Middle East Program
Maymester and Fall of 2013
Are you interested in:
- Learning about the possibilities of peace and sustainability in the Middle East?
- Visiting fascinating historic and scenic areas of Israel, Palestine, and Jordan?
- Gaining understanding and a first-hand appreciation of the religious, historical, political, and cultural background of the region and the conflict?
- Volunteering with peace and/or sustainability organizations, including some cross border cooperative sustainability initiatives?
- Taking a leadership role in peace/sustainability once you return home?
- Receiving 15 college credits while integrating classroom knowledge with real-life applications?
- Making a difference and being changed in the process?
If so, we invite you to join us for a transformative learning adventure in the Middle East!
CELL’s Middle East program focuses on a theme of sustainability and peace building through community. Explore the work of various organizations in Israel, the Palestinian Territories and Jordan. See inspiring peace building efforts as well as environmental sustainability initiatives, some of which involve cooperative efforts across boundaries. You will visit and learn about some of the peace and sustainability initiatives in the region, including those which bring cross border cooperation through focus on sustainability. You will also visit some of the many historic and scenic areas as well as learn more about the religious, historical, political, and cultural background of the region and the conflict. Janessa Gans, guest Principia College professor and founder of the Euphrates Institute, will be leading the program. Janessa has extensive travel and work
experience in the region and she brings a depth of intellectual curiosity, a balanced perspective, a passion for learning, an openness to listen, and she will challenge you to consider new perspectives and points of view. The program begins with a one-week orientation in the U.S. to prepare for the trip as well as to begin exploring your own purpose, our community building together, and how both relate to peace and sustainability. CELL is partnering with the Euphrates Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving relations between the Middle East and West by expanding individual awareness, inspiring action, and promoting peace.
Following orientation, we will fly into Tel Aviv for a few days of touring in the area, including:
Visit to US Embassy and other Israeli government and NGO offices, visits to environmental, energy, and peace organization offices, etc. Some of the sites we will visit may include:
- Stay at Jaffa hostel and tour of Old Jaffa City.
- Visit to Open House (from The Lemon Tree by Sandy Tolan).
- Visit village, Neva Shalom, where Jews and Arabs are coexisting peacefully.
- Visit the International Center for the Study of Bird Migration at Latrun, Israel, founded as a cross border cooperative program with an environmental education center in the Palestinian Territories.
We will then make our way to the West Bank and Jerusalem, learning about the Old City and various sites of religious and cultural significance to Christians, Muslims, and Jews. We will also tour other area cities including Bethlehem and study area language and culture. There will also be field trips and volunteer opportunities in the area with a variety of peace and environmental organizations. Site visits may include:
- Center of Education for Reconciliation and Cooperation
- Seeds of Peace
- Common Paths
- Volunteering for Peace
- Palestinian Peace Society
- Environmental Education Center
- Peace Players
We will also take part in a water related environmental service project involving cross border participation by young Israelis, Palestinians, and Jordanians with an organization called Friends of the Earth Middle East.
More touring will take us to northern Israel to learn about ancient ruins and the history of the area, including many Biblical sites and environmentally relevant stops. Another service project will include time working with the Arava Institute in the Negev Dessert in southern Israel. Arava is housed at a Jewish Kibbutz with a focus on peace and the environment, including hands on cross-border cooperative volunteer projects. Field trips to area sites of relevance will also be included.
In addition, we will visit nighboring Kibbutz Lotan, established as an expression of Lotan’s progressive and Eco-Zionist orientation. Rooted in “Tikun Olam,” the concept for repairing and transforming the world, the center combines hands-on, experiential environmental education with Jewish values within the framework of a community committed to living and working towards sustainability.
We will finish the program with another environmental/peace service related project in Jordan after visiting cultural sites such as Petra, Wadi Rum, Jerash, Mt. Nebo, and Madaban.
When is the CELL Middle East semester program offered?
CELL offers a Spring semester program running from approximately mid-January through running through mid-April. Please call for details.
What are the program costs?
Program Costs: $14,500 – includes tuition for 15 credit hours of course work; all course materials; all in-country travel, lodging, meals; site visits and recreational activities. Not included is roundtrip plane fare and health insurance.
How do I apply?
For information on our application process, see the How to Apply page.
For more information, e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 207-975-9711. We look forward to having you join us for this unique sustainability/peace program.