What To Expect
Sar-El volunteering takes place on IDF bases throughout the whole of Israel from the northern points of the Golan to deep in the Southern Negev. The bases can be very hot in the summer and very cool on winter nights depending on base location. The work of Sar-El is to assist Israel with the incredible burden that is placed on active and reserve citizen soldiers and so the volunteer work will be centered in logistical support.
Volunteers can expect to work directly alongside soldiers in preparing medical kits and combat packs as well as the repair and upkeep of base equipment. Volunteers will be expected to wear a uniform, sleep in barracks and eat alongside IDF soldiers and hold to all army regulations on their bases.
- All volunteers are expected to follow the IDF schedule and be present for morning reveille as well as partake in morning and afternoon work sessions.
- All volunteer groups are assigned an IDF team leader who will always be present to assist volunteers with any issues. Here is a sample week for a volunteer:
Please keep in mind that all volunteers should land until Sunday noon at 12:00 pm and arrive to the meeting point at Ben Gurion Airport in the arrivals hall in terminal 3. We will need all volunteers to check in with their application, passport, medical forms, doctor’s authorization. All volunteers will be assigned to their military base and their soldier instructor at this point and meet the rest of the volunteers in their unit by noon of their program start date (Please note that late arrivals will be required to arrange their own private transportation at their own expense if they miss their departure time).
Please remember the following before arrival:
- You will be given a uniform upon arrival at the base but boots are not always available so bring appropriate work boots or shoes for the base.Uniform must be worn while on base and while on duty.
- We recommend everyone brings flip-flops for the common shower areas as well as your personal towel and linens (the army does provide a sleeping bag and cot).
- A great attitude and willingness to work for Israel with your fellow volunteers.
Please note that this is a sample itinerary and will vary according to the military base, the work demands and the season:
- Breakfast from 8:15
- Flag Raising and news and directives of the day at 9:00
- Morning work session 9:30
- Lunch at 12:30
- Afternoon work session at 13:30
- Unit break at 17:00
- Dinner at 18:00
- Evening Unit meeting – 19:00
Bases close for the Shabbat weekends so you will be released on Thursday and will be picked up in Tel Aviv at Savidor station on Sunday for the return to the base. Many volunteers take this time to tour the country or see friends. Many volunteers who have signed up for 2-3 week tours will have the opportunity to take an educational sight-seeing trip with Sar-El. Please DO NOT be late for the Sunday base departure or you will be expected to arrange your own transportation at your own expense to reach the base.
Please check with your unit instructor on exact details of your departure time and drop-off location as this will vary from base to base.
Remember that your volunteer service contributes to the security of Israel and we hope you have a meaningful experience. If any issue arises, please check in with your unit team leader for assistance.