By: Rachel Blaifeder
Looking to spend some time in Israel? Want to make the most out of your time abroad? Look no further than Tikkun Olam, a 5 or 10 month volunteering program in Israel that will give you both a meaningful and rewarding experience. Here are three ways that this program can and will change your life:
1. The Specialized Tracks
Participants on Tikkun Olam choose from one of two volunteer tracks: either Social Action or Coexistence. The Social Action Track provides hands-on experience working with migrant workers from all over the world whereas the Coexistence Track gives participants the chance to work with organizations that promote Arab-Jewish understanding. Regardless of what track you choose, your studies will concentrate on the issues you are faced with while volunteering, meaning you’ll be able to apply what you see outside the classroom inside the classroom!
2. Trips and Tours Around Israel
All Masa programs include trips to and around Israel. Participants get to experience the Israeli people and Israeli culture first-hand while touring such a beautiful country! Where Tikkun Olam differs, though, is that day trips function as an extension of the program. There is no better way to understand the issues facing Israeli society then to travel to places like Israeli Arab villages and the West Bank, where you can actually meet the people whose lives are being affected!
3. Living Like a Local
Although the program is held in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, known for its beaches and nightlife, Tikkun Olam houses participants in the same neighborhoods as the ones they volunteer in. By living with the local people, participants get a true feel for what the community is like and they form connections with residents that enable them to become truly immersed. To be living in Tel Aviv is one thing, but becoming a member of a small community is something ENTIRELY different!