“The future of Israel lies in the Negev” – David Ben Gurion, Israel’s First Prime Minister
Yerucham is like no other place imaginable; Nativers are based in a small town surrounded by the flourishing desert for four incredible months. One of the many advantages to living in Yerucham is the close-knit community into which the Nativers are integrated. Walking down the street, one will always see a familiar face whether it be a shopkeeper or someone from their volunteering.
Each Nativer will have the rare opportunity to live on their own and to be self-sufficient. The unique experience of living with friends in either a house or an apartment exemplifies the self-reliance of the Nativers on this track. A Nativ-Yerucham favorite is mastering culinary skills; cooking is a great way to bring everyone together, whether in their respective living quarters or for weekly potluck meal followed by a fun movie night or an activity planned by the madrichim. For the rare days in which Nativers are not in the mood to cook, each individual has a host family to whom they can turn anytime- weeknight or Shabbat. Having a host family is another simple way to connect to the Yerucham community.
Yerucham Volunteer Opportunities
Working in Schools
Volunteering in schools is an integral part of the Yerucham experience. The schools are very grateful for the help that the Nativers provide within English classes, and the Israeli students always appreciate their hard work and passion. Nativers have the opportunity to work at 4 schools: a religious elementary school, a secular high school, a Yeshiva high school, and a Seminary high school. Teaching English is not just for the kids; it is a great way to connect with typical Israeli teenagers.
Magen David Adom
Because Yerucham is small, so too is the Magen David Adom staff, which meant that these volunteers got a lot of hands on experience during calls. An average MDA shift is from 7am – 3pm. On most shifts the Nativ volunteers will be alone with the driver, thus the Nativers play key roles in many cases. They also developed great relationships with the ambulance drivers and medics. The Nativers volunteering with MDA spend a week of their vacation taking in the 60 hour training course, which is held at the Fuchsberg Center and become certified volunteers for MDA.
Nativers can work at a few different gans, as teacher’s assistants. They help out in the classroom and play with the children. This is an especially fun age to work with, and the Nativers volunteering here often visited their gan classrooms on breaks from their other jobs. This also proved great for some Nativers with weaker Hebrew because talking to little kids is a great way to learn Hebrew. One of the gans is a Bedouin Gan, and the Nativers who have volunteered there have gotten to know a part of Israeli society that even most Israelis don’t get to experience!
Because Yerucham is a development town, it is constantly changing and improving it’s aesthetic image. This past year Nativers were involved in painting buildings, parks, and other fixtures in town. They also were involved in the founding of a Nativ project in collaboration with JNF on the BNB (Bringing Nature Back Home) initiative. They worked on the beginnings of a bird observatory, and you too can help in the ongoing Nativ project. Gardening, plastering, and painting are all fun ways to work in different areas of Yerucham, with your friends, and really make a visible difference.