Campus Life Team

The Arava Institute Campus Life Team ensures that there is a full calendar of social activities that increase environmental and cultural awareness on campus.

Campus Life Team

Campus life provides students with the opportunity to explore and enjoy their exceptional campus community. The Arava Institute Campus Life Team ensures that there is a full calendar of social activities that increase environmental and cultural awareness on campus.

The Campus Team consists of the Campus Life Director, the Campus Life Coordinator, and two Program Associates. The Program Associates are alumni of the program. They live on campus with the student and work with the Campus Life Director and the Campus Life Coordinator in the daily running of the campus.

Campus Life Director

Illana Leizin:

Illana was born in Russia and immigrated to Israel as a child. She was an Ecosystem Service assessment intern and a Program Associate at the Arava Institute during Aug-Dec 2015, an experience that influenced her greatly. In July 2018, she completed her MA at Tel Aviv University, researching social identity of sustainable fashion designers and consumers. She is the co-initiator of the Sustainable Fashion Forum in Israel as well as being involved with many cultural, social and sustainable projects, mainly in Tel Aviv, working with both local activists and decision makers. In addition, she worked at Tel Aviv University’s Porter School of Environmental Studies as an international internship coordinator. Illana lives a zero waste life, enjoys yoga, cycling, and multi cultural music. After living in Tel Aviv for the past 13 years , she is exited to move to the Arava region and return to the Institute as a staff member!

Campus Life Coordinator

Yair Stolarsky

Yair Stolarski holds a Bachelor of Social Work from Tel Aviv University. For the last 15 years, he has been working in socially oriented positions like houseparent an the Ness Ziona Children and Youth Village, managing a regional psycho-social rehabilitation through occupation program, and most recently, establishing and managing a community residential project for young adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. Yair has recently moved to Kibbutz Ketura with his wife and 2 children, and is excited to get ready for the Fall 2018 semester at the Arava Institute!

Program Associates

Anwar Dabbour

Anwar is from Beit Jann in the North of Israel. While studying Environmental Studies at Tel Hai College, she became involved in social and environmental activism early on. She volunteered in the Israeli Green Course for several years, and participated in an environmental peace-building project with the Arava Institute, eventually deciding to continue her studies at the Institute. After spending the last two semesters as a student, she is excited to return for another two semesters as a Program Associate!

Daniel Altman

Daniel first studied at the Arava Institute in the spring of 2015 as a junior at Wheaton College, MA, where he earned a Bachelors in Cultural Anthropology. At the Arava Institute, Daniel discovered a deep passion for conflict resolution and peacemaking efforts. His time at the Institute led him to study at the University of Malta where he earned a Masters’ degree in Conflict Resolution and Mediterranean Security. Daniel begins his position as a Program Associate in the Fall semester of 2018 and hopes to bring his love of coexistence and sustainability into student life on campus.

Campus Life Activities

Outside of their academic schedule, students frequently take part in a variety of extracurricular activities including desert hiking, yoga, gardening, camping, mud building, music and horseback riding. There are regular potluck dinners, festive meals and religious and secular holiday activities, as well as culture, music and movie nights.

Each semester, students are encouraged to form their own activity groups based on subjects they want to teach and learn. Past activities have included conversational Hebrew and Arabic, salsa dance, gardening and environmental action, and creative writing.

Students are also invited to take part in Kibbutz events, holidays, and general activities. Students often mingle with kibbutz members and volunteers at the kibbutz pub and have the opportunity to be hosted by a kibbutz family for meals and coffee during the semester.


Although there are students on campus during the weekends and breaks, during the semester many students choose to travel, often being hosted in the homes of classmates or alumni that they meet on the program. The Arava Road, or Highway 90, runs just outside the main kibbutz gate, with buses going south to Eilat (a resort city on the Red Sea that borders Aqaba, Jordan) and north to the Dead Sea (two hours away), Be’er Sheva (three hours away), Tel Aviv and Jerusalem (each four hours away). For a quicker get-away, students visit a neighboring kibbutz called Yotvata, which is famous for its delicious ice cream and chocolate milk, made fresh from Yotvata’s dairy.

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