The Arava Institute (arava.org) is a truly unusual and remarkable place. I have known it – and written about it – since 1996 when it was founded, with the slogan “Nature Knows No Boundaries.”
For over twenty years it has brought together students and scholars from the Eastern Mediterranean (Israelis, Palestinians, Jordanians), North America and elsewhere to study environmental stress and climate change in the Middle East and to develop responses – e.g., in innovations in renewable energy, water use, sustainable agriculture. Organizations of alumni in the Eastern Mediterranean and North America continue to advance this agenda.
Hazon (www.hazon.org), now the largest Jewish environmental organization in the United States, is the partner in the ride. Through bike rides, food conferences, and other Jewish sustainability programs, Hazon brings people together, builds community, and promotes sustainability and vibrant Jewish life. I think of the Arava Institute and Hazon as practical idealists - doers as well as dreamers.
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