During Fall 2018, I am studying at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies in Israel. The Arava Institute is an environmental peacemaking program which brings together Israelis, Palestinians, Jordanians, and people across the globe to learn about environmental issues, develop an understanding of varying perspectives on the conflict, and explore pathways to peace. The Institute is located on Kibbutz Ketura, a collective community in the Arava Desert driven by the principles of socialism, Zionism, and pluralism.
I am taking five environmental classes, along with a Peace-building Leadership Seminar, Environmental Leadership Seminar, and Hebrew course. In addition to the academics, the program consists of events for participants, Kibbutz activities, and excursions across Israel. I will have the opportunity for deep conversations, personal exploration, and travel. I want to thank the Duke Center for Jewish Studies, Friends of the Arava Institute, the Masa Scholarship, and my family for funding this incredible experience.
Throughout the semester, I will be posting bi-weekly reflections about my experiences in the classroom, on the Kibbutz, and during my travels. I hope you enjoy hearing about my journey in Israel!
- Starting my Journey at the Arava Institute
- Is Israeli-Palestinian Peace Possible?
- Peace-Building Leadership Seminar Trip
- Discovering my own Judaism and Zionism
- Judaism: From My Home to My Homeland
- History: Shaped by Politics, Shaping Lives
- Determining My Responsibilities
- Out on the Verge of the Rest of My Life
- Why I Need to Go Back
- My Journey in Jordan, Israel, & Poland
In October 2019, I attended the 1st International Conference on Environmental Peacebuilding at University of California, Irvine to learn more about this field and meet some of the people leading it. Check out my reflection blog post to read about my fantastic experience at the conference.