Cultivating Hope | Arava Institute Study Tour

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This curated small group journey through Israel and the West Bank gives participants exclusive on-the-ground access to the culture, politics, and environment of the Middle East. Led by regional experts in environmental peacebuilding, including Ambassador Daniel Shek and Arava Institute Executive Director Dr. Tareq Abu Hamed, this trip takes you off the beaten track to delve into the complex realities of the region. Throughout the Study Tour, participants will be joined by Arava Institute Israeli, Palestinian, and Jordanian alumni engaged in environmental and coexistence efforts.


To speak with someone about the Cultivating Hope Study Tour, please call (617) 266-7100 or email, and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.


This is a draft itinerary subject to change.

Day 1: Arrive in Jerusalem. Attend a welcome dinner, meet your fellow participants and the staff who will be with you for this unique experience, and discuss the trip’s itinerary, what you’ll experience, and receive an overview of the regional situation.

Day 2: East Jerusalem. Get an overview of the environmental challenges facing East and West Jerusalem. Meet with NGO and civil society leaders pursuing environmental peacebuilding. Tour East Jerusalem village of Tsur Baher.

Day 3: West Bank. Travel to Area C of the West Bank to see Arava Institute projects in the Jordan Valley and meet Palestinian civil society partners. Overnight in Tel Aviv.

Day 4: Tel Aviv. Meet with journalists and activists who envision a different future. Participate in Dual Narratives Tour of Jaffa. Overnight in Beer Sheva.

Day 5: Al Fura’a. Meet with Bedouin community members and learn about Arava Institute environmental projects in education and water management. Travel to Kibbutz Ketura.

Day 6: Kibbutz Ketura / Arava Institute. Meet with Arava Institute staff, tour the Institute, and hear our vision. Tour the orchards and see the renowned Methuselah, the first date palm germinated from Judean date palm seeds, over 2000 years old. Tour the Institute’s research & development projects and meet students on campus.

Day 7: Departure or option to stay at Kibbutz Ketura. Return to Tel Aviv or continue on your own. 


Do I need to be a U.S. citizen to participate?

Not necessarily, but please contact for specifics.

Do I need to have traveled to Israel or the Middle East beforehand?

No, this tour is open to all.

Is travel to and from the Middle East included in the tour price?


Will we need to travel on group flights to and from the Middle East?

At this point, we do not anticipate that you will need to travel on a group flight. 

Will someone pick me up from the airport?

Yes, we will pick you up from the Tel Aviv airport, or we can work with you on coordinating your arrival if you have different plans. For those departing upon the conclusion of the tour, we will provide transportation to the Tel Aviv airport. 

Are there kosher options at every meal?

Meals will be either kosher or vegetarian in Israel and there will be vegetarian options in the West Bank.

I keep Shabbat; how are the activities structured during Shabbat?

Our schedule will accommodate those who keep Shabbat.

What should I bring?

Friends of the Arava Institute staff will be in touch with suggested packing lists closer to the trip date.