These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem


Posted on March 4, 2013 by Lauren Schuchart

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From my blog:
It’s been a while since my last post. Apparently, graduate school essays are a bit of a time-suck.

In any case, here are some pictures from my school’s trip to the Arava in January. We went all the way to Eilat in the southern tip of Israel for a few days of hiking in the beautiful Israeli desert.

We had the pleasure of staying at Kibbutz Ketura in the Arava rift valley. This kibbutz, founded in 1973, thrives as a collective, socialist community, and is of the minority of kibbutzim that have not privatized.

Kibbutz life means a strong emphasis on community: eating, working, and living together. Also, finances are communally-controlled. This means that paychecks go straight to the kibbutz, and every member earns the same salary and receives the same benefits, regardless of their job. As someone who has trouble sharing milk with my roommates, I’m fascinated by this concept!

Kibbutz Ketura is home of the The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, an environmental education program that prepares future Arab and Jewish leaders to solve the problems of the region together. The program enrolls Jordanians, Palestinians, Israelis, and students from around the world, on the belief that “nature knows no polticial borders.” Pretty awesome stuff.

In the way of most beautiful things, these pictures do not do the Arava scenery justice. The colors were amazing, all kinds of reds and browns. It certainly beat last year’s winter trip to Poland!