Volunteering in Kibbutz

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Kibbutz


A kibbutz (plural kibbutzim, literally translated as "gathering, clustering") means a collective community in Israel that was traditionally based on agriculture. Today it is a modest name for something absolutely unique: a voluntary democratic community where people live and work together on a non-competitive basis. Its main goal is generating an independent society based on principles of communal ownership of property, social justice, and equality.
The first kibbutzim were organised by ideological Zionists who came to Palestine in the beginning of the 20th century. Despite the hardships they had to meet, they succeeded to create a social system and style of life which appeared to be very essential for the development of State of Israel both culturally and politically.
Today there are about 300 kibbutzim in Israel, different in size, with a total populace of around 120,000 representing about 2.8 percent of Israel's population. These days, most of the kibbutzim have branched out into industry to increase their productivity, manufacturing wide range of products, varying from electronics, furniture, plastics to farm machinery and irrigation systems.






Kibbutz volunteer

Kibbutz volunteers are mainly young people, not necessarily Jewish, coming from all over the world to Israel for a short or long-term period of time to experience taking part in the kibbutz life.
Volunteers usually arrive to Israel on a volunteer visa, and participate in all of the activities in all branches of the kibbutz (agriculture, kitchen, gardening, factory).
Volunteers get some pocket money, receive accomodation, dining, as well as social activites of the hosting kibbutz.
The experience proved that throughout the years, many kibbutz volunteers have chosen to stay in Israel after their volunteering period, either to volunteer in the IDF, or to convert to Judaism (if they are not Jewish) and remain in Israel, often staying in the kibbutz they volunteered in.



The kibbutz population accepts volunteers for a minimum period of two months and a maximum of six months. In the kibbutz, the volunteers live and breath the kibbutz atmosphere, and during their stay they benefit from many of the social and material advantages of the kibbutz. The opportunity to take part in the unique lifestyle of the kibbutz community is a contingency found no where else in the world. The kibbutz population welcomes the volunteers in their home, and invites them to experience and partake in the daily life of the extraordinary kibbutz community.

While living in the kibbutz, the volunteers are invited to take part in many of the social activities of the kibbutz. The kibbutz pub is available to the volunteers as well as the cinema showings. The gym, the tennis courts, the basket ball/ foot ball courts and the swimming pool are also open to the volunteers. In some kibbutzes, the volunteers are even invited to join the kibbutz basket ball/foot ball league team. The volunteers are invited to join the festivities in the kibbutz for occasions like Jewish Holy days, weddings and independence day' s celebrations.. Apart from this, the young people of the kibbutz do their best to make the volunteers fell welcome.

The volunteers work 8 hours a day 6 days a week. In return they are offered free accommodations in the kibbutz, 3 meals a day, free laundry service in the kibbutz's common laundry and pocket money each month. In addition to this, the kibbutz organizes tours for the volunteers
Source: ivolunteer.org.il