What kinds of positions are available at BFP-Jerusalem?
How do I get a visa to enter Israel?
Israel requires all volunteers who will be in the country more than 90 days on a tourist visa to obtain an entry visa from a host organization. BFP must invite you and start the process in Jerusalem. This process is estimated to take at least 6-8 weeks. Our Jerusalem team will lead you through the process. The visa will require a national level background check takes a few weeks to process. Unfortunately it is not possible to acquire long-term visas for persons over 70 years of age.
What language skills do I need?
One of the benefits of working in the BFP Israel operations is cultural diversity. We have volunteers from all over the world. As a result, English is the standard language used. It is not necessary to speak Hebrew to volunteer in Israel.
Do I receive a salary from BFP?
Due to Israeli laws, BFP is not allowed to hire non-Israelis as employees. As a result, all of our volunteer positions are non-paying jobs. BFP volunteer support staff provide for all of their own expenses, including travel to and from Israel, lodging, food, and other living costs.
What kind of money can I use in Israel?
What will it cost me every month to live in Jerusalem?
We estimate that a minimum of 5,000 NIS (New Israeli Shekel) for a single person and 8,000 NIS for a couple per month will cover necessary expenses. (You can use currency converters such as www.oanda.com/convert/classic in order to convert from NIS to your country’s currency.) These expenses include rent and other fees related to apartment rental, food, local public transport,
internet access, and other miscellaneous costs, but do not include health insurance, round-trip fare from your home country nor any cost you may incur in your home country. The actual amount you spend monthly may vary, depending on your lifestyle.
How do I raise financial and prayer support?
BFP has a packet of information that may help you in your efforts to raise support for your time of service in Israel. Once you are accepted to serve with BFP in Jerusalem, we can send this information to you upon request.
What if my insurance doesn’t cover me while I’m in Israel?
Volunteers utilize insurance companies like Volunteer Card (www.volunteercard.com), Talent Trust Consultants (www.talent-trust.com) and Seven Corners (www.sevencorners.com), which provide comprehensive insurance for those who are serving in another country. Local Israeli insurance is also available to BFP long-term volunteers upon request.
What kind of physical shape must I be in to serve with Bridges for Peace?
Some of our positions are labor intensive, requiring a strong back and the ability to lift heavy loads several times throughout the day, while others are much less strenuous.
It should also be noted, however, that Israel is a physically demanding country, with many hills. Walking and busing are the most common modes of transportation. In short, one should be prepared to do lots of walking, often carrying shopping bags and backpacks.
How long can I volunteer?
Short-term volunteer positions, which do not require extensive training, are available for less than six months. However, it is always a blessing if volunteers decide to serve with us for 1–2 years. A long-term commitment allows us to place you in a skilled position, requiring several weeks or months of training, which helps us to maintain proper administration and supervision of our projects in Israel. It is important to be flexible with your projected arrival date, as you will need a volunteer visa prior to arrival which requires a full background check (police clearance) in your home country.
How long does the process take to become a volunteer?
On average, the application process—from the time you request an application until you receive a definitive answer from the Jerusalem office—takes anywhere from four to six months depending on:
Where will I live?
BFP maintains several fully furnished apartments where some of our volunteer staff share lodging and expenses. We maintain two- and three-bedroom apartments. Volunteers pay all living expenses, including rent, property taxes, electricity, gas, water and telephone.
Can I bring my computer with me?
Yes, it’s usually as simple as purchasing an Israeli electrical cord (plug) to connect your computer to the outlet in the wall. Most modern laptop computers have a transformer already built into them, which allows them to run on either 110 or 220 volts.
Is it possible for me to get my e-mail while I’m away from home?
Yes, Israel is generally very connected. Most coffee shops provide wireless Internet service. Additionally, all of our Bridges for Peace apartments have WiFi. Those volunteers whose positions require Internet access can access their email on their work computers. For those who do not fall into this category, a shared computer is usually available at the BFP facilities for this purpose.
What kind of transportation does Israel have?
Israel’s public transportation consists of buses (both inner-city and intra-city), as well as taxis and a rail system (mostly intra-city; Haifa has a subway). The bus system in Israel works very well and is not too costly. Most BFP support staff get around using buses.
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