Most Christians who travel to Israel go to experience the land of the Bible—and they should. But there’s a unique way to experience Israel that 99% of visitors don’t get to do.
(Picture: Volunteers at the excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir, Israel.)
Not long ago the Israel Ministry of Tourism asked me to identify some volunteer activities that Christians would enjoy. These range from activities any tour could do in a couple of hours to volunteer opportunities that last for months, depending on one’s availability, ability, or interest.
Obviously, you don’t have to be a Christian to participate in these volunteer opportunities in Israel, but here are 15 I think you would enjoy.
15 Volunteer Opportunities in Israel for Christians
A great opportunity for busy tourists, Pantry Packers gives groups the privilege of volunteering to pack meals for the needy in Israel. After a brief video and introduction, each group of volunteers enjoys helping in a clean, safe, and fun environment while packing meals with modern equipment.
A group photo tops off the event—all in only 90 minutes!
The biblical Negev covers the southern half of Israel and is home to a program that purposes to preserve endangered wildlife native to the area. Volunteers begin with an orientation in Jerusalem. Then they travel to the Negev desert preserve where they assist the reserve staff with ongoing conservation work, animal care, and facility maintenance and construction.
With the finest medical care and technology, this organization has helped to repair the hearts of more than 3000 children. Volunteers serve both the children and their parents, helping to relieve any stress during their experience and to offer encouragement in recovery.
From giving keepsake photographs, to sending follow-up emails, to offering simple smiles and hugs, volunteers play a part in saving many children’s lives.
An ideal opportunity for individuals, couples, and families, Volunteers for Peace uses community service as a means of humanitarian aid and intercultural education. An interactive Web site helps volunteers select from a wide variety of service projects that help meet Israel’s physical and local needs—working alongside others from all over the world.
Leket Israel serves as the country’s largest food bank, redistributing excess food to the needy. Volunteers have many opportunities to help, including gleaning fields, collecting and redistributing surplus meals, preparing sandwiches for school children, or serving in the logistics center or with deliveries.
Opportunities can be personalized to the needs and capabilities of the volunteer.
Numerous kibbutzim throughout Israel accept volunteers between the ages of 19 and 35. Living on a kibbutz is a great way to learn about Israel and meet people from all over the world. Opportunities to serve last from two to six months, and jobs include agriculture, kitchen and dining duties, gardening, factory work, and laundry.
The Israeli Ambulance Corps works with volunteers to provide first-aid services and efficient initial treatment to those in need. Following an eight-day training course on basic anatomy and emergency medical management, participants serve as ambulance volunteers across the nation who work alongside MDA staff for between six and eight weeks.
The principal organization dedicated to promoting peace between Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians, the Peres Center allows volunteers to experience hands-on experience in meaningful non-profit work.
Participants are involved in a variety of significant projects, depending on one’s skills, needs, and availability.