“A little free time goes a long way. It doesn’t take much to make a difference.” ~ MTV on the Jewish National Fund’s Alternative Spring Break in Israel program.
Alternative Spring Break 2008
This year, hundreds of young adults will come to Israel in pursuit of David Ben Gurion’s goal: to make the desert bloom. Volunteering with the Jewish National Fund’s Alternative Spring Break program, participants will work in one of the Negev’s 25 developing communities as part of the JNF’s Blueprint Negev campaign.
Operation Northern Renewal
In its third year, the JNF returns to the Negev, having sent last year’s participants north as part of Operation Northern Renewal, a campaign to help Israel recover from the damage done during the Second Lebanon War. Together they planted trees, cleared forest damaged by fire, painted bomb shelters, and raised $215,000 dollars to forward recovery efforts.
During previous spring breaks, groups engaged in the following:
- Neighborhood beautification projects
- Tree planting
- Learning about ecological solutions to environmental problems
- Visiting the sick
- Playing with children in a Purim carnival
Raising Funds to Participate
Although heavily sponsored by the JNF and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, participants must raise $1,050 of their own. Participants are given the opportunity to join fundraising teams to help support their efforts. Click here to download the JNF’s excellent fundraising guide for Alternative Spring Breakers.
Not in the right age bracket but still want to volunteer to help promote Israel’s natural beauty? See the JNF’s other travel and volunteer opportunities here.
About the Negev
- The Negev region of Israel is located in the south below Tel Aviv and Jerusalem
- The Negev desert spans more than 4,600 square miles, occupying almost 60% of Israel’s land mass
- Although Israel’s size is often compared to that of New Jersey, this doesn’t take into consideration the fact that the majority of its land is desert
- If you look at the map above, everything south of Jerusalem is considered desert
- Be’er Sheva, the capitol of the Negev, is Israel’s fourth largest city
- 70% of Israelis live in the area around Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa, driving property values so high that many families cannot afford to buy homes there, or even find adequate housing
- Today, some 379,000 Jews and 175,000 Bedouins live in Israel’s Negev region
Wishing you a happy Cheshvan!
(The second month in the Jewish calendar)