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 and placement organizations expect 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 2 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 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 most participants are not Hebrew speakers and we can find you 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 skills are typically needed within each of the three service tracks (Caring for Community, Education, Israeli Civil Society)?
Skilled Volunteers for Israel’s individualized placement process is based upon matching an individuals’ interests, skills, hobbies, and other talents with a service project that is appropriate. Our placement process which includes interviews and references are designed to achieve the best fit placements possible.
Many nonprofit assignments utilize English, communication, business, marketing, research and fundraising skills.
Service opportunities are not limited to professional experience.
Past participants have used their 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 provide useful assistance in the housing search process. We 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. We even provide you with questions to ask your potential host that aids in assessing such issues as a unit’s location, access to public transportation, amenities included or available.
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.
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 participate?
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 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 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 who provides back up support to our staff. 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. She will let you know of upcoming events in the area, help connect you to other activities and is available for your questions.
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:
|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 firstname.lastname@example.org or use our comments section. We welcome your questions!