Thursday, April 11, 2013 | return to: supplement, volunteers


Getting Connected & Volunteers |  Organic farming ‘voluntourism’ program expands to Israel

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An international “voluntourism” program that provides free room and board in exchange for farmwork is up and running in Israel.

The new WWOOF Israel is a branch of the international organization Willing Workers on Organic Farms, which was launched in the early 1970s in the United Kingdom.

Nearly 70 agricultural and farming options are available to choose from, the Israel Ministry of Tourism, North America, announced in March.

Participants can enroll in hands-on programs in a variety of fields, including permaculture, organic gardening, animal care, “green” building, cheesemaking and winemaking, among others. Farms and host families throughout Israel — from the Golan Heights and the Galilee in the north, to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the Negev Desert in the south — are involved. Hosts include kibbutzim, moshavs, farms and private families.

Programs range from one week to three months in duration.

Volunteers must be 18 or older and willing to work several hours a day, five days a week in return for free room and board.

“The new WWOOF Israel program offers an insider’s view into farming in Israel unlike any other,” said Haim Gutin, Israel commissioner for tourism, North and South America. “We hope the program will attract a new wave of travelers to visit Israel this year.”

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