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The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies


The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies is a world-class teaching and research center in southern Israel that prepares Muslim, Christian, and Jewish students to cooperatively address the shared environmental challenges of the Middle East. Those challenges, including water, air quality, and energy, cannot be solved in a region unless neighbors work together effectively.


The Arava Institute was founded in 1996 on Kibbutz Ketura in Israel’s Arava Desert. Built on the hope that young Arab, Christian, and Jewish students can build positive working relationships—even friendships—if given the venue, the support, and a common language, it provides graduate and undergraduate students with a unique educational experience that focuses on the urgent environmental needs of the Mideast through peaceful cooperation. The student body consists of Israelis, Jordanians, and Palestinians, as well as people from North America and the rest of the world. There is no other place in the Middle East where Israelis and Arabs work and study together for such an extended period of time.

Today, the Arava Institute stands as a groundbreaking success story amidst a region of continued conflict. Alumni continue to work together based on the relationships and trust built at the Institute and have begun to effect positive attitudinal changes in their families, social circles, neighborhoods, and places of work.

Environmental Work

Building sustainability at the Arava Institute begins in the classroom, with a holistic approach to environmental studies, recognizing that effecting change is not only a matter of science but public policy and education. It continues on field trips, where students visit sites around the Middle East, learning that the area’s challenges are indeed regional ones that demand cooperative solutions.

The Arava Institute’s research program plays a leading role in research, conservation, environmental protection and sustainable development in the Middle East. Gathering local and international experts who collaborate with its scientists, the Institute is the premier center for multidisciplinary environmental research in the region.

How JNF is Helping

Since 2002, Jewish National Fund has had an official partnership with the Arava Institute. JNF raises funds for student scholarships as well as for a capital campaign to build the campus. Past support has funded the construction of dormitories, academic and research offices, and a new laboratory, and has provided $1 million for scholarships.


Solving Environmental Issues Together, B’Yachad Spring 2012, Page 17

JNF CEO Russell Robinson speaks on “Partnering to Protect the Land” on “Arava on the Air,” an online production of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies. Click here to learn more.


Get involved and Donate to The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies. For naming opportunities call your local office at 888-JNF-0099.


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