Volunteer abroad opportunities

After writing about Shira James, a Valley occupational therapy student who volunteered in Guatemala through Service for Peace, I checked to see what other volunteer abroad opportunities were available for Jewish young adults. Here is a sampling of the many available programs.

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), a Jewish humanitarian assistance organization, sends volunteers to help Jews in more than 70 countries around the world. Through the Entwine Jewish Service Corps program, volunteers can sign on for multi-week or one-year programs. JDC is looking for “active, enthusiastic and knowledgeable Jews to serve and live abroad,” according to its website.

The application deadline for this program is Dec. 31, 2013.

For more information and to find out about other JDC programs, visit jdcentwine.org.

Young Jewish adults can also find volunteer travel and learning opportunities through American Jewish World Service (AJWS), a human rights and development organization that “promotes lasting change by providing financial support to local grassroots and global human rights organizations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.”

For those looking for a shorter commitment, AJWS offers 7-10 day study tours.

Upcoming locations include Senegal, Guatemala and India.

For more information, call (212) 792-2938 or visit ajws.org.

If you’re looking for a taste of Israeli culture, The Kibbutz Program Center offers volunteers ages 19-35 a two and a half to six month kibbutz experience. Duties could include milking cows or making furniture, depending on your placement once you arrive in Israel.

For additional information, call (212) 462-2764 or visit kibbutzprogramcenter.org.

Volunteers for Israel connects Americans to Israel through volunteer service by partnering with civilian and military organizations in Israel. Programs include working with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF); volunteering with Leket Israel, part of Israel’s Food Bank; and living and working with Israel soldiers and other volunteers as part of the Summer International Youth Program for ages 17-25.

Learn more about Volunteers for Israel by calling (866) 514-1948 or visit vfi-usa.org.

For other programs in Israel, contact Shahar Edry at the Israel Center, 480-483-7121, ext. 1109.

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