Hanukah is usually a quite week at the institute. The students are in classes but life slows down a bit as most of Israel goes on semi-vacation:
- The week started with a dedication ceremony for the Center for Sustainable Agriculture's new office expansion and new tractor funded by the Vivian and Ed Merrin Family Foundation Grant. Students, staff, faculty and friends were invited for a ribbon cutting ceremony, candle lighting and a jelly donut feast.
- Monday night, the Sababa Steering Committee met to discuss submitting Timna Park to be declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The declaration would help to protect the park and the surrounding area from over development. Sababa Steering Committee members also discussed alternative locations for the proposed resort hotel that is being developed near Timna Park.
- On Wednesday, Shir Harel, the Arava Institute's webmaster from Ben Or Consulting came to the institute to discuss new media strategy - website, youtube, facebook, flicker etc. Shir first met with all of the staff and went over website statistics. Since the summer, the website has almost doubled its site visits. In addition, the website now appears on page 5 when googling "environmental studies" - previously we had disappeared from that search. In the coming months the institute will develop it youtube profile and become more organized in terms of facebook presence.
- On Wednesday night, the students lite the Hanukah candles in the dinning room of the kibbutz, sang the blessing over the candles and sang a Hanukah song.
- Thursday, the Executive Committee devoted time to finalizing the 2010 institute budget.