Updated: 2 days ago
What can I do? How can I help? Those are the questions that have filled my inbox since we became aware of the catastrophe in Israel that began in the early hours of Saturday, October 7.
So what can we do?
But there are ways for us to help and this list shares many opportunities. I continue to update this list as new opportunities emerge.
Congregation Rinat Israel assembled this list of multiple organizations and volunteer opportunities. Some of the options on the list are also listed below.
Emergency Volunteers Project (EVP) is staffing two projects in addition to its professional firefighters initiative: The EVP Mass-Feeding Unit, working with Israel’s Home Front Command, trains volunteers to prepare fresh, healthy meals for IDF units and needy populations using a fleet of mobile kitchens. The EVP Make A Soldier Smile project has volunteers cooking meals at popup field kitchens on army bases.
Volunteer for 4 Days in Israel
Israel needs us now more than ever. Spend 4 days in Israel to help provide immediate relief, make a difference, and come away feeling the meaningful impact of your work. As a volunteer, your work will help reach and assist local communities in the following ways:
Visit wounded soldiers and civilians in hospitals to deliver care packages. • Lend a hand at ADI Negev – a rehabilitative village providing services for disabled children and adults. • Participate in community service helping with anything and everything - from cooking to assistance in the daycares, laundry, or cleaning up. • Work together with HaShomer HaChadash on farms, picking vegetables and other crops to prevent a massive shortage in the Israeli market and ensuring that no farmer is left alone, unable to work his land. • Volunteer with Sar-El at an army base and take on logistical roles necessary to fill the void of the over 350,000 Israelis serving in the IDF and reserves.
Sar-El - The National Volunteer Program for Israel is accepting applications for volunteers in Israel, volunteering primarily on Israel Defense Forces army bases. Volunteers must apply through the Sar-El local representative. For information about the application procedure in each country, see the International Contacts page. Sar-El can be contacted directly if you have questions – firstname.lastname@example.org.
In response to the October 7th attacks, Israelis of all backgrounds have united around a collective volunteering effort in support of the displaced border communities and the security services' mission.
Now, we invite adult travelers of all ages to tap into this national volunteering drive – for the people of Israel, in the land of Israel while the need is greatest.
Together we will volunteer 4-6 hours per day in areas of need such as:
COMMUNITIES IN NEED Package food/clothing and provide support for displaced communities. e.g. partner: Latet THE TROOPS Volunteer on IDF bases (away from conflict) in support of soldiers. e.g. partner: Sarel AGRICULTURE Harvest crops for foodbanks that would otherwise be wasted e.g. partner: Leket
Onward Israel Volunteer
In collaboration with Taglit Birthright Israel volunteer in Israel to support the country in this time of need. Volunteers up to 40 years old are eligible to apply. This program will use volunteers to
Take part in food rescue operations to prevent shortages in the Israeli market.
Sort, pack and distribute goods for civil and military personnel.
For more information: https://www.birthrightisrael.com/volunteer-in-israel
This program is also working on an option for volunteers over 40 years of age. If interested complete this survey.
For volunteers between the ages of 18-40
Due to the high demand for volunteer work in Israel, we've created Masa Volunteers, a new initiative inviting you to join a 6-week volunteer program in Israel, turning your compassion into action. This program, priced at just $350 USD, offers various dates throughout December, January, and February, making it a flexible choice for anyone looking to make a significant impact.
Dates: December 18, 19, & 28 2023; January 2 & 15; February 2 & 5 2024
Locations: Choose from volunteering in Tel Aviv, Haifa, or Eilat
Focus Areas: Education, International Humanitarian Work, Teaching, Social Action/Volunteering, Kibbutz, Coexistence, Agriculture, and more
Eligibility: Age 18-40, basic English proficiency, valid passport
Includes: Housing, insurance, 24-hour staff, educational activities, social events, public transportation, networking opportunities, and more.
Physicians & Other Medical Professionals
American Healthcare Professionals and Friends for Medicine in Israel
APF is the official organization designated by the State of Israel to respond in the event of a national crisis in Israel.
Israel Medical Association (IMA)
The Israel Medical Association is keeping a list of names at Tracey@ima.org.il They are asking that people speak English or Hebrew. Except perhaps if the volunteer is trauma surgeon/orthopedist/neurosurgeon who can help in the operating room without being fluent.
Call for Medical & Nursing Volunteers
Many hospitals and clinics are overwhelmed and many medical personnel are being called up to serve in the army. Hospitals throughout Israel are desperate for volunteers to fill in the ranks. Anyone with a valid license in ISRAEL or a Western Country (US, Canada, EU) in medicine, nursing, nurse practitioner, and other critical credentials: if you have time to volunteer please provide your contact info below for dispersal to the relevant hospitals who may need you. They will contact you when needed and request a copy of your license and DEA if applicable. There are emergency procedures for rapid temporary credential recognition. Click here to volunteer
Physician Registration Effort by Dr. Michael Braffman - Philadelphia
Dr. Michael Braffman is connected to an Israeli colleague who is part of a network including managers of hospitals and medical managers of Kupot Cholim (a large Health System in Israel).
To register through Dr. Braffman, email to email@example.com
· Full name and degree
· Specialty / expertise
· Health system / institution with which you are affiliated
· Cell phone
Therapists and Mental Health Professionals
International Task Force
*Currently organizing meetings and training about the effort.
*Not ready to make assignments.
*Focused on providing information on working with people in the midst of active traumatic stress and issues that American therapists should be aware of when working with Israelis.
*Especially eager to hear from therapists who speak Hebrew, though they expect there will be opportunities for those who are not fluent Hebrew speakers
Hebrew University Clinical Psychologist Dr. Nurit Yeremia - Volunteers Needed:
The information provided below has been translated into English. The link to the form (below) and supporting information related to this initiative is in Hebrew.
In light of the state of emergency, more than 5,000 mental health professionals - psychologists, social workers and more - have mobilized to help as part of the Israeli project for professional assistance in times of crisis, Responses to this appeal will be forwarded to individual applicants and entities and institutions that need reinforcement of the existing teams and support (government offices, health funds, local authorities, hospitals, educational services, welfare bureaus, etc.).
Services may be accessible via WhatsApp, phone call, e-mail, Zoom and in a face-to-face conversation, including home visits when necessary, with specific adaptation and availability in all regions of the country for speakers of Hebrew and other languages. The service is provided voluntarily and without financial cost.
Volunteers are welcome to register here - https://bit.ly/tofes_mitnadvim
Stand With Humanity: Israeli Law Firms Support Platform
Members of Israel's leading law firms and the Israel Bar Association feel a duty to help their country and fellow citizens in need in any way they can. Israeli law firms are seeking to make contact with colleagues outside of Israel who may be in a position to assist in the international arena. This is an attempt to put together a group of representatives of major law firms and leading lawyers throughout the world, thus establishing a platform of individuals and firms that may be in a position to help and who are willing to be called on when needed for assistance with matters in their expertise or jurisdiction. If interested, register with this initiative.
Entrepreneurs and Tech Start-Up Support
Startup Reserves for Israel (“SRI”) is a global force of 3,000+ highly skilled volunteers providing a range of professional services to fill invaluable gaps in Israel’s startup workforce. This organization matches startups that need resources with expert volunteers. To register
Educational Opportunities - for Hebrew and English Speakers
The AMIT network includes over 60 schools serving 40,000 students across an incredibly broad spectrum of Israeli society, from secular to religious, in the North, South and Central regions and especially in peripheral communities that are directly experiencing loss, trauma and displacement at this time. AMIT administrators have advised that while in-person learning will likely not resume for some time, students in their network are in critical need of limited but structured online learning opportunities across a broad range of disciplines including English, Hebrew language, Science, Math, and Judaic Studies. At the same time, AMIT schools are facing drastic staffing shortages as teachers and educational personnel are drafted up or otherwise impacted by the situation. In order to meet this need, initiatives such as “Sha’agat Aryeh” and others have begun work to address these shortages.
Currently, TalentEducators is seeking to expand efforts to identify diaspora based Hebrew speaking teachers who are available immediately to teach 45-minute classes over Zoom to Israeli students in 7th-12th grades whose teachers are currently unavailable. Note: due to many constraints (even including observed patterns in the timing of rocket attacks), these classes are scheduled to be offered in blocks from 12:00pm-12:45pm and 1:00pm-1:45pm Israel time, which obviously creates a significant challenge for many US-based educators due to time zone differences. Nevertheless, having seen the outpouring of effort and support in communities throughout the world on behalf of Israel and her people, we are turning to networks of US-based teachers to recruit volunteers for this critical need.
If you are interested in volunteering for this effort and have the educational and language background and experience needed, please use this form to sign up, and in the coming days we will be in contact with you to launch this effort.
ESRA English Tutoring Programs (ETP)
In partnership with the Israel Ministry of Education, ESRA has been promoting the English academic achievements of Israeli schoolchildren for over 40 years. ESRA's English Tutoring Programs focus on enhancing educational achievement and enriching social skills. By strengthening the English oral proficiency of our students. Please use this link to apply with ESRA.
Advocacy - Using Your Social Networks to Increase Awareness
World Zionist Organization (WZO)
Advocacy for Israel
The WZO ran a webinar on how we can each use our own social media network to join "the war for public opinion on Israel." The webinar was recorded. There's a resource list that supports the webinar. The WZO is calling on individuals to tell the stories of Israelis, particularly the stories of the hostages, to put a human face on the situation. Using personal social media networks to expand awareness about people in Israel directly impacted by current events is a wonderful way to take action. The attachment provides sites in Israel from which you can find content to craft your posts.
Visual and Written Communications
Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI)
Do you have social media, video editing, and communications skills or know someone who does? Contact Marla Gamoran at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are working with the Jewish Agency to create content to tell the stories of how the Jewish Agency serves as first responders in a time of crisis, helps families, the elderly, and new immigrants. JAFI is also working on other initiatives that may lend themselves to communication, design, and/or coordination skills.
Housing Assistance - If you own an apartment or home in Israel
Our Home is Your Home
The WZO is reaching out to Jews from abroad who own apartments in Israel to make them available for the benefit of evacuated families. The World Zionist Organization (WZO) is compiling a list of apartments, and assigning them to evacuees. The WZO will assume responsibility for the apartments to ensure that when they are no longer needed, the apartments will be left in the condition they were in before the evacuees' use.
Marla Gamoran is Executive Director for Skilled Volunteers for Israel. If you are interested in becoming a mentor and conversation partner to an Israeli young adult from an underserved community, through English B'Yachad, Skilled Volunteer's flagship program, contact Marla at email@example.com