HaYovel FAQS

What does "HaYovel" mean?

Our organization’s name is “HaYovel,” which in Hebrew means “The Jubilee” – a term that looks forward to a day of world-wide redemption and a fully restored national Israel. It is pronounced HA-yo-VEL.

If all Jewish people are wealthy, why volunteer for Jewish farmers?

Our friends in Israel are not wealthy – in fact, they are often trying hard just to get by. The word ‘ALL’ is usually an exaggeration.

Why is the work in Israel important?

The Children of Israel hold a special place as a prophetic people. A prophet prophesies what is going to happen and issues warnings to return to God and His Word. Through Israel, we can read the spiritual climate of the world, as it is the spiritual center of the world. As time ticks down to the coming of the Messiah, the nations of the world will focus on Israel.

Aren't you in constant danger in Israel?

The media has a lot to do with our perceived reality. In Israel proper, it is no more dangerous than it is in any medium-sized city in the US, and it is much less dangerous than in the larger US cities. There is a heightened danger in the West Bank area because of the hatred many residents have for Americans and Jews. However, there are many IDF (Israeli Defense Force) outposts and checkpoints scattered throughout these particular areas, to keep terrorists at bay.

Is it safe to bring my family to Israel?

The most dangerous part of your journey, statistically, would be the drive from your house to the airport. Every terrorist attack gets worldwide headlines. If we were bombarded with media reports of every death that occurred from vehicle accidents in the U.S., we wouldn’t dare to get into cars. There is no assurance of absolute safety anywhere in the world, but we believe it’s always best to be in the center of God’s will.

Is it "Judea and Samaria" or "the West Bank"?

Most of the stories in the Bible took place in the region called Judea and Samaria. This region was renamed “the West Bank” by Jordan, when it occupied the area for a short time after Israel’s War of Independence, less than 100 years ago. The name “the West Bank” is often used to delegitimize Israel’s 4000 year presence in the area. Using the Biblical term “Judea and Samaria” for this special region of Israel helps to restore its Biblical importance.

Does anti-Semitism only affect Jewish people?

Anti-Semitism is dislike or hatred of the Jewish people. The love of God does not allow for hatred of ANY people – much less the chosen people of God!! Anti-Semitism grows like a cancer, spreading throughout a family, community, and nation. Hatred does not just affect the one hated, it affects the one who hates, even more.

When you see someone who has offended you, consider whether you might be harboring unforgiveness. Clear indicators would be when: (1) a bad feeling arises, (2) you are glad to hear if something bad happens to them, or (3) the offense immediately comes to mind. Many people hold these feelings towards the Jewish people without any awareness of the reason. Both indifference and hatred are fruits of the wrong spirit.

Is there a place for non-Jews in Israel?

The prophet Isaiah speaks of the nations (non-Jews) coming to worship in Jerusalem (60:2-5), assisting in restoring the Land (61:5), proclaiming “Your God reigns” (52:7), and worshiping at the Temple in Jerusalem – the house of prayer for all nations (56:7,8). Zechariah 8:23 prophesies of a time when 10 men from the nations will take hold of the tzit-tzit of a Jew and say, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”

Why should I care about Israel?

God, the Creator, neither slumbers nor sleeps concerning Israel (Psalms 121:4).

If we want to know the God of Israel, we should try to look into His eyes. He says that Israel is the apple of His eye – the very center of His eye (Zechariah 2:8). When we look at Israel, we can see God. To be disconnected from Israel is to be disconnected from God.

Can I be neutral?

No! At some point, everyone will make the choice to love or persecute the Jewish people. During the Holocaust, the silence of the world stated its position. The result was sickening and deadly. The Bible mandates an unwavering allegiance towards Israel and its capital, Jerusalem.

How do we know that when the Bible refers to Israel, it is the physical nation of Israel?

“Thus says the Lord, who gives the sun for a light by day, the ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, who disturbs the sea, and its waves roar (The Lord of hosts is His name): ‘If those ordinances depart from before Me,’ says the Lord, ‘Then the seed of Israel shall also cease from being a nation before Me forever.'” Jeremiah 31:35-36

“I will not forget you… and I will save you and redeem you!” Isaiah 49:14-26

The specific location of Israel has never changed – the chosen place for the Name of God to dwell (Ps 132 &137).

Volunteering FAQs

Do you have family discounts?

Yes! We love families and want to do everything possible to help you come to Israel together! One out of every four adults (14 and up) is free of charge (these must be immediate family members). Children age 13 and under are half­ price, and children 5 years old and under need only pay $100 per week.

Is there a minimum age for young volunteers coming without their parents?

Yes, you must be age 18 or over to come unaccompanied. Age 17 years and under must be accompanied by at least one parent/legal guardian.

What information and documentation do I need when filling out my application?

For a list of essential information click here to download the Volunteer Application Checklist.

What do I need to do in order to obtain a visa to come to Israel with HaYovel?

You will need to possess a valid passport*​ and submit a Volunteer Application with HaYovel. Those bringing children under the age of 18 will need to submit copies of their birth certificates and your marriage certificate. If just one parent is bringing a child under the age of 18, we will need a letter of consent from the other parent. HaYovel will be handling everything related to obtaining a volunteer visa on your behalf. All you need to be concerned with is sending us any requested information as quickly as possible, to expedite the process. Once your Volunteer Application has been approved, we will begin working with Israel’s Ministry of Interior to obtain a volunteer visa for you upon your arrival. When you enter into Israel, the border control agents will stamp your passport with a volunteer visa valid for the duration of your stay in Israel with HaYovel.
*Important Note:​ your passport must be valid for a minimum of twelve months from your arrival date in Israel. For example, if your passport expires on September 5th, 2017, and your arrival date in Israel is on September 6th, 2016, then you must renew ​your passport ASAP​.

Will HaYovel pick us up and drop us off at the airport?

Yes, we will pick you up and drop you off at the airport in Tel Aviv, on the approved arrival/departure dates.

Will we be touring?

Yes, we will tour many sites in: Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and possibly a few other places, all of them pertaining to God’s promises. Touring days are scheduled weekly, and we do offer unique tour opportunities, but our focus is on service. Please understand that there is always more of Israel to see – a whole Bible full! There will always be something left over to look forward to, on your next visit!

Will we get to meet Israeli people while we're there?

Yes, there will be meetings scheduled where you will get to meet Israelis and hear their stories.

Will there be Bible studies or prayer times planned?

Every morning begins with prayer, worship, and usually some Scripture reading. We will go through the Torah portion every Shabbat (Saturday) and have a time of worship and teaching. While we’re in the vineyard, we have prayer shifts trading off every thirty minutes or so.

Is there a dress code for volunteers?

Short answer: yes. We dress modestly and largely in accordance with the customs of the local population in the Orthodox Jewish community. Specific details of the dress code will be related to all volunteers in future emails.

Do you provide health insurance and if so, what are the coverage details?

Yes, per the requirements of Israel’s Ministry of Interior, HaYovel obtains a health insurance policy for each person that volunteers for one of our trips. The insurance policy only covers medical treatment given in Israel due to an accident or medical condition that occurs during the time that you are with HaYovel in Israel. The policy specifically excludes coverage of treatment for anything that is caused or aggravated due to a pre­existing medical condition and/or injury. If you do have any pre­existing medical conditions we highly encourage you to obtain your own insurance which will provide you with the necessary coverage.

Can I take a few days to go on tour with another group or on my own, volunteer with another organization, or visit my friends in Israel before or after my time with HaYovel on this trip?

No. All volunteers serving with HaYovel must arrive and depart from Israel on designated trip dates, and must remain with and under the supervision of the HaYovel group during the entire duration of their visit to Israel. The Ministry of Interior has graciously allowed HaYovel participants to enter Israel on volunteer visas, which is a tremendous honor and privilege. There are certain conditions which apply to this visa, one of which is that all of our volunteers must stay with the HaYovel group for the entire duration of their stay in the land, entering and exiting on our trip dates. We realize that some of you have friends and/or places you would like to visit during your trip, but we need to make it clear that this is not permitted during your trip. During your time with HaYovel, you will have the opportunity to tour some of the most important covenant places in Israel, and to also meet and interact with many Israelis! It is also possible that your friends in Israel may come to visit you for a morning or afternoon, pending approval from HaYovel leadership. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we focus on serving the Jewish people in the heartland of Israel.

I’m on a special diet. How can I handle this during my time with HaYovel?

We understand that food is critically important to everyone, and even more so if you have food allergies or dietary restrictions. Please keep in mind that we are preparing meals for several hundred people so the kitchen staff is limited in their ability to accommodate each person’s needs and requests. However, whenever bread is served at a meal, we also offer rice cakes as well for those who are gluten­ free. We cannot guarantee access to refrigeration or freezer space, but you are welcome to bring any snacks or supplements that can be kept in your suitcase or backpack. Many harvesters bring trail mix, protein bars, protein powder and a shaker cup, and the like, and you may have a few opportunities to go to the local grocery store to pick up snacks (however, this is not guaranteed, and depends on our schedule). During your interview we can discuss all of this more and we can also ask a member of our staff to contact you to discuss in further detail the alternatives that are available and they can help you to develop a plan that will work well for both you and for the kitchen staff!

Harvest & Planting FAQs

Are young children or senior citizens able to come?

Yes! The harvest is a wonderful time for families to come with children of all ages. Elders are valuable assets to the team! There’s no quota to harvest, and you are free to take breaks as you need them. We need the maturity of our elders, and we need intercessors! There is something for everyone to do in the vineyard, no matter how young or old. Many babies ride in a back or front pack while their moms or dads are picking grapes!

What's an average day of the harvest like?

Here’s some video footage to give you a visual idea of what the harvest process is like: How to Harvest Grapes

Will I have to get up early at the harvest?

Yes! You will get used to this after a few days and come to appreciate getting out in the vineyard during the cool of the day. We encourage an early bedtime in order to get enough sleep. Many afternoons are free for nap ­taking. (Most people transition easily, since they are resetting their body clocks anyway, due to jet lag.)

What will my children do? Are they expected to work?

We leave this decision up to their parents, but older children are encouraged to join us at the work, and those who do enjoy a sense of accomplishment at having participated in this prophetic work. Many families enjoy the experience of working together in the vineyards.

Pruning FAQs

Are children able to come?

Yes! The pruning is open for young men age 13 and older. The pruning is a wonderful time for fathers and sons to come and spend quality time together in the Land.

Are senior citizens able to come?

Yes! Elders are valuable assets to the team! There’s no quota to prune, and you are free to take breaks as you need them. We need the maturity of our elders, and we need intercessors!