The Second stage of our program is the “Options Period”. Each participant will have the possibility to get involved directly into some part of Israeli Society. Israel Challenge provides a few options taking into consideration that each participant has a different way in which he/she is interested in submerging themselves in to Israeli culture and life. This period last for about 8 weeks. In this stage, each participant must choose one of the following options:
- Magen David Adom “MDA”
Marva is an IDF program that allows young Jews to learn and experience the basics of IDF and Israeli life. The program lasts between seven to eight weeks and each week, students are stationed at a different base.
This program is open to participants from all over the world. The program is conducted in simple Hebrew, allowing for significant improvement of Hebrew skills. Activities range from camp craft, navigation, and topography to hikes, lectures, seminars and walking tours, participation in training exercises, and being in the field. Emphasis is placed on Israel’s security situation during lectures on specific social and political issues. The program is based in the Southern Negev on a Gadna base, but participants will spend considerable time in various other parts of the country, including Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, the Galilee, and more.
Applicants should be Jewish tourists between the ages of 18-28. A working knowledge of conversational Hebrew is required. Marva is a physically and mentally demanding program. Applicants are expected to be in excellent physical health and must be highly motivated. It is necessary to undergo a personal interview prior to acceptance.
The Marva program runs under the auspices of the Israel Defense Army.
For the duration of the program, participants are under the direct responsibility of the IDF.
In addition to filling out the registration form, participants are required to submit a medical questionnaire. A personal interview will be conducted for each applicant. Only upon the compliance with all above terms will participants be eligible for selection into The Marva. It must be understood that this course is “SELECTIVE” not all who properly apply are accepted, the Marva withholds the right to refuse admission.
It is required that those applying for acceptance into the Marva have a good command of Hebrew, enough to hold a basic conversation.
Applicants must be a minimum of 18 years old. (By the initial date of Marva program)
Participants are required to follow any and all the commands given by their direct commanders. (unless said command is illegal in anyway) In addition they must take part in all activities. Anyone who does not comply with instructions or does not take an active part in activities will be expelled from the Marva program immediately.
A liaison person will be appointed to visit the participants at least once a week.
In the case a participant decides to abandon the program he/she will not receive any money back.
Any participant who is excluded on disciplinary grounds will be immediately expelled from the general program.
Any participants who are absent from the program for a period of 5 days are automatically excluded from the continuation of the program.
During his/her stay in the Marva program, participants will have weekend leaves. In the case that the participant has nowhere to go, he/she may stay at the Base, there will bed and board provided. The organizer is not responsible to find a place for the participants to stay on weekends outside of the base.
Any participant who is found to be in illegal possession of military property will be excluded from the program, said property will be confiscated and his/her case will be transferred to the Israeli police.
Magen David Adom, Israel Red Cross National Society, is a humanitarian organization, treating all human beings in need of help, without consideration of creed, race or gender; dispensing advanced pre-hospital care as part of Israel’s national EMS system, while being Israel’s national blood services; it delivers humanitarian relief to people around the world in times of catastrophes – earthquakes and Tsunami victims being two examples out of many more.
Magen David Adom in Israel belongs to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
Magen David Adom’s techniques have received world acclaim. India, Uganda, Poland and Jordan, to mention just a few, have enjoyed MDA courses at different levels (from basic first aid to advanced trauma medicine). Participants from a worldwide spectrum – Red Cross & Red Crescent personnel, nurses, physicians as well as management and decision makers have all benefited from Magen David Adom in Israel’s expertise.
Magen David Adom in Israel provides courses comprises guidelines which allow their graduates to promote a new approach in their local Emergency Medical Services systems.
Magen David Adom in Israel generates from a humanitarian wish to help improve the condition of all, it is part of its commitment to assist by sharing its knowledge acquired throughout the years.
During the program of Magen David Adom “MDA”, participants are under the responsibility of said organization.
To enroll in the program each participant must following the instructions indicated in the form: “Instructions to apply Marva or MDA”. It is the responsibility of each participant to submit their registration on time.
In addition to filling out the registration form, participants are required to submit a medical questionnaire. A personal interview will be conducted for each applicant. Only upon the compliance with all above terms will participants be eligible for selection into the volunteer program. It must be understood that this program is “SELECTIVE” not all who properly apply are accepted, the organizers withhold the right to refuse acceptance.
It is required that those applying for acceptance into the MDA have a good command of Hebrew, enough to hold a basic conversation.
Participants must be 18 or older.
To be eligible for MDA, all applicants must have an original proof of vaccination against Hepatitis B. The organization requires at least two of the three required vaccinations.
It must be understood that participation in the MDA program may exposes volunteers to situations where blood or injured people are encountered. Applicants must feel they can cope with such situations.
Training course lasting from one week to ten days will be given to each volunteer. Completion of the course is a prerequisite for participation in the program.
In preparation for volunteer work, each participant will receive a clear work plan. They are expected to comply with said plan. At all times a volunteer coordinator will be present.
A liaison person will be appointed to visit the participants at least once a week.
Volunteers will be housed in the Merkazei Klita [absorption centers] of the Sochnut Hayehudit (Jewish Agency) or in rented apartments.
Stay in an apartment will require a credit card for completing the contract and for a deposit on all the appliances and / or furniture and / or all utensils found in the apartment as well as the integrity of the apartment itself. This card will not be charged unless the damage is greater than the amount of money previously deposited.
Each participant will receive a monthly stipend check, which will be enough to cover the general expenses of the month: (Food, transportation, laundry, and general cultural activities).
Volunteers must partake in all the activities during their participation. This includes guided activities and tours.
The location (City) in which our MDA volunteers will live depends on MDA’s need for volunteers, which means, that only when we know how many participants are interested in this option, will we be able to investigate where they may be located.
The kibbutz (Hebrew word for “communal settlement”) is a unique rural community; a society dedicated to mutual aid and social justice; a socioeconomic system based on the principle of joint ownership of property, equality and cooperation of production, consumption and education; the fulfillment of the idea “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”; a home for those who have chosen it.
The first kibbutzim (plural of “kibbutz”) were founded some 40 years before the establishment of the State of Israel (1948). Degania (from the Hebrew “dagan,” meaning grain), located south of Kinneret, was established in 1909 by a group of pioneers on land acquired by the Jewish National Fund. Their founders were young Jewish pioneers, mainly from Eastern Europe, who came not only to reclaim the soil of their ancient homeland, but also to forge a new way of life. Their path was not easy: a hostile environment, inexperience with physical labor, a lack of agricultural know-how, desolate land neglected for centuries, scarcity of water and a shortage of funds were among the difficulties confronting them. Overcoming many hardships, they succeeded in developing thriving communities which have played a dominant role in the establishment and building of the state.
Today some 270 kibbutzim, with memberships ranging from 40 to more than 1,000; are scattered throughout the country. Most of them have between 300 and 400 adult members, and a population of 500-600. The number of people living in kibbutzim totals approximately 130,000, about 2.5 percent of the country’s population. Most kibbutzim belong to one of three national kibbutz movements, each identified with a particular ideology.
For more information see the following information: The Kibbutz
Israel Challenge possesses active contracts currently with 11 different kibbutzim to with which we cooperate for this stage of our program. Following you will find information relative to the kibbutzim with which we have worked over the past few years. Since we are always on the lookout for new kibbutzim and we routinely feed on our participant’s feedback, we cannot assure you that one of these kibbutzim will be the kibbutz that the participant will live in. This is only for general information; close to the commencement date of each session we will inform each and every participant which kibbutz he/she will be staying in.
The Kibbutzim whith which Israel Challenge works with are the following: [Israel Challenge Kibbutzim]