Frequently Asked Questions
I want to volunteer, but I have some questions…..
How long a commitment do I need to make to volunteer?
Most volunteer assignments require a minimum of three – four weeks and approximately 15-20 hours a week.
What is the typical work schedule for a volunteer assignment?
Work schedules will vary as each assignment is established through a matching process with the organization based upon the organization’s needs and volunteer’s schedule and availability. Remember, that the work week in Israel begins on Sunday and usually does not include Friday.
Do I need to be a Hebrew speaker to volunteer?
We recognize that most volunteers are not Hebrew speakers and we can find you interesting, exciting and worthwhile volunteer projects and assignments that you can fulfill in English. While you will see that many of the opportunities listed on the website, indicate that Hebrew would be a plus, we take great care in making sure that the environment and organization in which you are placed can work with you effectively in English only.
What kind of skills are needed for volunteering?
Skilled Volunteers for Israel placements match a volunteer to an assignment based on professional and life skills, hobbies and interests.
Many volunteering assignments utilize English and communication skills. Volunteering is not limited to professional experience.
Volunteers have used amateur photography, music and art skills.
How do I find housing?
Although Skilled Volunteers for Israel cannot take responsibility for volunteer’s housing, we do make an effort to provide useful assistance in the housing search process. We can share housing options that other volunteers have used, suggest rental agents and we will do an internet search for you on the major vacation rental sites for you, such as airbnb and vrbo.
Our Pre-Departure Handbook lists multiple resources to search for web-based housing rental sites that feature short term and/or vacation rentals.
We can provide support and assistance in answering questions related to housing costs and neighborhoods and can assist you in understanding the terms and conditions associated with rentals. If needed, we can make arrangements to visit the apartment or room you are interested in renting to provide you with our feedback on the condition and location of the space.
The final responsibility for finding and securing housing rests with you, the volunteer. But we can and do provide support and guidance in helping you navigate the housing search process.
How physically fit do I have to be to volunteer?
Our assignments assume that you are a healthy, active mature adult and can walk comfortably for approximately 20 -30 minutes. Some of the buildings where volunteers work will require a volunteer to be able to climb stairs. Participants must be able to get on and off a bus unaided.
How do I get to my volunteer assignment?
Volunteers ride public transportation from their residence to their volunteer site and a Skilled Volunteers for Israel staffer will accompany the volunteer using public transportation on the first day of volunteering and provide an orientation before starting an assignment.
What staffing in Israel does Skilled Volunteers for Israel have to assist me while I’m in the country?
Skilled Volunteers for Israel works with three warm, wonderful and qualified Volunteer Coordinators – Terry Hendin is based in Jerusalem, Minna Wolf in Tel Aviv and Judy Gray in the Galil. You will be assigned to one of our Coordinators based on the location of your volunteering and Coordinator schedules. The Coordinator will meet with you in Israel prior to starting your assignment and will assist you the first day in getting to your assignment using the public transportation.
Your Volunteer Coordinator will check in with you periodically and make sure you are doing well. If there are interesting events or festivals of interest, she will let you know. And she is also available for your questions. Ultimately, Skilled Volunteers for Israel’s goal and the Coordinator’s goal is to orient you and launch you to feel comfortable and prepared for a fabulous experience.
Why must I provide medical information to Skilled Volunteers for Israel and have my physician sign off on my volunteer experience?
Skilled Volunteers for Israel asks for a physician to sign the medical release as part of our screening process for the Israeli non-profit organizations that volunteers are in good physical and mental health for their volunteer assignments. Good health is a critical component of building the foundation for a successful volunteer experience.
We ask for the medical information form so that in case of emergency related to injury or illness, Skilled Volunteers for Israel can provide the appropriate Israeli medical personnel with basic information regarding your health, including medications taken, current and prior medical conditions. Your information is kept by the Israel Volunteer Coordinator and is not shared with anyone else unless as needed in a medical emergency.
Is it safe to volunteer in Israel?
There are inherent risks in volunteering in Israel, including hazardous activities and travel in areas which pose risks from terrorism, war, illness or criminal activities. Skilled Volunteers for Israel assumes no responsibility for injury, illness, death or property damage that result from or relate to a volunteer’s activities and presence in and travel to and from Israel.
The US State Department issues travel advisories regarding travel abroad. For information on travel in Israel, please visit http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings/israel-travel-warning.html
Does Skilled Volunteers for Israel cover the volunteer’s living or travel expenses or have any funds to help subsidize the cost of volunteering?
No, unfortunately, Skilled Volunteers for Israel is an independent charitable organization and does not have sufficient funds to assist volunteers. Volunteers must be able to cover the costs of travel and living expenses independently.
We would encourage those who need assistance to reach out to family and friends, synagogue and colleagues through a crowd sourcing approach. One of our volunteers has suggested using GOFUNDME, https://www.gofundme.com
Is any stipend paid by the non-profit or Skilled Volunteers for Israel?
The experience is strictly on a volunteer basis and at this time, no funding is available for stipends.
If you have a question that does not appear on the FAQ, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or use our comments section. We welcome your questions!