Firstly, we hope you and your families are safe and secure. As the impact of the novel coronavirus unfolds, we are grappling with the impact that this virus has on all of us. We recognize that this global crisis has generated uncertainty and insecurity for everyone.
Here in Israel, we have benefited from our location and isolation on Kibbutz Ketura, in a relatively thinly populated part of the country in southern Israel. However, we are still taking all of the necessary precautions and following the regulations instituted by the Israeli government. People are not eating together in the dining hall, no gatherings of more than ten are permitted, and visitors are not permitted.
The Arava Institute is committed to allowing our students to complete their semester. We are moving all of its classes to remote learning, which students may participate in on campus or at home. At this point, student travel, and largely all kibbutz travel, has been curtailed.
At the Friends of the Arava Institute office in Boston, we have postponed in-person meetings and programs scheduled over the next 6 weeks. That said, we are accessible over phone and email and Zoom. Once the situation is calmer for all of us, and we have settled into a ‘new normal,’ we plan to offer video briefings. We know that isolation is another dangerous byproduct of this pandemic. We hope to keep in touch through social media and personal outreach.
At this time of pandemic and concern, we wish you and your families continued well-being. We thank you for your thoughtful partnership and support. Please feel free to be in touch with us, and we send you our best wishes for your health and safety.
We will post more updates throughout the crisis. For now, check out this article for insight on the impact of the novel coronavirus in Israel and Palestine, quoting Arava Institute Executive Director David Lehrer.