Thursday, August 27, 2009

Here We GO...

Here’s a joke… What is a Segal Family vacation?...

…Going on a 40-mile bike ride!

With that, I write to you from the beautiful and relaxing Cape Cod. Although I haven’t yet left for Israel I’ve found some exciting information that I thought I would share with you. After reading the Student Guide to the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies: Fall 2009, I am even more excited than before. Here’s some of the great news:

Academic Calendar 2009-2010

Fall Semester 2009

September 25 MASA students: Hebrew Ulpan

September 28 Yom Kippur

October 3 1st day of Sukkot

October 14-17 Orientation for everyone

October 18 Classes Begin

November 28 Eid Al Adha

December 12th First day Chanukah

December 25th Christmas Day

January 15th Last day of class

January 17th-27th Exams

January 29th, 2009 End of Semester

Student Body

The student population is generally broken down into a third from North America, Europe, and other countries outside of the Middle East; a third from Israel (Jews and Arabs); and a third from Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and other Middle Eastern countries.

Course List for Fall Semester 2009

Science courses

· Introduction to Ecology – Dr. Elli Groner

· Introduction to Environmental Science – Global Issues – Dr. Shmuel Brenner

· Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture – Dr. Elaine Solowey

Policy & Social courses

· Environmental Education: From Theory to Practice – Dr. Hanan Ginat

· The Bible as a Key to Environmental Thought – Rabbi Michael Cohen

· Introduction to Environmental Ethics – Dr. Uri Gordon

· Society and the Environment – Dr. Uri Gordon & Dr. Clive Lipchin

Interdisciplinary Courses

· Alternative Energy Policy – Dr. Tareq Abuhamed

· Research Methodologies – Dr. Clive Lipchin

I’m most excited about the course for which I will not be receiving credit...

Peace-building and Environmental Leadership (PELS)

The Peace-Building and Environmental Leadership Seminar (PELS) is a compulsory component that consists of a series of discussions, workshops, guest lectures, and field trips. Students are exposed to people, places, and materials connected to the current issues of conflict with the hopes of illuminating peace-building measures. PELS has been especially created to address contemporary issues concerning nationality, race, religion, and ethnicity in a facilitated atmosphere with the aim of encouraging open dialogue among the Arava Institute’s diverse student body. PELS provides a safe forum to develop tools and skills that improve inter/intra-cultural communication. The program offers an ongoing process to build a supportive learning community that emphasizes reflection, self-knowledge, and cultural awareness. Participants learn that tensions can bring forth new strengths and solidarity. The program strives to improve leadership capabilities, and encourage more effective and creative contact between students. Participants are encouraged to implement new principles of understanding and coexistence into their daily lives as students in the Arava Institute program and outside the program among their peers, family and colleagues.

It gets better:

The winters in the Southern Arava Desert (generally November through March), where the Arava Institute is located, are mild and pleasant. Typical winter days feature sunny skies and an afternoon temperature of about 20 degrees Celsius (about 70 degrees Fahrenheit). Clear winter nights in the desert can be quite cold, with temperatures dropping below 10 degrees (down to the 40s or occasionally even to the 30s Fahrenheit). An actual freeze is virtually unheard of. The scarce rains (about one inch per year) fall in the winter, occasionally causing flash floods. There has never been snow.

And, here’s the best part!

Your clothes will be washed in a communal laundry on kibbutz.

That’s all for now. Hope you are as psyched as I am.


P.S. If you become a “follower” of AdventureAdi, I’ll give you a shoutout in the post following

your sign-up!

FIRST SHOUTOUT: DANIELLE SCHINDLER, thanks for following me!

SHOUTOUT #2: Thanks for always being there, JASON STEINBERG!