FAQs

I want to participate, but I have some questions…..

 How long is the program and what kind of commitment is required?

 Most service assignments require a minimum of three weeks with a commitment of approximately 15-20 hours a week. Depending upon the specifics of your interests and needs of the placement sites, you may be able to combine two service sites to volunteer up to 25 hours/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 your schedule and availability. Remember that the five day work week in Israel begins on Sunday and usually does not include Friday.

 

Do I need to be a Hebrew speaker to participate?

We recognize that many participants are not Hebrew speakers, therefore we find interesting, exciting and worthwhile service projects and assignments that you can fulfill in English. We take great care in making sure that the environment and organization in which you are placed can work with you effectively in English.

 

What specific skills do I need to participate in the service projects?

Skilled Volunteers for Israel’s individualized placement process is based upon matching each individual’s interests, skills, experience, hobbies, and other talents with an appropriate service project. Our placement process includes interviews and reference checks that are designed to achieve the goal of making the best fit placements possible.

All settings welcome volunteers with a willingness to help, show enthusiasm in their work, have good communication skills, know how to take imitative and can work well with a team.

Many assignments in nonprofit organizations utilize skills in English, communication, business, marketing, research and fundraising.

Service opportunities are not limited to professional experience.  The willingness to listen, help hands on, show flexibility and desire to help people and the community are important.

Past participants have also used their amateur photography, music and art skills in their volunteer assignment.

 

How do I find housing?

Although Skilled Volunteers for Israel cannot take responsibility for volunteer’s housing, we do provide useful assistance in the housing search process. We share housing options that other volunteers have used and can suggest reliable rental agents.   We will do an internet search for you on the major vacation rental sites, such as Airbnb and VRBO. We even provide you with questions to ask your potential host that aid you in assessing such issues as a unit’s location, access to public transportation, amenities included.

We 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.

Although we can and do provide support and guidance in helping you navigate the housing search process, please remember that the final responsibility for finding and securing housing rests with you.

 

How physically fit do I have to be to participate?

Our assignments assume that you are a healthy, active mature adult and can walk comfortably for approximately 20 -30 minutes.  Service assignments may require you to be able to stand for up to 60 minutes.

Some of the buildings where participants work will require your ability to climb stairs. In addition, all participants must be able to get on and off a bus unaided.

 

How do I get to my assignment?

Volunteers ride public transportation from their residence to their volunteer site.   A Skilled Volunteers for Israel staffer will accompany the participant using public transportation on the first day of your assignment so it is clear how to travel to and from your work site(s).

 

How does the Skilled Volunteers for Israel staff assist me when I’m in Israel?

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 provides back-up support to our staff.  You will be assigned to one of our Coordinators based on the location of your volunteering and our Coordinator’s schedule.  The Coordinator will meet with you in Israel prior to starting your assignment for an orientation, will assist you the first day in getting to your assignment using public transportation and introduce you to your supervisor at your service site.

Your Volunteer Coordinator will check in with you periodically and make sure you are doing well.  She will let you know of upcoming events in the area, help connect you to other activities and is available to answer any questions or to discuss any concerns that you may have.

Our goal is to orient you and launch you to feel independent and 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 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 be in Israel?

There are inherent risks in Israel, including hazardous activities and travel in areas that pose risks from terrorism, war, illness or criminal activities.  We do not place participants in locations that we would not go to ourselves and we are in contact with all of our participants in the event of a security incident.

We do want our participants to understand that Skilled Volunteers for Israel assumes no responsibility for injury, illness, death or property damage that result from or relate to a participant’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  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 participants. You 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

 

What kind of budget should I expect to participate in your program?

We estimate the following costs for your experience. Airfare, as well as the costs of contingencies, touring, study, or other activities are not included in these estimates:

 

  Low High
Housing $1,300 $2,500
Food $ 800 $1,000
Program Fee (Israel from Inside) $ 936 $ 936
Cell Phone $ 200 $200
Taxi to/from Airport $ 200 $200
Estimated Totals (not including airfare) $3,436 $4,836

 

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 mgamoran@skillvolunteerisrael.org or use our comments section. We welcome your questions!

 

 

 

“SVFI was extremely thorough in assessing my experience, needs, and desires for a volunteer experience, and located a perfect resource for a limited time in Jerusalem. They continued to support my experience while in Israel. I recommend them without reservation.” Gene R, Maryland, 2017

 



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