Work and Travel in Israel
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN ISRAEL FOR TRAVELLERS
Israel is an incredibly complex country situated in the Middle East - after your time there, you will likely leave with more questions than you arrived with.
But, despite its challenges, time spent working and travelling in Israel can be incredibly rewarding, if you have the right skills and motivation.
Especially recently, as of 2021, you can’t expect to plan your backpacking journey to Israel casually - you must be prepared.
So read our travel guide carefully and find out what you need to know to become a working traveller in Israel.
1. Live-work in a traditional Israeli kibbutz
Jewish kibbutzes are usually small farm holdings based in the countryside. They are a great all-inclusive window into Israeli culture.
Volunteering at a kibbutz is a great way to start if you are a low-skilled or novice backpacker. You will have instruction or support from the other members of the kibbutz.
But, if you have gardening, farming, building, or animal care skills, this will be a big advantage.
2. Work at a hostel in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv has become a major nightlife and tourism destination, thanks to its location on the Mediterranean coast. It’s managed to avoid more of the intense religious-based violence that more politically fraught cities like Jerusalem have been caught up in.
This is also a great place for a new backpacker to acquire skills in the hospitality industry.
If you are a skilled working traveller, however, you’ll be able to command higher pay.
3. Harvest produce in the Jordan Valley
Thanks to progressive irrigation techniques, Israel has transformed the desert into a fertile valley.
Working travellers can find opportunities to maintain and harvesting grapes, dates, and olives at almost any time of year in Israel.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR ISRAEL
In general, Western visitors to Israel and the Palestinian Territories are issued free on-arrival tourist (B/2) visas by Israel. On-arrival visas are usually valid for 90 days. Kibbutz volunteers must arrange, through their host organisation, a volunteer’s (B/4) visa. See here for detailed information about current visa regulations.
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN ISRAEL
Israel only has two seasons: rainy cool winters from late October to mid-March, and hot dry summers which run from April to early October.
Spring in Israel is deep into harvest season, so if you’re looking for fruit picking work now is the time to get booked up.
Despite the heat, many festivals take place in Tel Aviv to coincide with the summer vacation months of Western tourists, such as the Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade.
Now would be a good time to escape the heat and grab some indoor work in a bar, restaurant, or hostel.
Or else if you’re skilled in event management you can try to get booked up with one of the festivals. Most Israelis in Tel Aviv speak English.
Rainy but mild winters mean often farmers plant crops in autumn. Join up on an eco-farm to learn or teach organic farming techniques, or else head to a kibbutz around this time.
The academic school year starts in September, so if you are a working traveller with childcare skills, now would be the time to secure teaching or au pair work, or to get involved in programmes that teach children extracurricular activities.
Israel has so many different climate zones in a small geographical area that winter can mean hiking in snow up north or basking in the sun in the south.
If you have tour guide experience this can be a good time to utilise these skills.
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN ISRAEL
As mentioned above, everyone has an opinion about Israel, but when it comes to their attitudes towards foreigners they’re generally friendly and welcoming, as many Israelis were born somewhere else themselves.
Just be incredibly careful and tactful when discussing politics or religion, and instead focus on getting to know locals on a person-to-person level. If you remain curious, tolerant, and open-minded, you shouldn’t have much trouble working and travelling in Israel.
If this all sounds good to you, how about you start checking out work and travel opportunities in Israel today.
- Edited on Jun 15 2021 by
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