Kibbutz Volunteer Israel – Is it Still a Thing in 2024?

by | Last updated Dec 30, 2023 | Middle East Working Holiday, Work Abroad Backpacker Jobs

Since this post on being a volunteer on a Kibbutz in Israel was first written, Kibbutz volunteering in Israel has changed. Firstly, many people are now preferring to work their way around the world as a digital nomad rather than trying different backpacker travel jobs in different countries. Add foreigners being employed full-time at kibbutzes and safety issues in the Middle East and the popularity of volunteering on a kibbutz is not what it once was. But it is still possible. If you would like to base yourself in this part of the world for a while, why not consider experiencing the life of a volunteer on a kibbutz in Israel.


Note: With the escalation of war between Israel and Palestine over Gaza, it is advisable to cancel any holiday plans at this time.


What is a kibbutz?


In a nutshell, a kibbutz is a collective of farms. Where all aspects of production are owned and shared by the community. Kibbutzim were first formed in the land now known as Israel in the early 1920s by Russian immigrants. These societies were established on the principles of social equality, where each member of the Kibbutz (a Kibbutznik) is to be treated as an equal. This means they work together collectively for the good of all and everything is shared equally. 

Although only a small percentage of the country’s population live on a kibbutz, they are an integral part of Israeli Society. And if you want to experience working and travelling in Israel I highly recommend volunteering on a kibbutz.


Where are kibbutzes?


Kibbutzes are found all through Israel. There are currently around 250 of them, but only around 23 or so now offer you the chance to experience life on a kibbutz as a volunteer.


Why become a kibbutz volunteer?


There are a number of reasons to volunteer on a kibbutz:

  • Volunteering on a kibbutz is a great way to spend part of a gap year or sabbitical or time between jobs.
  • You will get the chance to experience a communal lifestyle.
  • There is the ability to spend some time in Israel without spending loads of money.
  • Immerse yourself in another country and learn about the culture. Explore the Holy Land (Jerusalem! Tel Aviv!) and nearby countries like Jordan.
  • Meet like-minded travellers from all over the world.

Who can work on a kibbutz?

Any tourist to Israel between the ages of 18 and 35 years can become a kibbutz volunteer. On saying 35 is the age limit, kibbutzes do take volunteers up to around 70 years of age. This is good news if you don’t qualify for a working holiday visa because you are over the age cut off. Plus many people over the age of 35 have plenty of life left in them and are open to new volunteering experiences. 

Do I need a special visa?

Your will need a tourist visa if you enter Israel as a tourist. To volunteer on a kibbutz you will need a special visa which if you go down to the steps of how to apply to volunteer on a kibbutz, you will find the details. 

How Long is a Placement on a Kibbutz for?

The kibbutz population accepts volunteers for a minimum period of two (2) months and a maximum of six (6) months. It is, of course, preferred you complete your agreed volunteer period.

What Work will I do on a Kibbutz?

Generally, the kibbutz offers work in three different categories: agriculture, tourism and other services/different kinds of work.

The agricultural work branches are dependant on the seasons and not all kinds of agricultural work is available to the volunteers all year round. The agricultural work branches in the kibbutz are varied and include:

  • fruit picking (bananas, avocados, dates, apples, oranges and more).
  • work in green houses (tomatoes, potatoes and plants).
  • work with the irrigation systems, fish and fishing (both ornamental fish and fish for food).
  • chicken houses, turkey houses and egg incubator.
  • work with the cows (and milking).

Tourism is another work branch where volunteers help out. This can be in guest houses, restaurants, health spas, tourist shops and at nature sights to name a few.

The services/different work include work in the kitchen, dining room, laundry and sometimes in the garden. Also in the metal workshop, the children’s zoo and the children’s houses. As well as helingp in the kibbutz industry and in any other service-related work branch in the kibbutz.

What is a Typical Working Day on a Kibbutz Like?

A kibbutz volunteer’s work 8 hours a day 6 days a week, Sunday to Friday, because the Sabbath is from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. Depending on the job, your day can start between 6-7am (earlier if in the cowsheds or fields) and finishes between noon and 4pm (again, this varies depending on the job you do).

It is not unusual to be given one particular job on one day, and another the next, but generally the volunteers are kept in the same jobs for at least a month. Newcomers usually start on the dishwashing or in the dining room and move ‘up the chain’ when other volunteers join the kibbutz.

What do I get in return for being a Kibbutz Volunteer?

In return for your work you receive:

  • free accommodation (which is basic and you could be sharing with others)
  • three (3) meals a day (either served to you or you might cook for yourself)
  • free laundry service and use of the amenities which can include a swimming pool, gym or tennis court
  • pocket money each month
  • work clothes are usually included
  • days trips on your days off (such as to the Dead Sea or Jersualem for instance)


Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, Israel is a wall where people wail.

Visit the Wailing Wall, Jerusalem or

Camel on the beach at the Red Sea, Israel.

spend your day at a Red Sea beach

When is the Best time to Volunteer in Israel?


You can volunteer anytime in Israel however, you may want to consider the weather. The weather in Israel is typically sunny and beautiful whatever the time of year but can be very hot in the summer months. Volunteers often choose to come in spring or autumn when it’s not too hot. September is a particularly great time as this month is filled with holidays including Jewish New Year and the fall thanksgiving festival Sukkot. So if you want to immerse yourself in the local culture of Israel, September is a great time to experience the Holy Land! 

How do I find a Kibbutz Volunteer Position?

The best way to arrange a placement is through the Kibbutz Program Centre (KPC). It is best to contact them beforehand to have a placement sorted for your arrival. Follow the registration process ahead of time as it can take a month or two to process. There is a program payment fee of US$40 which is non-refundable. Upon approval of the visa from the Ministry of the Interior, an email will be sent to you with all the details on how to obtain your visa to enter Israel. There is also a participation fee of NIS 1700.

An interview with the volunteer coordinator at the kibbutz and a KPC office represented will be organised so as to find you the right kibbutz. Once approved you will receive details on how to obtain the visa at your nearest Israeli Embassy/Consulate. Then you have 30 days from the day your visit is applied for to visit the Israeli consulate/embassy in your country to obtain a permit to enter Israel. Get the full details on how to find a kibbutz volunteer position at the KPC website.


Can I Choose Which Kibbutz I’m at and Work I Want to Do?


There are 23 kibbutzim across the country that take volunteers through the KPC. Unfortunately you can’t choose which kibbutz you will stay at, but you can let the KPC office staff know if you have a preference. 


What to Pack for a Kibbutz Volunteer


Once you have been accepted to volunteer on a kibbutz it is time to pack. Following are some suggested items for your time in Israel.

Of course you need your documents. These are what are suggested on the KPC website.

  • Passport
  • A photocopy of the picture page of your passport (which shows your picture and citizenship details)
  • Return ticket
  • Our medical form, filled, signed and stamped by your family Doctor – you will need to present it at the kibbutz.
  • Our volunteer’s declaration – you will need to present it at the kibbutz.
  • Applicant’s declaration for entry permit to the State of Israel
  • 400 NIS as a cash deposit payable at your assigned kibbutz
  • at least 1000 NIS for various expenses during your stay
  • International credit card
  • Please note that you will also need NIS 200 for any visa extension that will be required after four months of stay usually.


Recommended equipment

Please limit the valuables that you are bringing with you to the kibbutz to the minimum necessary.

All weather Working clothes

  • Extra clothes
  • Closed shoes (working and hiking)
  • Extra bag
  • Two towels
  • Toiletries
  • Transformer
  • Flash light



Light clothes (t-shirts and shorts/skirts), Sandals, Hat and Sunscreen.


Sweatshirts, Trousers and Coat.

Are You Ready to Volunteer on a Kibbutz?

In conclusion, kibbutz life is a melting pot of different culture, gossip and communal living which I have not found replicated anywhere else in the world. Some people say that volunteering on a kibbutz is one way that Israel is able to get ‘cheap labour’. This could be a true statement for some, however, I enjoyed the experience and I didn’t feel this way as I got to go on trips around Israel and meet lots of other great volunteers. I know a lot of people choose other travel jobs as they travel, live and work abroad but being a kibbutz volunteer is still a great thing to experience. I hope you enjoy your time on a kibbutz as much as I did. If you have been on a kibbutz, I would love to hear in the comments.


People on a kibbutz in Israel.

Thanks for sharing!

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Sharyn McCullum Travel Writer and Founder Of Live Work Play Travel, Work Abroad, Work Online, Travel Blog Enjoying At Beer At The Coldstream Brewery In The Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia.

Sharyn McCullum – Travel Writer / Blogger, Remote On-line Worker, sometime Digital Nomad and Travel, Live and Work Abroad Expert. Is a chocoholic, coffee connoisseur and lover of ’80s music. Been travelling all her life thanks to her dad who worked for an airline. Lived in London 4 years on a working holiday. Has holidayed in Hawaii over 15 times and currently calls Melbourne, Australia home. Is inspiring others to live work play travel around the world with this blog. Read more about Sharyn here.


  1. Elizabeth A Bird

    After graduating high school without any parents, living in communes at age 18, I had no direction in life and didn’t know what to do. I had an offer to live in Israel in the Kibbutz, and traveled throughout the country, working and learning the language for about a year. That was 1972, and those memories were some of the best in my life. I sometimes think about revisiting them.

    • Sharyn McCullum

      Wow, what a great experience. I’m glad the memories were some of the best of your life!

  2. Amanda Chadinha

    My husband and I are both educated and would love to volunteer at a Kibbutz. We are are also trained to teach English as a foreign language. I am 63 and my husband, 55.

    We would be very pleased if you would consider us.


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