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Volunteering in Ashkelon

Planning a trip to Israel? Want to spend time DOING good?
THE ASSOCIATED: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore can help facilitate a meaningful volunteer experience in our sister city, Ashkelon, during your next trip to Israel. Whether this is your first time to Israel or your 15th, we encourage you to consider volunteering in your travel itinerary!

Frequently asked questions about volunteering in Ashkelon:

How much time do I need to devote to volunteering?
We have no minimum time requirement, although we encourage you to budget at least a half day to ensure a meaningful experience. We are also happy to work with volunteers who can devote a longer period of time – from a few days to a few weeks, or even several months.

Are there any age requirements?
We will work closely with you to determine an appropriate volunteer project based on your age, skills and interests. Past volunteers have included a wide range of ages from youth, teens and college students to young adults and retirees. We are happy to accommodate families who wish to volunteer together.

Does it cost any money to volunteer?
Volunteers are responsible for paying for their own airfare, transportation within Israel and accommodations while in Ashkelon. We can recommend travel agents and help volunteers find accommodations during their stay in Ashkelon. Additionally, we ask volunteers to cover any costs associated with their volunteer experience that are not already built into a project’s budget (i.e. supplies or materials). If a volunteer prefers a project that is cost neutral, he or she should notify THE ASSOCIATED professionals and we will ensure that there are no additional expenses incurred as part of the volunteer experience.

When should I start planning my volunteer experience?
We encourage you to contact us as soon as you begin planning your trip to Israel. However, at a minimum, please contact us two months prior to your anticipated travel date so we can facilitate a meaningful and productive volunteer experience!
How can I help? What are some examples of volunteer projects?
Volunteers serve a variety of needs in Ashkelon. We work hard to match a volunteer’s preferences with the needs of the community at that particular time. Here are a few examples of past volunteer projects:
• Visiting patients in the children’s wing at Barzilai Hospital and 
  distributing gift bags
• Visiting with seniors at Halperin Senior Center
• Facilitating activities for Ethiopian children at Beit Canada
  Immigrant Absorption Center
• Packing food boxes for distribution
• Sorting clothing at an outlet store for youth at risk
• Doing arts and crafts projects with seniors or children
• Leading after school activities for youth at risk
• Tutoring English
• Grant research, grant writing and fundraising for local non-profit
   organizations
• Cleaning up and gardening at community parks

Can I volunteer with a group?
Yes! We are happy to work with synagogues, community organizations or even a group of friends to arrange a volunteer experience in Ashkelon. If you are interested, we may also be able to connect you with local community members in Ashkelon to volunteer alongside you.  

What happens after I finish volunteering?
Because we are constantly looking for ways to improve and deepen our partnership with Ashkelon, we will schedule a brief meeting or phone call when you return to Baltimore so we can debrief and learn more about your volunteer experience. Additionally, we would love to have you share pictures and stories of your time in Ashkelon on our Partnership website, www.baltimoreashkelon.org

How can I learn more and start planning my volunteer experience?
Please fill out our intake questionnaire and a staff person will be in touch soon to discuss your upcoming trip to Ashkelon! If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact Rebecca Weinstock at Jewish Volunteer Connection, at rweinstock@associated.org or 410-843-7566.

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