are mostly young people (Jewish and non-Jewish) who come from all over the world to Israel
for a period of time to take part in kibbutz
life. These volunteers usually arrive in Israel
for a short period of time (two-three months) on a volunteer visa
, and participate in all of the activities in all the branches of the kibbutz (agriculture
). Volunteers get some pocket money
(around 150 shekels
a week as of 2010, depending on the structure of the kibbutz), and receive accommodation, dining, and social activities on behalf of their hosting kibbutz.
Throughout the years, many kibbutz volunteers have chosen to remain in Israel after the volunteering period, often as a result of marrying Israeli citizens. Those who remain in Israel may choose to volunteer in the IDF
and, if they are not Jewish, to convert to Judaism
. Among the volunteers who decide to remain in Israel, many end up staying in the kibbutz they volunteered in.
The volunteers project in the kibbutzim began in the mid 1960s with the arrival of young people from western nations curious about kibbutz life and eager to experience it first-hand. After the conclusion of the Six-Day War
, the world's interest in Israel grew, and in the aftermath large numbers of volunteers arrived. At the peak of the project in the 1970s, 12,000 volunteers used to arrive every year, working in the different kibbutzim throughout Israel.
As the kibbutzim began to suffer financially in... Read More