“Olam Chessed Yibaneh.” The world is built with acts of kindness. Part of the personal growth is giving of yourself to others. While on Kibbutz Yavneh, the students have a chance to volunteer in different sectors of the kibbutz. When in Jerusalem, students choose from a broad variety of volunteer options, each providing a unique opportunity to delve into a different aspect of Israeli life. A tremendous amount of initiative and maturity is needed to make the most of volunteer placements. Volunteer placements give participants the chance to create tremendous relationships with those they are helping and these relationships often remain strong even after Shalem ends. The effort made by the individual student dictates the impact he/she has on the community and the relationships he/she develops. Please note that the Shalem staff reserves the right to place you in the experience they feel you are best suited for based on availability.
The following is a sampling of volunteer options that may be available in Jerusalem:
Aleh – Working With Special Needs Children
Aleh cares for children with medical conditions such as autism, cerebral palsy and Down syndrome. Many of the Aleh children are learning how to overcome their handicaps and to do the things that other children do: climbing on jungle gyms, splashing in the pool, finger painting, singing and dancing. Others are learning to eat and get dressed themselves. Many of Aleh’s children come from families which lack the financial resources or time to adequately care for their disabled child. Shalem volunteers work with these children on a daily basis and help them to develop beyond the boundaries of their prognoses.
Jerusalem Biblical Zoo
The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo was founded to establish a zoological collection and maintain it under optimal living conditions in an effort to preserve rare animals and species threatened with extinction. Prominently featured in the collection are animals from the Land of Israel, with special emphasis on those species mentioned in the Bible. Volunteers help with the day to day running of the zoo: feeding the animals, cleaning the living areas and making unforgettable connections with zoo visitors and the animals who call it home.
Volunteer Options MAY INCLUDE:
- Hadassah Hospital
- SHEKEL – Community Services for People with Special Needs
- Achy—The Unity of Israeli Society
- Akim—Care for Israel’s Mentally Disabled
- ALUT—Israeli Society for Autistic Children
- Bet HaLochem—Friends of Israel Disabled Veterans
- Big Brothers / Big Sisters of Israel
- Coordinate after-school athletic programs for children
- Design art projects for senior citizen rehabilitation centers
- Ezer Mizion—A Center for the Sick and Needy
- ILAN—Israel Foundation for Handicapped Children
- Israel Multiple Sclerosis Society
- Biblical Zoo
- Jerusalem Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals
- Or Shalom Children’s Homes
- Shmora: For a Healthy Environment
- Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel
- Tahala: Hotline for those in need
- Therapeutic Riding Center
- Tolerance Movement for Prevention of Violence in Israel
- Zichron Menachem—Supporting children with cancer
Note: Volunteer options and activities are subject to change.