FAQ
 
Before reading this FAQ, please note that i'm am in no way related to a kibbutz, or Tel-Katzir in specific. I'm just an ex-volunteer that went to israel years ago and decided to write down my experience.
I put this FAQ online because i get these questions a lot via email and i got a bit tired of giving the same answers smile. If you have any questions that are not in this FAQ (or if you still have some questions about what is written here), i'd be glad to answer them though.


  1. I'm (insert age > 35 OR age < 18) years of age. Is there any way around the age restriction?
  2. Do you have any accomodation that we can pay for without volunteering?
  3. Where can i find a list of all the kibbutzim (that accept volunteers)?
  4. Tel-Katzir sounds like a lovely kibbutz, where do i sign up?
  5. How is the siuation for volunteers now?
  6. Do i have to go through the Kibbutz Program Centre?
  7. Can i choose which kibbutz i go to?

  1. I'm (insert age > 35 OR age < 18) years of age. Is there any way around the age restriction?
    About 50% of the questions i get via email are related to this question. But, although i've dealt with this question a lot, i still can't give a clear answer.
    As you can read on this website, there are certain requirements, and one of them, unfortunately, says you have to be between the ages of 18 & 35. This might seem like age-discrimination (well, it doesn't 'seem' like it, it is), but there's a reason. The kibbutz will provide food and shelter in exchange for you working for them. Should you be unable to work - for whatever reason - the kibbutz still has to provide in your basic needs; they won't just throw you out because you can't work (unless, for example, the reason is that you're too laddered to work half of the time). So, to keep that to a minimum, they put this age requirement. At least that's what i think the reason is (i think you can more or less read it between the lines of the requirements).
    Does that mean you won't be able to volunteer if you don't meet this age requirement?
    Well, as i said before, i think the main reason for this requirement is that in some way they want to assure you're in good health. So, what i always recommend people to do, is to write directly to the Kibbutz Program Centre @ kpc@volunteer.co.il.
    For those of you who are over 35: Tell them how much you want to go, how vital you are and that you can back it up with a clean bill of health from your doctor. Something like that. (Although i often ask people if they could let me know whether this worked or not, i've never received word back, so i don't know if this will actually work)
    For those of you who are still not 18: Tell them how very mature you already are, that you've traveled a lot alone already, etc. (i know for a fact that this has worked in some cases!)
    In any way, they are the ones that have made the list of requirements and they are also the ones you have to go to once you arrive in Tel-Aviv to sign up. So, they are definitely the ones to ask, if you want to know for sure smile.
    Another possibility would be writing directly to a kibbutz. Of course the official way is to go through the Kibbutz Program Centre, but then again .. if a kibbutz is willing to take you and the KPC is making problems, i'd go for it. Please keep in mind though, that the KPC will give you some guarantees that a kibbutzim won't give you if you go there directly. Should you want to leave the kibbutz for whatever reason, the KPC will be able to relocate you, whereas there will be no such thing if you do it on your own. Getting a list with kibbutzim that accept volunteers is another problem though (see faq no 3).
  2. Do you have any accomodation that we can pay for without volunteering?
    Let me stress this once more: I'm not a kibbutznik!. So, i can't decide about that.
    As far as i know Tel-Katzir has guesthouses and back when i was a volunteer they did have (paying) guests there, but i don't know what the situation is like now. Their old website has been taken offline and according to this Tourism Portal, there's not much to do (anymore). However, through that same portal should be able to find some other kibbutzim that still offer this service.
  3. Where can i find a list of all the kibbutzim (that accept volunteers)?
    I used to have a link to a website listing all the kibbutzim in Israel, but it got removed a few years ago. So, i decided to write the KPC an email asking them to send me a list, so i could publish it on my website.
    Unfortunately they were unable to provide me with the list. They told me they didn't have it and that i should try googling for it. Well, i'm a bit skeptic about their answer: they are the ones signing you up to a kibbutz, so of course they have this list. They probably see some kind of security threat in such a list being publised on the internet and i wouldn't be suprised if that's also the reason for the old one disappearing.
    So, i'm sorry to disappoint you, but there doesn't seem to be a (public) list.
  4. Tel-Katzir sounds like a lovely kibbutz, where do i sign up?
    Unfortunately, Tel-Katzir no longer accepts volunteers, so that won't be possible.
    For information about signing up to any other kibbutz, please go this this page
  5. How is the siuation for volunteers now?
    To be honest: i have aboslutely no idea.
    It has been 18 years now since i went there myself, so i can only assume it's still the same. In that case: read the stories on my website smile
    But on the other hand: maybe things changed dramatically .. like i said: i really don't know. If you're reading this and you have just come back, drop me a line!
  6. Do i have to go through the Kibbutz Program Centre?
    You don't have to, but i would strongly advise that you do. Although you are somewhat bound by their rules, it certainly has a lot of benefits.
    They keep track of all the kibbutzim that (still) accept volunteers, keep track of any complaints volunteers have about their kibbutz and they will relocate you to another kibbutz if you would like to leave the current one you're volunteering.
    Especially that last aspect makes it very worthwhile: life as a volunteer won't make you rich (in terms of money, that is) and while you're not in a kibbutz, you have to live on your own money.
    Apart from that, i can imagine it's difficult to find a kibbutz, as i suspect (but this is not really based on anything, just my suspicion) that most kibbutzim will only accept volunteers that go through the KPC. Besides, a list of kibbutzim seems hard to find ;-)
  7. Can i choose which kibbutz i go to?
    Not really.
    When you sign up at the Kibbutz Program Centre in Tel-Aviv, they will assign a kibbutz to you. This is always according to which kibbutz need volunteers the most.
    However two things are possible:
    1. Write to the KPC in advance (before going to Israel) and tell them when you go to Israel and to what kibbutz you like to go to (and why). It's not guaranteed to work, but it's certainly worth a shot. They are friendly people and will always try to help when possible.
    2. Write to the kibbutz and ask them if they want to take you as a volunteer.
    When i went i also requested to be placed in a specific kibbutz. They (kpc) couldn't place me in that one, but they were able to place me in a kibbutz in the same region.


If you still have any questions after reading this FAQ, don't hesitatie to contact me