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Donation form Kibbutz Lotan

Alternative Study Abroad Experience
Peace, Justice, and the Environment
16 Credit College Semester

  • Spring semester: 29 January 2014 to 29 May 2014
  • Fall semester: 20 August 2014 to 21 December 2014
  • Spring semester:  January 2015 to May 2015
Living Routes Masa Israel Journey Kibbutz Lotan

Explore the connections between land-based cultural and ethnic identity, social justice, community and ecological stewardship in one of the world’s most intractable conflicts.  Learn and practice permaculture in a desert climate.  Gain hands-on experience in green building and design, organic gardening, sustainable community management and group processing.


  • Gain hands-on experience with organic gardening, adobe brick and straw bale construction, building with recycled materials and more at the Center for Creative Ecology at Kibbutz Lotan.
  • Engage in environmental justice issues first-hand with Israeli non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
  • Visit old and new Jerusalem, tour the separation barrier, and take part in inter-faith dialogue
  • Experience Israeli culture, visit well-known sights and learn Hebrew

Through engagement with a holistic approach to world issues that encompasses inner, cultural, and outer processes, you will broaden and deepen your understanding of sustainability and ecology. Hands-on experience with habitat restoration, local organic food production, teaching in village schools, working with village action groups and more, help build a growing theoretical understanding of issues relating to global sustainability.

Learn from experts about cutting-edge ecological building techniques such as adobe, straw bale, and geodesic domes, as well as permaculture design. Engage in peace dialogues with marginalized groups around their experience and ideas for creating peace and justice in the region. This program emphasizes critical thinking, open-mindedness, consensus decision-making, community living and non-violent communication in order to explore sensitive international, community and personal dynamics.

Click here for costs and to apply.


Peacebuilding and Social Justice (4 cr.)

Students explore social and environmental justice issues in Israel/Palestine from a variety of Israeli and Palestinian and Bedouin perspectives and learn tools for building a just peace.

Group Dynamics (Communication 352) (4 cr.)

Students learn service learning methodologies and skills for living in community. They create their own learning community while living in and contributing to social and development projects in kibbutzim, traditional villages, towns and bi-national intentional communities.

Permaculture Design (Plant and Soil Sciences 298B) (4 cr.)

Theoretical and practice-based course focusing on the context, skills and tools required for the design of sustainable human habitats in different environments. Using new ecological knowledge, students help lead a process of needs-assessment and design projects that will make a difference in village lives.

Sustainable Building (4 cr.)

Foundation course emphasizing theory and practice-based learing. Students focus on the skills, methods and materials associated with ecological design and construction, appropriate technologies, and the building of sustainable communities.

Click here for costs and to apply.

Program components:

Week 1-5: Kibbutz Lotan

  • Thorough orientation seminar and group activities at Kibbutz Lotan
  • Hebrew class placement
  • Practice meets theory in hands-on work in the organic garden and ecological building techniques including adobe bricks, geodesic domes, straw bale and construction with recycled materials
  • Snorkel around the Eilat coral reef!
  • Field trips to neighboring kibbutzim, ecological sites, and natural areas
  • Seminars, group discussions and films presenting a broad view of Israel/Palestine and ecological issues
  • Facilitation of and participation in community activities, discussions and decision making process

Week 6: Jerusalem and the Dead Sea

  • Meet with leading peace organizations and marginalized communities
  • Practice your Hebrew at the shuk! (open air market)
  • Explore historic and cultural sites
  • Enjoy the unique ecology of the Dead Sea

Week7-12: Kibbutz Lotan

  • Get started working with Permaculture and ecological design principles
  • Group building project using tires, junk, and earth plaster
  • Harvest the fruits of your own labor in the organic garden
  • Continue studying the theories behind intentional community and start designing your ideal community at the Community Design Studio

Week 13: Service Learning in Beer Sheva with Earth's Promise organization

  • Learn firsthand about urban ecology through joint projects with Beer Sheva's many community garden projects
  • Meet with regional representatives and learn about Ethiopian culture and the politics around the Ethiopian immigration to Israel.
  • Tour Beer Sheva's surrounding Bedouin communities and spend a morning working at Daughter of the Desert farm in Tel Sheva, a Bedouin city.

Week 14-16: Kibbutz Lotan

  • Starting to wrap up the semester with final classes papers and projects
  • Learning through teaching--prepare short classes for each other on topics of interest relating to the material of the course 
  • Presentation of individual learning projects
  • Closing sessions and celebrations

Click here for costs and to apply.

Fees and Dates

Program Dates

  • Spring semester: 29 January 2014 to 29 May 2014
  • Fall semester: 20 August 2014 to 21 December 2014
  • Spring semester:  January 2015 to May 2015

Admission Deadline: Rolling
*First come, first serve basis. Contact us for late availability.


Cost includes:

  • Tuition
  • Housing in the EcoCampus
  • Full board
  • Trips
  • Processing fees
  • Educational support materials provided to each student
  • 16 credits through the University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Click here for costs and to apply.

Further Info and Contact

Further details may be found on the Living Routes website here. For applications, please click here.


Julia Hanley
Programs Coordinator
Living Routes - Study Abroad in Ecovillages
(888) 515-7333 or (413) 259-0025


Mark Naveh
Center for Creative Ecology
Kibbutz Lotan
Tel: +972 8 6356935; +972 54 9799033
Toll free (while in Israel): 1800 2000 75

Contact Lotan Center for Creative Ecology

Leah Zigmond
Tel: +972 8 6356811; +972 8 6356935; +972 54 9799024
Toll free (while in Israel): 1800 2000 75

Copyright © 2002-2009 [Kibbutz Lotan Center for Creative Ecology]. All rights reserved.