Arava Institute alumni Fareed Mahameed and Lila Bobrowicz recently participated in the Hotchkiss Teaching Fellowship in Connecticut, US. Summer Portals, an Environmental Science Teaching Fellowship run by the Hotchkiss School, cultivates in its students a knowledge of environmental science, provides an immersion in the natural world, and encourages them to become stewards of those resources on a local, regional, national, and global level.
Every summer, Hotchkiss recruits two Teaching Fellows amongst Middle Eastern Arava Institute alumni, one Palestinian and one Israeli. This year, Fareed Mahameed and Lila Bobrowicz worked closely with skilled teachers and gained valuable real-world experience. They also played an important role in the program by imparting their unique perspective on global and local environmental issues to students.
Fareed is from the Arab village of Umm al-Fahm in the North of Israel, near Haifa. He studied at the Arava Institute for two semesters in 2015-2016. Fareed is a Bio-Medical Engineering graduate from the Technion. Additionally, Fareed holds a Teaching Certificate from Ben Gurion University, specializing in Mathematics. Fareed is dedicated to becoming a teacher, making an impact on society and making the world a better place – a common thread throughout his studies, work and personal projects. He equates teaching to tossing a pebble in a stream and then watching the ripples spread infinitely in the horizon of that stream. In 2011, Fareed founded a school with a team of people in an unrecognized Bedouin community in the Negev. From 2012 to 2015, he coordinated a “Green Conscience” program, in which he educated students at school and at home in Bedouin villages on living an environmentally friendly way of life, for example: reusing and recycling papers, bottles, cans, and car tires. In addition to Fareed’s many professional accomplishments, he is also fluent in Arabic, English and Hebrew, and functional in Russian.
For Lila from Jerusalem this is the third summer participating in the Hotchkiss Summer Internship. As part of her compulsory military service after high school, she worked for the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel for two years as an Educational Instructor at an Eco-Community center in Eilat. She also worked in Jerusalem giving environmental tours for teenagers, addressing issues such as water, waste, urban nature and municipal composting. She studied at the Arava Institute in the Spring of 2014, which opened a door to a diverse range of academics and exposed her to environmental issues through a practical and interdisciplinary lens. Lila studied abroad for one year in the ArtScience Interfaculty, a cross-medium art program at the Royal Academy of Art in the Hague. Lila is now pursuing studies in Geography and Multidisciplinary Arts at Tel Aviv University, and intends to pursue a career in Landscape Architecture or a related field involving environmentalism and arts. Lila is passionate about applying her experience and skills in environmental work by addressing any field with an environmentally conscious mindset and by using natural phenomena and environmental cooperation as a constant reference point and source of inspiration.
Congratulations to Fareed and Lila, two outstanding Arava Institute alumni, who embody our culture and mission.
Submitted by Rachel Comstock