Giving back to our community is an important value to uphold. Doing things for other people is beneficial both for those who receive our help and for the giver, and Israel has many opportunities for you to donate your time – for all ages – to amazing causes, and have fun at the same time. Some are volunteering work. and others are workshops run by charitable organizations where your entry fee goes directly to the charity.
Here are some of the suggestions that LoveLoveIsrael members have tried and tested and recommended over the years! Let us know if you have any to add by commenting on this post!
There are a few charities who organize ways to get essential provisions to poor people in Israel. They are always happy to accept volunteers to help out. We suggest giving the places a call to find out when is best to come, especially if you want to bring larger groups. Take care to adhere to safety rules – you may be required to wear closed shoes, or there may be age restrictions if you plan on bringing children.
- Pantry Packers – Situated in Jerusalem, this amazing facility provides volunteers with an incredible experience. Working in a team, you will weigh and package rice and other foods to be distributed to the poor. This activity is free although a donation would be greatly appreciated.
- Leket – There are two main options to help at Leket.
Leket receives donations of food and produce that is unwanted and sorts through it to pack up and deliver to poor people country-wide. This aspect of their work is carried out at their covered warehouse in Raanana and is suitable for age 8+ You do need to arrange your visit but your help is very welcome and appreciated.
The other way you can volunteer with Leket is to help pick produce from fields that grow produce specifically for the poor. Depending on the season you could be picking onions, potatoes, turnips,tomatoes….! A bit dusty and tiring but rewarding work as you work with your friends or family to fill up crates of goods and help speed up their work of providing essentials to poor families in Israel. Suitable for all ages.
- Yad Ezra V’Shulamit – Once a week at their warehouse in Jerusalem, help this organization pack up food baskets for the poor. They rely on volunteers and would be happy to have you.
- Ohr Meir & Bracha Terror Victims Support Center – Help pack up food baskets for victims of terror at their base in Jerusalem on Thursday mornings on Yakim street off of Shmuel HaNavi.
Helping Children and Adults with Disabilities and Special Needs
- Beit Hagalgalim – Can you imagine what it’s like to live with a physical disability and how the simplest tasks can be so difficult? The Rolling Experience in Herzliya, is a life-changing workshop in which you will step into the shoes (or chair, as the case may be) of a person living with physical disabilities and experience their reality. This workshop was developed and is led by graduates of House of Wheels who will share their inspiring personal stories. The cost of the workshop is a direct donation towards the organization.
- Yad Sarah – The Yad Sarah Headquarters are based in Jerusalem. You can arrange tours of the facility and even volunteer to help build orthopedic equipment as well as many other options!
Helping Troubled Youth
- Susan’s House – Susan’s House, in Jerusalem, is a warm, welcoming place for at-risk teens. These teens, many from the street, are taught to create beautiful glass work, ceramics & jewelry that you can buy. You can book for a free tour where you will watch a short film about Susan’s House and then watch the crafts being made, ending up at their gift shop. You can also book to make a necklace or paint ceramics and other options and the cost will go towards the work that they do here for teens at risk.
Helping our Soldiers
- The Pina Hama – This amazing ‘cozy corner’ in Gush Eyzion provides free food for soldiers and relies on donations – you can bake with your families and bring food here for them. Contact them for details.
- Standing Together – If you are having a milestone event in the family or you want to make a big gesture, Standing Together will help you bring food to soldiers on bases and can offer many volunteering opportunities.
Helping Poor Families
- Spoonful of Hope – This special charity gives food packages to the poor. One of their unique projects is to give special packages to the children in poor areas, or in children’s homes – from other children! All you need is to get a group of friends together and collect up shoe boxes, decorate them with love, write a cute message, and fill with treats and games or stationary and Spoonful of Hope will deliver them for you, or you may be able to arrange to go with in some instances!
I look forward to hearing about more options in other areas around Israel. Another fun option – you could always do a workshop, such as tie-dying, or jewelry making, or just make cards at home or other crafts, and donate what you make to the needy of your choice….!