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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Those residing outside North America should contact the Kibbutz Volunteer Program Center in Israel at email@example.com.
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 5-6 days per week for 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.
You can begin volunteering anytime throughout the year. Before you are eligible to volunteer:
- You must submit all the required paperwork, pay the registration fee, undergo an interview (usually over skype) and be accepted to the program.
- Once you are accepted you need to wait for confirmation of your volunteer visa before you arrive in Israel.
- 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.
- All program fees must be paid in full before you arrive in Israel.
- Your passport must be valid for at least 1 year after your planned arrival date in Israel
- 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:
- Completed application form
- Completed medical form – signed and stamped by your treating physician
- Signed and dated volunteer declaration form
- Completed medical appendix form
- A 250 word essay on why you want to be a volunteer and what you hope to get out of the experience
- Two letters of recommendation
- A color copy of your passport
- A non-refundable registration fee of $360
- An up to date photograph of your face
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.
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.
Popular Questions and Answers for the Kibbutz Program Center
How do I apply?
On the application, how do I answer: Name of Kibbutz representative and agency?
What is this Medical certificate that you ask for?
Once I arrive in Israel, how do I get to your office in Tel Aviv from the airport?
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?
Can situations occur where I won’t have a kibbutz to go to straight away?
Can I know which kibbutz I will go to before I leave my country for Israel?
Can I choose my work?
• 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