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Arava Institute Dialogue

Arava Institute Dialogue Project hosted by GEO

by Jessie Sigler

On Tuesday October 9th a group of alumni from the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies came to Northeastern as part of the Arava Institute Dialogue Project, hosted by the Global Experience Office. The Arava Institute is an environmental and peace building research institute located in southern Israel, and the alumni presented the internship and study abroad opportunities available at the Institute and shared their narratives and experiences on the topic of environmental cooperation and peace-building in the Middle East and around the world.  The Institute, which is located near the Jordanian border on Kibbutz Ketura, hosts between fifty and sixty students each semester – one third Israeli, one third Palestinian, and one third international students. The visiting alumni (Hasan, a Palestinian Jordanian, Ben, a Jewish Israeli, and Sarah, a Christian American) spoke about how the Institute provides participants with the unique opportunity to live and study with a diverse group of people who don’t usually find themselves under the same roof. At the Institute, students in the academic program take classes in environmental subjects such as water management, renewable energy, ecology, sustainable agriculture, and environmental politics, while students in the internship program conduct research on one of the Institute’s many projects. Northeastern students have been interns in the past, using the experience to fulfil their co-op requirement. Participants at the Institute also take part in weekly peace-building leadership seminars, and Hasan, Ben, and Sarah spoke about how cross boundary dialogue fostered by the Institute – much of it during participants’ free time – allowed them to really get to know each other and changed their perceptions of one another. To learn more about the Dialogue Project, visit:

Jessie Sigler is a fourth year Computer Engineering student with minors in History and Jewish Studies.

This summer, the Northeastern University Dialogue to Israel, led by Jewish Studies Program Director Lori Lefkovitz, will spend four days at the Arava Institute.

Read the rest of the Fall 2018 newsletter here.

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