There are many types of tours that Gil Travel offers, and each is special in its own right. However, this time, one of Gil’s newest offers to travelers deserves to be highlighted – Volunteers for Israel (VFI). There are many things that make this tour phenomenal, a major one being that anybody, no matter the age or how many times they’ve visited Israel before, can join and enjoy it. That’s not all! This is actually not one tour, but three different options in conjunction with VFI that are available to all travel fans. This amazing program with exceptional service is an absolutely perfect match for all of you who want to have the experience of volunteering at an IDF base, while using the free time to travel around Israel, all-inclusive style of course, as you deserve it.
Volunteering at IDF (the Israel Defense Forces)
During all three tours, you’d be spending several days at an army base. This is a truly unique opportunity to not only see how such a base functions and witness firsthand the life of soldiers, but to immerse yourself in both the active military setting and the Israeli culture. Like that’s not enough, you’d be actually helping IDF by performing duties such as packing food rations and medical kits, radio and gas mask repairs, cleaning tanks, painting helmets, gardening, cleaning, etc. This is the place you’d call home for several days, forming a community with soldiers and your fellow travelers, while at the same time providing this meaningful contribution to the State of Israel, its defense forces, and the defense of the country itself. Each person at the base has their duty so the entire base can function smoothly, and you’d become a vital part of this mechanism too. The volunteers get to serve alongside Israelis, but also alongside people from across the world, which makes this an even more amazing experience.
The first tour type that you can choose includes nine days at an IDF base, and eight days of private, all-inclusive touring of Israel, accompanied by an Israeli guide in a private bus, among many other perks. You’ll spend your first two days in the wonderful Tel Aviv, touring its famous sites, such as the Ayalon Institute and the Old Port of Jaffa. On the third day, you’ll be transported to IDF base to begin your orientation, work assignments, and meet your IDF community. Four days later, after breakfast, flag raising, and morning work assignments, you’ll begin your weekend touring. You’ll visit Beit She’an and enjoy a tour of Tiberias, as well as Safed, Golan Heights and Gamla Synagogue, among other sites. The next four days you’ll be helping IDF, then go to Jerusalem to see the Old City, Tower of David, Hezekiah Tunnels, Western Wall Tunnels, the Cardo, Via Dolorosa, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Garden of Gethsemane, even Qumran, Masada, the Dead Sea, and much more. On your final day, you’ll visit Yad Vashem, Mount Herzl, and the Israel Museum.
This all-Inclusive adventure-travel program combines 4.5 days of volunteering at IDF, 5 days of volunteering on an archaeological dig at the Israel Antiquities Authority’s (IAA) dig site, and 4.5 days of private touring. After you’ve served the State of Israel, you’ll help the country in revealing its history by joining an international team of Tel Aviv University and IAA archaeologists. You’ll be actively involved in the archeological effort in this memorable hands-on experience. Just like you are an essential member in an army base, you are an essential member here too, at the City of David, south of Jerusalem’s Old City, among the findings of the ancient town, which was full of life between the Iron Age and the Middle ages. You’ll get to see and touch the many unearthed layers of history in Jerusalem’s largest active archeological excavation. After volunteering, you’ll see a myriad of magnificent sites in Haifa and Jerusalem, and enjoy numerous activates, including a lecture by the residents of an Arab-Jewish community.
This final option offers nine days of the unique IDF experience and eight days of private touring of those fantastic and historic places not often visited on basic Israel tours – in style and with all the amazing perks. This is your off-the-beaten path option. After you’ve finished your duties at IDF, you’ll visit Haifa, its Baha’i Gardens and Mane Katz Museum, then go to Akko to walk along the city’s old harbor and visit the underground Templar Tunnels. You’ll drive to the amazing Rosh Hanikra, then tour Jerusalem, the Knesset and the Davidson Center. You’ll go on many walking tours, taste wonderful wines and foods, and visit the prominent museums in many parts of Israel. You’ll see the Judean Desert and the breath-taking Masada, followed by a trip to Bethlehem and the Negev Desert, to Sde Boker, to Mitzpe Ramon, to the brilliant Avdat, and so much more. Finally, you’ll have a chance to meet locals from a settlements near the Gaza Strip to hear the stories of their life, joy, and pain.
So, if you want to become a vital part of the defense of the State of Israel and unearth the country’s history with your own hands, while in your free time enjoying the most amazing sites the country has to offer – both the famous ones and those off the beaten path – then this is a perfect option for you.
Topics: Israel Travel