Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Contact Information
The Concept
This pioneering track of study enables students interested in environmental studies, development studies, and religious studies to pursue these fields in a unique socio-economic and socio-political context: the Negev desert of Israel. The Office of Student Services Ginsburg-Ingerman Overseas Student Program program presents a holistic and comprehensive perspective on the Negev desert, considering ecological, economic, social, cultural, demographic and political aspects of this desert region. It also offers an exceptional opportunity to experience Israel in light of the challenges it faces in developing the Negev; its largest remaining wilderness. In addition to ulpan and academic courses, students will participate in workshops, discussion groups, field trips, volunteering activities, and environmental fieldwork that will introduce them to the sustainable development challenges of Ginsburg-Ingerman Overseas Student Program Israel's periphery. The program is the fruit of col aboration between Ben-Gurion University's (BGU) Overseas Study Program, the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies (AIES) at Kibbutz Keturah, and the Atid Bamidbar creative Jewish studies center in the Negev town of Yeroham. These three institutions represent the northern, central and southern Negev, and thus expose the student to the complete social, environmental and geographical range of the Negev region. The program is appropriate for a year of study abroad during undergraduate studies. The Program
The first semester is focused on the northern and
This is a full year academic curriculum, however each central Negev. Students will divide their time semester may be taken independently as well.
between the main BGU campus in Beer-Sheva and the central Negev town of Yeroham, located The Courses
twenty miles south of Beer-Sheva. Students will live in Yeroham, where they will experience life in First Semester (Introduction and Overview): a multi-cultural development town, connect with host families, and participate in workshops, action- Atid Bamidbar is a unique community oriented oriented research, and study-tours at the Atid study center where a diverse representation of the Bamidbar (lit., “future in the desert”) study center, population of the Negev - women and men, religious as well as engage in volunteering activities related Environmental and Natural Resources Policy and secular, new immigrants and veteran Israelis, to the environmental issues they will learn about. residents of development towns and kibbutz mem- Three days a week, students will take a Hebrew bers - meet and study Jewish sources, from Bible to language course and three other courses at the BGU contemporary works, in an open, egalitarian, and Environmental Development, Sustainability pluralistic atmosphere, striving to apply these sources and Social Justice in light of Jewish sources? to the complex social realities of the 21st century. The second semester will focus on regional For more information see www.bamidbar.org environmental issues as well as environmental aspects of the southern Negev and Arava desert, and will provide a more in-depth focus on the issues Environmental Studies (AIES) is the premier presented during the first semester. Students will This program thus offers a unique "hands-on" environmental teaching and research program in reside on Kibbutz Ketura (30 minutes north of Eilat) Israel experience: meaningful social encounters the Middle East, preparing future Arab and and take courses at the Arava Institute. Students in a distinctive desert environment, all within an Jewish leaders to cooperatively solve the will study the social, religious and environmental academic framework. Students will engage the region’s environmental challenges. The studies dimensions of sustainable development from an social, developmental and environmental challenges are international in scope, with a student body international and mutli-cultural perspective, as they that, in the 21st century, face the region that David comprised of Jordanians, Palestinians, Israelis and will be a part of the Arava Institute's Middle Eastern Ben-Gurion called the future of the Jewish State. other nationalities. AIES gives Jewish, Arab and other student body (Israelis, Palestinians, and Jordanians). They will receive the tools, training and experience students a unique opportunity to study and live Interaction between the students and kibbutz to effectively analyze the complex interplay together for an extended period of time; building members will also be actively encouraged, through of factors promoting or hindering sustainable networks and understanding that will enable future host families arranged by the Arava Institute, and development in the Negev and in general, and they cooperative work and activism in the Middle East participation in kibbutz cultural and social activities. will gain an in depth understanding of one of Israel’s greatest challenges: that of developing the Negev For more information see www.arava.org into a socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable element of the State and people of Israel.

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