Kibbutz Harduf, Israel
In partnership with Israel Corps and Sha’ar Le’Adam, Project TEN is proud to launch a new social action and service-learning center at Kibbutz Harduf, offering a semester of volunteering, social justice training, environmentalism, and experiences in Arab-Jewish co-existence– in Israel.
This is a Masa-sponsored semester in Israel, offering two specializations:
- Ecology, Conservation and Sustainable Development
- Interfaith Dialogue and Creative Conflict Resolution
Participants will volunteer at onsite special-needs schools, in neighboring Arab villages, and in sustainable agriculture. You will also train with local experts in these fields.
Project TEN Harduf is an immersive Israel experience, dedicated to co-existence programs between Jews and Arabs, and volunteering with at-risk populations. While living in rustic forest accommodations, you will be part of creating a pluralistic Jewish community dedicated to social justice, Jewish service learning, and sustainable development. In dialogue with your fellow participants, you will explore your own beliefs and values, your commitment to global justice, and your connection to Jewish tradition, community and spirituality.
You will pursue multiple volunteer projects with local community partners, receive leadership training, study and debate Jewish texts and controversial issues facing Israeli society, have opportunities to participate in diverse intercultural creative workshops and take leadership roles in the center. Volunteer projects include teaching English, art, theater and ecology to Arab and Jewish children at local schools, building new permanent, ecologically-conscious building facilities in the forest, and working with at-risk youth at the Tuvia boarding school in Harduf.
The program is a personal journey, an opportunity to explore your connection with humanity, the Jewish people and the earth, to deepen compassion and empathy, and to truly explore the personal and religious questions underlying volunteer work with people in need as well as our relationships with people often seen as “the other.” This program presents opportunities to develop as a person, as a Jew and as a community leader and to clarify your personal beliefs and commitments.
The next Project TEN groups in Kibbutz Harduf will take place on the following dates:
(Dates may change slightly; contact our staff at email@example.com for updates).
To apply for the Project TEN program at Kibbutz Harduf, Israel, please click here.
Life at the Center
About the Volunteer Service
As a participant in a Jewish service-learning program, you can't get any closer to the center of Jewish history – and the Jewish future – than Israel. Project TEN is continuing its successful partnership with the Israel Pathways Masa program to bring you its second Israel-based center in Kibbutz Harduf, a forest location in the Lower Galilee, about 8 miles southeast of Haifa.
Israel as a whole is a developed country with a thriving economy. Like many countries, it has regions that are relatively vulnerable economically and culturally, including the Galilee.
The Galilee region is home to 1.3 million Israeli citizens, about half of whom are Jewish, and half Arab (of different religions, including Christians, Druze, and Muslims). Neighborly relations are peaceful, but the economic stresses of life in the Galilee, and the relative lack of infrastructure and access to higher education and culture, adds a different dimension to the relationship between Arabs and Jews. Unemployment in Arab villages is high, and about 55 percent of Arab families in the region live below the poverty line.
Being a participant at TEN Harduf is a truly hands-on volunteer experience. You will volunteer with at-risk youth, children with special needs, and children from low-income neighboring Arab villages.
The Harduf center will acquaint you with Arab communities and Jewish-Arab relationships in the Galilee, and to explore your relationship with Jewish values by collaborating with Arabs, promoting co-existence, and bridging conflict-causing cultural and economic gaps.
The focal point of the volunteer activities is Sha’ar La’Adam (“Gate for Humanity”), a community center on the forest grounds of Kibbutz Harduf. Founded in 2002, Sha’ar La’adam organizes educational, artistic, and ecological activities for Jews and Arabs together, drawing on relationships with the nearby Jewish and Arab villages of Ka’abiya, Swa’ed, Shefar’am, and Tivon.
The center is a result of many years’ neighborly relations between people of different ethnicities, and peaceful handling of problems. All the partners are dedicated to mutual efforts, recognition of the “other,” and joint regional development for the benefit of all. Sha’ar La’adam includes a central assembly place, an open amphitheater, and a vegetable garden. Among its programs are: Jewish-Arabic Theater studies (for school credit) for high school students; extra help for youth in English, Arabic, and Hebrew; regular meetings of Arab and Jewish children; a women’s group that has met weekly for the last 10 years; an annual international Jewish-Arab festival; joint political activities on the national level to encourage mutual consideration; and joint ecological building and gardening projects.
Most of the volunteer work for Project TEN participants will be with youth-at-risk from the Tuvia rehabilitative boarding school (also on Kibbutz Harduf), and with young people from the neighboring Arab villages—both within schools and in after-school frameworks. You will also help Sha’ar La’Adam expand its facilities by engaging in ecological building: physically creating new facility spaces so that the community center can host more, larger activities in the future. TEN participants generally engage in 2-3 different volunteer activities, depending on the day and time of day.
- Teach children at the Ka’abiya school to tend to their community garden (eg collecting rainwater, building with mud, etc.)
- Build new permanent, ecologically-conscious building facilities in the forest. The center plans, over time, to build an education and training center, an art center, and an ecological center.
- Teach English to small groups of children and students in Ka’abiya, Shefar’am, and the Tuvia boarding school
- Teach Art and Theater at schools in Ka’abiya and Shefar’am
- Lead workshops at schools about ecology, including practical experience at Sha’ar La’adam.
Life in the Forest
As a participant in TEN Harduf you will have the unique opportunity to live in nature for four months, surrounded by trees and birds, eating, sleeping and studying in ecologically friendly structures inside the forest. This incredible gift, to live close to the earth, grow your own vegetables, experience the changing seasons, and return to basic living is an invitation to peel off the layers of our fast paced society and connect to deeper values, relationships and community. While living in this exceptional forest center, you will have a true break from the busy-ness of work, studies and social media and will have the opportunity to commune with yourselves, with your fellow participants and with nature.
The ecologically-friendly facilities at TEN Harduf include ecological showers and toilets; a kitchen suitable for large numbers of people; a dining room; a complex of bedrooms (each room for 3-4 residents) with a common veranda; classrooms; and a train wagon being converted into an office. The facilities are being constructed with the goal of conserving energy, materials, and water while also providing shelter and heat, and necessities such as a refrigerator, furnishings, washing machines, etc.
As part of your volunteer work, you will assist in the building project to expand the facilities. Through the CONSERVATION, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT and ECOLOGY track you will receive training in environmentally friendly construction as well as in organic agriculture in TEN Harduf’s community garden.
Educational Travel Throughout Israel
Through our partnership with Israel Pathways, Project TEN volunteers take part in two weekend-long seminars throughout the country, learning about Israeli society, exploring the beauty of the land, and absorbing the richness of modern Israeli culture. These seminars bring together participants taking part in other Israel Pathways programs. In other words, you will have the opportunity to bond with your Project TEN team in Harduf and also connect with a broader group of peers living all over Israel. Learn more about our Beit Midrash sessions here, from a first-hand impression of a TEN-Israel Corps participant.
In addition you will receive:
- Hebrew Ulpan
- A "home-stay" family with whom you can build a relationship and share Shabbat and holidays
- Fantastic staff from Project TEN and Israel Pathways to help you along the way
As part of Project TEN, Israel Corps participants pay only $1,100 (about $9 per day), which covers most meals, accommodations, activities, travel seminars, and more.
American and UK participants can register with Israel Pathways and apply for a Masa grant that will make the trip especially affordable.
To learn more about the benefits of volunteering in Israel read the Executive Summary and Full Report of our study Serving a Complex Israel: A report on Israel-based Immersive Jewish Service-learning.
About Kibbutz Harduf
Harduf is part of the Jezre’el Valley Regional Council, which has about 32,000 residents living in small communities and kibbutzim. The closest cities are Haifa to the northwest (8 miles) and Nazareth to the southeast (7 miles).
Kibbutz Harduf was established in 1982 by a group of young families inspired by Anthroposophy, the spiritual philosophy of Dr. Rudolf Steiner.
As part of its unique ideology, Harduf has initiated numerous projects over the years in education, special education, mental health, welfare and organic agriculture. These include, among others the first Waldorf School in Israel and Harduf Organic Food Products Ltd. – Israel's largest producer and marketing firm of organic agricultural products.
There are currently about 650 people living in Harduf, of which 170 are children, youth and adults who require special support. These members, residents of the four rehabilitative frameworks within the kibbutz (two of which are Beit Elisha and the Tuvia Community) make up 25% of the kibbutz population and are fully integrated into the kibbutz life.
What is Project TEN?
Investing in Social Change
"תן", pronounced "Ten," is the Hebrew word for "Give."
It is also the name of a Jewish Agency initiative that is revolutionizing the Jewish meaning of giving.
The Jewish Agency's Project TEN: Global Tikkun Olam harnesses the energies and passion of Jewish young adults from Israel and around the world, who spend three months working and learning together in onsite service projects in vulnerable communities throughout the world and in Israel.
By highlighting the Jewish values that speak directly to sustainable development, social justice, and leadership, Project TEN serves as a unique immersive service-learning framework for volunteers wishing to engage in sustainable development as they themselves develop – forming an extensive Jewish identity-building experience. Volunteers in each of our development centers are carefully chosen from all over the world, connecting the global Jewish family to one another and to Israel. Read more
Masa Israel Journey
Masa Israel Journey works to make it as easy as possible for young adults to go to Israel. We offer grants and scholarships to help make the experience more affordable. All Masa Israel participants are eligible to apply for universal grants and need-based scholarships towards the cost of your program. Your grant/scholarship will be deducted from the total cost of your program. The amount available depends on your country of origin, age, and the length of your program.
Take a look at our Grant and Scholarship Policy to find out more about eligibility criteria and for information about what you’ll need to apply.
Masa Israel Journey is funded jointly by The Jewish Agency for Israel and by the Government of Israel.
Yakov was born in 1958 and was among the founders of Kibbutz Harduf, a group of young people who strove to build a community in Israel with a new spiritual orientation. Yakov is also one of the founders of Zionism 2000, a movement for social responsibility in Israel, in which he was responsible for the educational development branch. In the 1990’s he was one of the founders of the School for Leadership. He also co-founded the Seminary Center at Harduf as well as the Hamila Theater, where he is a director, teacher, and actor. In 2000 he founded – together with Amin Swaed and Ilse Shuur – the center Sha'ar La'Adam – Bab Lil'insan (meaning: Gate to Humanity in Hebrew and in Arabic).
Faiz was born in 1970 in the village of Swaed-Hmeira. He is a social worker and senior staff member at the Tuvia boarding school for at-risk children and youth situated at Kibbutz Harduf. Previously he worked for six years in the Sde-Boker boarding school in the Negev. For the past seven years he has been co-manager of Sha'ar La'Adam – Bab Lil'insan together with Yaakov Arnan.
The unsubsidized cost for the Project TEN program in Kiryat Shmona, including volunteer, social, and learning activities; transportation between the center and your volunteer placement; and subsidized food and lodging, is $4,300. However, Project TEN participants in Israel (who are coming from abroad) are eligible for significant grants and scholarships from Masa Israel Journey, which can bring down your expenses to just under $10 per day - participants who are eligible for a full Masa scholarship will pay only $1,300 for an entire five-month track, while participants who aren't eligible for a full Masa scholarship will pay $1,500 for a five-month track.
Shorter tracks cost $18 per day times the number of days in the program.
The cost does not include your airfare to the target country, health insurance, visa fees, or vaccinations.
Upon acceptance to the program you will be given instructions to reserve your place with a $300 registration payment through this website. The balance will be paid in two equal payments.
In the event that, after paying the registration fee, you must withdraw from the program, you will be refunded $200.
For information about the Pay It Forward Fund, which might subsidize up to 50 percent of your costs -- with your pledge to pay back the scholarship in the next few years to provide aid to future volunteers -- please go to our cost section.
Remember, Project TEN participants in Israel are eligible for grants and scholarships from Masa Israel Journey - see above!
Sites of Interest
During your three months with Project TEN you will be working very hard at your volunteer service, Jewish learning, and other responsibilities. Although you will see much of the region through excursions and trips as part of your service learning and your Israel Pathways seminars, you might additionally be interested in touring the region on your own. If you want to arrive in Israel or the Galilee early or stay after Project TEN, and visit the sites on your own time, you are welcome to do so.
In the Jezre’el Valley Regional Council and Environs:
- Tzippori National Park: the fantastic excavated ruins of a Talmudic city. Described by Josephus Flavius as “the ornament of the Galilee,” it was the seat of the Sanhedrin and the home of Rabbi Yehudah HaNassi, who redacted the Mishnah. The partially restored 4,500-seat Roman theater affords a beautiful view and chances to reflect on the age-old clashes and interconnections between Judaism and surrounding cultures. Tzippori’s famed mosaics include the “Mona Lisa of the Galilee,” an evocative fifth-century synagogue floor, and the Nile Mosaic. The visitors’ center hosts tours and activities.
- Kfar Kedem: a reconstructed village of the Mishnaic era, where you can dress in ancient garb, milk goats, mill flour and use it to bake pitot, crush grapes, and even take home a homing pigeon (to release back to Kfar Kedem, of course). Tip: Visit Tzippori first to learn about the Mishnaic period, then visit Kfar Kedem to re-live it.
- Mekorot Eshkol Visitors Center: visit an important aquaduct and learn about Israel’s water systems and supplies, desalination, water recycling, etc.
- Tenuva Factory: Educational tours of Israel’s largest brand of dairy products
- Jeep B’Kfar: Jeep tours of the region
- Efek B’Shetach: Mountain bike tours of the region
- And a number of farms, wineries, petting zoos, and greenhouses that offer tours
Around the Galilee: A short car trip away is a variety of activities across the beautiful Galilee region, from wineries and horseback riding to water activities at Lake Kinneret and hiking at Mount Gilboa or Mount Tabor. The Israel Trail offers a great way to experience the region on foot. With a car rental or careful bus planning, you can easily enjoy the museums and parks in Haifa, night life in Rosh Pina, the restaurants and historical sites in Tiberias, the spiritual center of Tzfat, or off-the-beaten path camping sites.
Around Israel: From Harduf you can arrange to travel for day trips to the Upper Galilee and Golan, or for overnight trips to Tel Aviv, or Jerusalem, or head even further south to the Dead Sea, Negev desert, and Eilat.
Climate: Weather in the Lower Galilee is fairly moderate. In March, April, and May, when you will be participating in Project TEN, temperatures range from lows of 12C to highs of 25C (53F - 77F). (During the summer, the temperature can rise to 30C – 86F.) Expect it to rain quite a bit in March, but to be dryer (and very pleasant) in April and May.
Time Zone: All of Israel is in the GMT +2 time zone. Most of the year it is seven hours ahead of New York City.
Currency: Israel uses the New Israeli Shekel (or "shekel," or NIS). One shekel is equivalent to 100 agurot. The value of the shekel fluctuates, but currently one US dollar is equivalent to about 3.5 NIS. So, when you come across an item to buy, if you divide the cost by 4, you'll get the approximate dollar value.
As examples to help you budget, here are some typical costs of products or services in Israel: A movie costs about 35 NIS; a small cappuccino at a café is about 15 NIS; a slice of pizza is 10-13 NIS; a large whole pizza is 50-60 NIS; a shawarma plus drink is 35-40 NIS; a dozen eggs is about 11 NIS; a small container of cottage cheese is about 6 NIS. The bus to from Harduf to Kiryat Ata costs 24 NIS each way. Entrance to Tzippori National Park is 29 NIS; a day at Kfar Kedem costs about 250-300 NIS per person, depending on which activities you choose.
Electricity Supply: Israel uses 230 volts, 50 cycle AC. We recommend you bring a multi-outlet plug adaptor.
Getting Around: Once you are at Kibbutz Harduf, getting around to other areas of Israel is difficult without a car (except for the excursions arranged by Israel Pathways and Project TEN; transportation will be provided). Kibbutz culture is such that when members “go into town” they will give rides to other people who need one – this is a common and safe way of getting around. There is one bus each morning from Harduf to Kiryat Atta. From there you can continue on to Haifa and connect to other cities.
Helpful Phrases in Hebrew
Hello / goodbye = shalom
Please = b'vakasha
Thank you = todah
Good morning = bokair tov
Taxi = moh-neet
Please turn on the meter = tahd-leek et hah-moneh, b'vakasha
Hotel = mah-lone
How much does this cost? = kah-mah zeh oleh?
Where is the bathroom? = ay-foh ha-shay-root-im?
Street = Rechov
How does one get to . . . ? = aych mah-gee-im lih . . . ?
I do not speak Hebrew = Ah-nee lo mih-da-behr iv-reet (male) / Ah-nee lo mih-dah-behret iv-reet (female)
Do you speak English? = (to a male) ha-eem atah meh-dah-behr ahng-leet?
Do you speak English?= (to a female) ha-eem aht me-dah-behret ahng-leet?
May I speak in English? = Ef-shahr lih-dah-behr bih-ahng-leet?
Telephone = telephone
Cell phone = peleh-phone
I am volunteering = Ani mitnadev (male) / Ani mitnadevet (female)
Project TEN= pro-yekt ten
It is a Jewish Agency program = zoht toch-neet shel ha-Soch-noot