A Unique Experience Only in Israel   

If you are looking for an unusual way to vacation and do something you can’t do anywhere else, than volunteering in the Israel army for a week or more is the right option! No combat or training is involved, only a smile and good attitude is necessary.

Where else could you travel 6,800 miles and pack medical kits ( for emergencies in any country)  to organizing equipment with people from all around the world on a IDF base!

Volunteerism contributes to healthy aging by enhancing life satisfaction and wellbeing, sense of purpose, self-confidence and personal growth.

The volunteers range in age from seventeen to ninety years old and from all around the world. One of our own, Sue Adatto is a community leader and activist involved with pro-Israel politics and the Greater Phoenix Jewish Film festival tells of her experience as a volunteer in Israel:

“Volunteers for Israel (https://vfi-usa.org) is an extraordinary opportunity to help our Jewish homeland by volunteering with the Israel Defense Forces, it is my all-time favorite way of giving.”

I started going with my high school age daughter in 2010 because she wanted an Israeli experience that was different than a youth group trip. I needed to go with her because the weekends we have to leave the base.

After I came back home, I immediately looked for the following year’s schedule. I couldn’t wait to get that feeling of helping our Jewish homeland with volunteering with the IDF.   The assorted tasks I had while volunteering were: cleaning the inside of a tank, painting lines on the roads inside the base, painting officers quarters and barracks. Other activities were  folding maps for the tank drivers, sorting tools, separating shells from live munitions, cleaning gas masks, checking tents to make sure there are no holes.  In addition, we packed warrior bags with updated supplies and updated medical supplies and packing them for the different tasks.  The reason for that is that the IDF is helping with disasters around the world and taking care of the soldiers and civilians that may have gotten wounded in Israel.

The day didn’t stop at 4 PM, as in the evenings we also had activities. We learned about all aspects of Israel and the different sections of the IDF. We learned some important words in Hebrew  as well, to help us navigate around Israel while we were staying there.

This wonderful experience, also known for me as Adult Summer Camp, has taught me so much about the “inner workings” of the IDF life and how integral it is in Israeli life. This experience has also taught me how to let go of everything at home.

For information: Mindy Franklin/ southwest@vfi-usa.org


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