Thursday, February 22, 2007

Vounteers in Israel

One of the hidden treasures about Israelis and Israeli society is the number of people that do volunteer work to help others.

Why do I call it hidden ? Well, it is not the type of story that appears on the front page (or back) page of your daily newspaper.
Whether it is working in a hospital as a trained medical clown (think of how this affects the kids in the children's ward) or volunteering for the traffic police, the variety of volunteer programs in Israel is amazing.

For example:
Yad Sarah, the largest voluntary organization in Israel, provides a spectrum of free or nominal cost services designed to make life easier for sick, disabled and elderly people and their families.
They have 103 branches in Israel and over 6,000 volunteers. They also lend out medical equipment for free to anyone that needs it.

Another organization that has thousands of volunteers is Meir Panim. They are best know for proving thousands of meals each day to the needy.

These are just two examples from many.

By the way, you do not have to be a resident to volunteer in Israel. Besides the various Israeli programs, there are special ones that are tailored to people visiting Israel. Some even include touring the country and learning some Hebrew while working. There are even programs that will give you the opportunity to help the IDF (Israel Defense Forces). I know people that participated in the Sar-El program (doing work on army bases or hospitals) and had a great time.

If you are interesting in volunteering, I have a list of organizations with volunteer programs at:
I also have a list of non-profits in Israel which I am sure would welcome help:

Doing volunteer work helps everyone including yourself.
Give it a try. It will make a difference.
Shabbat Shalom,

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