VFI PROGRAMS FOR YOUNG ADULTS AGES 18–28
Experience life in Israel as no tourist can!
Only Volunteers for Israel offers programs where you can volunteer on an IDF base. Sign up for this one-of-a kind VFI program and learn firsthand what the army experience means to your Israeli peers and to Israel.
You’ll work alongside soldiers and volunteers of all ages and from many countries, sleep in barracks, have 3 Kosher meals a day in the mess hall, and wear IDF work clothes—all free of charge while you are on the base.
You feel proud, knowing your hands-on work supports Israel and makes a real difference. And you’ll have new friendships and memories to last a lifetime!
Consider these options:
TRAVEL SOLO OR WITH FRIENDS
Choose any 1- 2- or 3-week program (Sunday to Thursday afternoon) that is listed on our schedule. Room and board are included; you are responsible for only the costs of your airfare and weekend activities. On the weekends of a multi-week program (Thursday afternoon – Sunday morning), you can visit friends and family, travel with your new VFI friends, or follow your own itinerary. Whatever you decide to do, you will be amazed by the awesome, unforgettable sights and sounds that only Israel offers.
ADD-ON TO BIRTHRIGHT OR ANOTHER ISRAEL TOUR
Extend your trip and see much more of Israel — from the inside — by volunteering on an IDF base.
NEW! ISRAEL DISCOVERY PROGRAM FOR YOUNG ADULTS AGES 18–28
*Includes $1,000 VFI travel subsidy! See details below.
July 2–13, 2023
Young adults are welcome to join any scheduled VFI program throughout the year. However, the unique Israel Discovery Program is the only all-peer experience VFI offers. Created and conducted by Sar-El,* this exciting new adventure combines working on an IDF base with experiencing a side of Israel that tourists don’t get to see.
From Sar-El: “Sar-El invites you to an exciting and educational two weeks. Throughout the first week, you will volunteer on an army base and have activities to enrich your knowledge about the IDF. Following this, an eventful weekend will take place including hiking and discovering cultures, places and people. On the second week, you will return to a military base to volunteer until Thursday.
“The program can be subjected to change in accordance to IDF Guidelines. The program is respectful to those who keep kosher and Shabbat. Participants must speak English.
“The Israel Discovery program fee is $780, payable directly to Sar-El. It includes room, board and activities for the two-week program. Airfare and health insurance are not included.”
To enroll, first apply through Volunteers for Israel. (1) Contact VFI’s Regional Manager; (2) complete VFI’s Application; (3) pay VFI’s $55.00 non-refundable Application fee; and (4) arrange for your VFI interview. After VFI approves you, you will be referred to Sar-El, which will contact you with further information.
NOTE: American applicants for the Israel Discovery Program will receive a $1,000 subsidy toward airfare through the generosity of Amy Simon, in memory of her parents, Irving and Roz Schnitzer.
Irving and Roz were married for over 63 years and were lifelong activists and advocates for Israel. Irving served in the U.S. Air Corps during World War II and was deeply committed to the safety and defense of both the United States and Israel. Roz learned to speak Hebrew and collected funds for JNF even before the state was created. The Schnitzers were members of Hadassah for over 50 years. Given their lifelong devotion to Israel, it is no surprise their daughter Amy not only volunteered through VFI three times, but also made aliyah through Nefesh B’Nefesh in 2004. The VFI family is profoundly inspired by Amy’s leadership and dedication, and we are honored to help carry on her parents’ memory.
* Sar-El is an Israeli organization that coordinates with Volunteers for Israel (VFI). VFI interviews and processes American volunteers. Then Sar-El places approved volunteers on IDF bases where they work side-by-side with Israeli soldiers and volunteers from many other countries.
Sign on for this life-changing adventure!Our adult programs, offered year round, give an insider’s view of Israel. You will work alongside soldiers, base employees, and other volunteers on an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) base, performing non-combat civilian support duties such as packing medical supplies; repairing machinery and equipment; building fortifications; and painting and maintaining the base. You will be housed in barracks with fellow volunteers, enjoy 3 kosher meals a day, and wear IDF work clothes. The Sunday to Thursday workweek also includes cultural/educational programs in the evening and tours when possible. Weekends are spent off the base, which gives you many options! Travel in Israel, visit with friends and relatives, or hang out with your new VFI friends. No-cost army hostel accommodations and reduced-price hotel rates may be available. Our IDF base program is well-suited for those traveling solo! Because it is a group experience, you will meet volunteers from diverse backgrounds and locations, so you need not worry about feeling left out. You will develop life-long friendships and travel partners. Learn more by clicking the “request more info” or “apply now” buttons above.
Want to work on an IDF base AND tour Israel with a private guide WITHOUT having to take care of all of the messy logistics? Sign up for an all-inclusive VFI PLUS program! VFI’s PLUS Programs take care of everything! ALL arrangements from your volunteer assignment, hotels, transportation on an air-conditioned bus, airport transfers, private tours, lectures, specialty guides, admission fees, food (except touring lunches), and tips are included. You are responsible only for your round-trip air travel to Tel Aviv. It could not be simpler: just pack your bags and show up. These programs have received rave reviews! And you have two to pick from!
VFI PLUS ADVANCEDThis 17-day program includes 9 days of volunteering on an IDF base plus 8 days of private, custom touring with a professional Israeli guide in an air-conditioned bus. Our deluxe itinerary features unusual and under-the radar experiences in addition to some hotspots you can’t miss. To learn more, click here
VFI PLUS ARCHAEOLOGYAwaken your inner Indiana Jones and get your hands dirty in ancient soil on an active archaeological site guided by professionals from Tel Aviv University and the IAA(Israel Antiquities Authority). This 14-day, ALL-Inclusive program is for both first-timers and repeat volunteers. It combines 5 days of volunteer work on an IDF base, 5 days of work at a professional dig site in the City of David, next to Old City Jerusalem, and 4 days of custom touring to out-of-the-way locations. Ideal for 18-80+, you get to work alongside archaeology professionals and Israeli students. This unique program also offers a rare and memorable experience performing various tasks that directly aid the archaeologists in their important mission. The City of David is a world-class archaeological wonderland with rich ancient connections. It is the most ancient part of the Canaanite and Israelite City of Jerusalem. The site includes findings from myriad layers of civilization. To learn more, click here.
UPCOMING TOUR DATES
VFI Plus Archaeology (14 Days)Sunday, March 12 to Saturday, March 25, 2023 (March 12-16 on IDF base; March 19-23 on dig site)
Sunday, October 15 to Saturday, October 28, 2023 (October 15 -19 on IDF base; October 22-26 on dig site)
VFI Plus Advanced (17 Days)Friday, May 5 to Sunday, May 21, 2023 (2 weeks on IDF base)
Friday, November 10 to Sunday, November 26, 2023 (2 weeks on IDF base) Contact: Ilana Blumenthal at email@example.com for more information.
ZOOM NOW. REALITY LATER.
These weekly Thursday Zoom-based programs are designed to take your brain on a vacation from the pain and loneliness of Covid-19 and transport you to archaeological digs, historic neighborhoods and homes, ancient cultural sites, and bustling streets in the Jewish homeland – all led by VFI PLUS’s official tour guide, Julia Newman.
Attendees are in for a special treat of lectures given by world-class experts in their fields, such as former Mossad agents, brigadier generals, scientists, artists, photographers, and famed archaeologists.
All programs are FREE and interactive, with real-time discussions. If you can’t volunteer on an IDF base or tour Israel right now, why not explore and do a deep dive into the country virtually?
CLICK HERE to watch the more than 150 already-aired episodes.
PLEASE CLICK HERE to support VFI EDUCATES so we can continue to bring you engaging, LIVE programs direct from Israel – FREE.