Kibbutz Volunteering

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Volunteering on a kibbutz in Israel is a tradition that thousands of adventurers from all over the world have undertaken.  The kibbutz is a unique community founded on principles of communal ownership, social justice, and equality. Today there are approximately 270 kibbutzim, varying in size from 80 to over 2,000 people, throughout Israel. As a Kibbutz Volunteer, you will be placed on one of approximately 30 kibbutzim.

The kibbutz is the home of its members and they warmly invite young adults to experience this unique way of life as active and participatory guests. The program costs $690 which includes: a non-refundable deposit of $360; room; board; health insurance and visa. The cost does not include the airfare.

Applicants residing in North American should contact the Kibbutz Program Center in New York. You can register on this website or email mail@kibbutzprogramcenter.org. Those residing outside North America should contact the Kibbutz Volunteer Program Center in Israel at nava@kibbutzvolunteers.org.il.

Kibbutz Volunteering Program details:

–      The program is for volunteers between the ages of 18-35.

–      The duration of the program is 2-6 months (with the possibility of an extension once in Israel).

–       Volunteers receive food and board (two to three people per room) and a modest stipend. Main meals are eaten in the communal dining room (in some kibbutzim, volunteers are provided with a small kitchen, cooking facilities, and groceries to prepare food for themselves).

–       Volunteers work in the kibbutz 6 days per week for 7-8 hours per day. The work may be in agriculture, industry, tourism or kibbutz services. The choice of jobs available depends on the kibbutz, the season, the volunteer’s skills and the length of his/her stay.

–       Volunteers have every Saturday off work as well as an extra day each month.

Application Process:

You can begin volunteering anytime throughout the year. Before you are eligible to volunteer:

  1. You must submit all the required paperwork, pay the registration fee, undergo an interview (usually over skype) and be accepted to the program.
  2. Once you are accepted you need to wait for confirmation of your volunteer visa before you arrive in Israel.
  3. You must have all the required paperwork submitted and registration fee paid at least one month before your intended time of arrival to Israel. This is also the case if you are intending to spend time in Israel prior to volunteering on a kibbutz.
  4. All program fees must be paid in full before you arrive in Israel.
  5. Your passport must be valid for at least 1 year after your planned arrival date in Israel
  6. Once you arrive in Israel you are required to report to the volunteer office in Tel Aviv, where you will meet the staff and receive you specific kibbutz placement.

In order to apply to the program, you must submit the following:

  1. Completed application form
  2. Completed medical form – signed and stamped by your treating physician
  3. Signed and dated volunteer declaration form
  4. Completed medical appendix form
  5. A color copy of your passport
  6. A non-refundable registration fee of $360
  7. An up to date photograph of your face
  8. A “criminal background check” from local police.  The document must include your name, passport number, and declaration of (lack of) criminal background.

Please scan all documents and send via e-mail. The completed forms need to be organized into 3 separate files: application form, medical forms and applicant declaration. Please do not send photographs of documents or faxes.

***Please contact Emma at mail@kibbutzprogramcenter.org to receive application forms***

Note to applicants:

Work on kibbutz can be physically demanding. Unfortunately, the volunteer program is unable to accommodate the needs of applicants with certain medical conditions. Applicants with a history of mental health issues or physical limitations will be asked to provide additional relevant details (history, treatments and current status) from their treating physician. This document will be considered when determining the eligibility of the applicant.

Please feel free contact us for advice regarding your application.

 

Please contact Emma at mail@kibbutzprogramcenter.org to receive application forms

Popular Questions and Answers for the Kibbutz Program Center

How do I apply?

Click "Register Now" at the top of this page and fill out the designated form. Once we received that, we will respond with more information, the full application, and the medical form. Paying the non-refundable deposit of $360 or paying in full, $690, secures your spot in the program. If you decided to volunteer for more than three months, you will have to pay an additional 500 NIS to the office in Israel in order to extend your visa and health insurance.

On the application, how do I answer: Name of Kibbutz representative and agency?

If you are an American or Canadian citizen then please answer “KPC New York.” If you are from another country then write out the name of that country.

What is this Medical certificate that you ask for?

You need a statement from a doctor stating that you are physically and mentally healthy and fit for work in the kibbutz. Some kibbutzim also ask for updated blood tests.

Once I arrive in Israel, how do I get to your office in Tel Aviv from the airport?

The Kibbutz Volunteers Program Center is located at 13 Leonardo da Vinci St., Tel-Aviv
From the airport take the internal bus no. 5 (3 floor in the airport terminal) to bus no. 475 to Tel Aviv central bus station. From there take Bus No. 70 which stops at SHAUL HAMELECH/LEONARDO DA VINCI, every 10-15 minutes. Alternately, you can take the train to AZRIELI TRAIN STATION (It’s also called "HASHALOM STATION"). From there take Bus No. 56 which stops in front of the Kibbutz Movement.
From the central bus station take Bus No. 70 (from SHAUL HAMELECH/DUBNOV St.)From the hostels take Bus No. 14 from SHAUL HAMELECH St. and get off at ALENBI Str.(CARMEL MARKET).

Can you recommend a nice hostel?

Hayarkon 48 Hostel
48 Hayarkon St, Tel Aviv
TEL: 972-3 5168989 & FAX: 972-3 5103113
info@hayarkon48.com
Momo’s Hostel
28 Ben yehuda St., Tel Aviv
Tel: 972-3- 5287471
Sky Hostel
34 Ben Yehuda St., Tel Aviv
Tel: 972-3-6200044
Skyhostel@walla.com
In the summer, we recommend that you book in advance.

Can situations occur where I won’t have a kibbutz to go to straight away?

Almost all volunteers come to the office in Tel Aviv with their luggage and go straight on to the kibbutz after their registration. Sometimes in the high season a small part of the volunteer have to wait in the hostels a few days until there is an available kibbutz for them.

Can I know which kibbutz I will go to before I leave my country for Israel?

Unfortunately, the answer is NO. When you come to the office in Tel Aviv, you will be interviewed briefly and the placed in accordance with available kibbutzim and the requirements of the work branches that are available.

Can I choose my work?

Almost all volunteers START their stay in the kibbutz working in the services (kitchen, dining room and laundry) and then MOVE to other work in the kibbutz until they find the place that they like.

 

         The Kibbutz is like no other place in Israel . . . actually it is like no other place in the world! Becoming a part of the community was life changing. Long live the Kibbutz! -Alex, Michigan

         I am having a great time so far, I love the kibbutz I'm on and the other volunteers are great.  I'm loving every second of it so far.  Thank you so much for all of your help to get here. I'm so happy!  - Max, New York

         So far the experience (volunteering) has been quite interesting.  It started off very overwhelming.  Life in a new country usually is.  I have only been here for a month and I already notice a change in myself.  I have never been among such a diverse group of people before.  The majority of my friends come from a different country.  Living in America all my life has only allowed me to see one point of view.  Living in Israel is an eye opening experience.  - Craig, Illinois

         I volunteered on Kibbutz Mashabei Sade in the fall of 1995 and enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  I milked cows; I harvested chickens; I helped build refrigerator parts side-by-side with Russian olim.  When I wasn't contributing to the Kibbutz "economy," I was studying in the Kibbutz ulpan, getting beat in basketball by Kibbutzniks, and enjoying the simple, peace and quiet of the Negev while living among folks appreciative of a lending hand.  While there, I learned a lot about Israeli history and politics.  I experienced a sense of community that eluded me in the United States - and continues to elude me.  And I learned a lot about myself and what is important in this world.  It was a life-changing experience that I would do again if I could.  I highly recommend it.  -Rob Jordan, NY

 

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