COVID-19 Update: The Arava Institute’s Work Continues

Throughout the pandemic, the Arava Institute continued to educate Israeli, Palestinian, Jordanian, and international students, many of whom chose to stay in lockdown on our isolated desert kibbutz campus rather than go home. We originally shifted our entire curriculum to online classes, including the Peace-Building Leadership Seminar. Since the state of Israel began relaxing its stay-at-home restrictions near the end of the spring semester, our campus slowly started to open up, and small numbers of students were able to congregate for classes, which were still held online concurrently.

We are happy to announce that the Arava Institute will be open and holding in-person classes during the fall semester, which will start on the delayed date of October 13; all activities will be run in compliance with all relevant Ministry of Health regulations. Our online application is open now.

During the pandemic, the Arava Institute’s research centers have continued to move forward on several exciting projects:

  • The Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation is working on a project to grow plants that need shade under solar panels, with the JNF Joint Institute for Global Food, Water, and Energy Security.
  • The Center for Transboundary Water Management installed and is monitoring a Vertical Wastewater Treatment System in the Bedouin Negev village of Um-Battin.
  • The Center for Sustainable Agriculture is making progress on finishing a shelter garden to protect ancient, rare, and endangered plants native to the area.

Click here for more detailed updates on our research projects.

Since Zoom’s recent explosion in popularity, the global Arava Institute alumni community has seized the opportunity to connect virtually. Alumni have been offering homemade workshops to share their work and expertise with each other on topics ranging from Arabic tutoring to the ecology of the Amazon Rainforest.

Arava Institute faculty members have also been taking advantage of Zoom and Facebook Live to offer virtual “mini-classes” to our supporters: 15- to 30-minute lectures on topics including the impact of the coronavirus on the environment, the future of solar energy, environmental conflict mediation, and the connection between the coronavirus and climate change. You can watch the recordings and find out how to tune in for future mini-classes here.

From all of us at the Arava Institute, we extend our well wishes to our supporters and hope that our global community is safe and well. Thank you for your support!