Israel Volunteer Programs

FAQs: How many hours per week will I be volunteering?
What kind of volunteering opportunities are there?

Who is eligible to participate on an Israel Way program?

Anyone who is Jewish, 18-31, and never been on a long-term program in Israel since 2004. Those 31-35 years old may be eligible to participate as well. 

What is the average age of the participants on the Community Involvement program?

Most participants range in age from 19-25, though there is a great mix of years and life experience leading to a incredible group dynamic.  

If I participated on Birthright-Israel, am I still eligible for an Israel Way Program?

Of course! We will welcome you back to Israel with open arms. After or instead of Birthright, this is a great way to have a more meaningful experience in Israel and really get involved in a community while also continuing to travel all over Israel. 

What is the cost of the Israel Way Community Involvement program?

The Community Involvement program is tuition-free after grant funding for those 21-30 who are fully eligible for Masa. Applicants ages 18-20 who are Jewish and have not yet had a long term Israel experience can receive a universal $1,000 grant to bring their cost down to $2,000 for the 5 month program. Participants aged 18-20 who are eligible for Masa grants can apply and possible gain additional funding from Masa based on needs based. 

Upon acceptance to the program each applicant must pay a deposit to secure their place in the upcoming group.This deposit is returned upon successful completion on the program. The applicant must pay full tuition outside of the Masa universal grant funding which they are eligible to receive. E.g 18-20 year old participants who receive the $1,000 MASA Universal Grant are required to pay the deposit and $300 for the required medical insurance plus $2,000 for the program. Participants 21-30 who receive the $3,000 MASA Universal Grant are required to pay the deposit and $300 for the required medical insurance.

Are there any additional costs?

Participants on the the Israel Way Community Involvement program are responsible to pay for their own airfare, medical insurance, food and personal expenses while in Israel. Your accommodations, utilities, trips, Hebrew Ulpan, group transportation, volunteering placement and enrichment activities are all included in the program. Also, participants must have a working Israeli cell phone while on the program. You can rent a phone and/or sim card from the link in the registration center. 

Where can I get health insurance?

Each participant on an Israel Way program is responsible to purchase their own health insurance package for the duration of the program. This can be done through the registration center or with a program advisor by phone. If you already have your own health insurance, you must verify it overs you while on the program in Israel. 

What is Masa?

Masa is a joint project of the Israel Government and the Jewish Agency for Israel made possible through the generous support of the Federations of North America and Keren Hayesod-UIA.

Do I need a tourist visa in Israel?

All Jews automatically receive a 1-3 month visa upon entering Israel. Once within your program, Israel Way staff will take your passport and have your Visa extended for the duration of your Masa program. There may be a minimal cost (around $50) attached to this process. You will also need new passport photos and documents to present. You will receive your student visa after being approved for your Masa funding. For the documents you will need to contact info@destinationisrael.com. If you are flying with a one-way flight ticket or would like to apply for a B-2 visitors visa before leaving your home country, you are encouraged to contact the Israel Consulate in your area to arrange this visa before coming to Israel. Some participants have difficulties with airline regulations if traveling on a one-way ticket and not possessing a visa beforehand. 

Will I learn Hebrew while on this Israel Way program?

Yes! Participants learn Hebrew through an intensive 2-3 week Hebrew Ulpan course upon arrival tot eh Community Involvement program. Over the 5 months, you will receive 64 hours of the Hebrew learning from our licensed Hebrew teacher, as well as casually speaking with the locals in the community.

Will I be able to have free time during the Israel Way program?

Absolutely! The program is structured for each participant to design his/her own schedule. As long as you meet the program requirements, we actually encourage our participants to get out and explore Israel on your own!

How many hours per week will I be volunteering? What kind of volunteering opportunities are there?

Each participant is required to volunteer a minimum of 25 hours per week. You have the option and ability to volunteer more throughout the community with new initiatives beginning often throughout the 5 months.Volunteering in the community is usually centered around education; to improve the spoken English of the youth and adults in the community. Participants will volunteer at various schools and academic recreation programs. For those not as focused on educational volunteering, more options exist in the municipality. Work with underprivileged youth, volunteering at the senior center, soup kitchen, young adult group, and other options are often available.