach, their curriculum, the experiences they provide are unusual in this area of the world. we are blessed to have them at this time. they need, however, to extend their reach.
This young organization is tackling environmental and mid east peace issues and making PROGRESS. Engaging participants in environmental education, cultural outreach and mid east neighborhood tolerance has sparked a grassroots sparkle of hope for the area and its future.
In 2006 I visited the Arava Institute with a team of bikers from Israel, Jordan the US and other countries. I have since followed the development of the Institute as a leader in environmental studies and a rare gem of cooperation between Arab and Jewish youth. The accomplishment of their mission to provide solutions to mutual problems is vital to all those who hope for a peace in the middle east.
The overseas director of the Arava Institute came to speak to our community about its activities. Everyone was very impressed about the nature of the program, the challenges its participants meet and the far reaching impact their relationships will have on the environment, ecology, natural resources and yes, even peace between peoples.
My association with the Friends of the Arava Institute has been quite gratifying. The Institute promotes environmental responsibility by cooperation among nations and people in an area of the world all too used to conflict. By aiding it, the Friends of the Arava Institute truly help to make the world a better place
My visit to the Arava gave me hope that maybe there is a chance for peace in the Middle East. I have expressed my enthusiasm to many people in the United States about the Arava.
I was on the Jerusalem/Eilat ride many years ago - in 2004 - before I moved to Israel. I later lived in the Arava (though at a different Kibbutz) and remained friendly and in touch with the Institute and a number of its students. I feel that the work of the institute is invaluable - both in its political openness and in its inherent honesty. The belief that our environment is a shared issue regardless of politics and borders is ingenious - and the relationships the institute foments between students (and even outsiders, like myself, who just supported by riding for five days and raising money) are invaluable. I also feel that the institute has helped many of its students to move forward in their careers in ways they could not do beforehand due to racial politics in this ridiculously confused and beloved country. Kol haKavod on the great work!
I participated in the Arava ride from Jerusalem to Eilat in May, 2008. I had an opportunity to meet and talk with a number of the staff and students at the Institute (they crewed the ride). I was very impressed by their dedication. The Arava Institute is accomplishing two amazing goals simultaneously -- training students who will support environmental efforts in the next generation, and changing the mindset of their participants about getting along with "the other side"
We became acquainted with the Arava Institute a year ago through our participation in their 2008 Fall Israeli Bike ride. it was a wonderful experience riding through Israel and visiting the Arava Institue and meeting the Israelis and Palestineans who work and learn together at the Institute. We were so impressed by this experience that we returned in the spring of 2009 for another bike ride and regret that family commitments keep us from attending the nov. 2009 ride. The dedication and professionalism of the individuals involved with the Arava Institute and the strides they are making with cooperation in working and dealing with their Arab neighbors deserve recognition. Many small steps to build understanding and to work for a common good to reclaim the land and make it more productive and produce a self sustaining way of life deserves to be commended.
Jordanians, Palestinians, Israelis, Americans and other students attend Arava Institute of Environmental Studies for undergraduate and graduate work. They continue working on environmental situations common to Middle East regions and other parts of the world. As a serious environmentalist, I see their work as important to their communities, regions and other areas. Their water problems remind me of our water problems in Northern Calif. I am proud to be a supporter of this fantastic group where "Nature knows no Borders." In addition to water, agricultural and other environmental problems the Arava students and graduates work on, I see Palestinians and Israelis working together giving HOPE for the future and Peace in the Middle East.