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A global approach to volunteering in northern Israel

A global approach to volunteering in northern Israel.
Young adults get to know Israel by giving back with Project TEN.

The Jewish Agency’s Project TEN is all about bringing Jewish young adults from around the globe to volunteer in communities in need of assistance. Taking its name from the Hebrew word for “give,” the program combines volunteer work with local communities and service-learning. The organization focuses on the fields of international development, culture, identity, and Jewish activism. It offers a genuine and unique opportunity to build connections with people from different backgrounds.
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This is a project that fosters multicultural interaction between young people from all over the world.

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Project TEN is a Jewish Agency service-learning program that brings young Jewish adults from Israel and around the world to volunteer, study, and travel together in Israel or developing regions.

Since northern Israel is a multicultural hub, it is a perfect place for Project TEN to bring aid. Since 2013, this program has partnered with the Sha'ar LaAdam - Bab Lilinsan organization to run a center for volunteers at Kibbutz Harduf in Galilee. It serves both nearby Bedouin villages and kibbutzniks with special needs.

Faiz Sawa'id of Sawa'id – a Bedouin village near the kibbutz, and Naama Tzur of Sha'ar LaAdam - Bab Lilinsan both manage at Project TEN. Together, they oversee the young volunteers’ experience at the Kibbutz Harduf site. They help them learn about Israeli society as they build connections with both Jewish and Arab residents of Galilee.

“This is a project that fosters multicultural interaction between young people from all over the world. And, both young and old people from Harduf, from [the nearby Bedouin communities of] Ka’abiyye and Beit Zarzir, and from other villages,” Faiz says. “Their encounters encompass great cultural differences. And, that creates fascinating personal interactions, which the local Arab students enjoy. While the participants from abroad undergo a new experience that they would never have if they didn’t come here.”

Volunteers from all over the world have given their time and energy to Kibbutz Harduf as part of Project TEN. Their first responsibility is to contribute to those in need. They go to teach, give, and improve lives —both on the kibbutz and in nearby villages. They not only get a profound feeling of satisfaction, but hands-on experience in education and social work. Of course, the experience also offers them a unique look at Israeli society. Volunteers also attend seminars on ecology, theater, cooperation, and English-language education.

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