Volunteer Organizations

  • Issue: June 2007
  • Designer: Levona Caspi
  • Stamp Size: 30.8 mm x 30.8 mm
  • Plate no.: 682 (1 phosphor bar)
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: E. Lewin-Epstein Ltd.
  • Method of printing: offset

One of the more distinguished characteristics of the Israeli society in the third millennium is the growing activity by voluntary organizations in a broad range of social, environmental and cultural areas. These organizations provide a wide range of services in the fields of health and welfare, education, social rehabilitation, leisure and cultural enrichment, and are involved in advocacy, mutual aid activities and the promotion of social movements. Voluntary activity in the public sphere, whether under governmental or local authorities, is gaining increased recognition in Israel as a means to supply human services that the state is unable to fund.

Nearly 15,000 voluntary organizations operate in Israel, some catering to communities or neighborhoods, and others having a national scope, such as Yad Sarah (free loans of medical equipment), Latet ( Israeli Humanitarian Aid). Zaka (acronym for "Rescue and Save"), the Movement for Quality Government in Israel, Enosh (Israel Mental Health Association), Magen David Adom (Israel Red Cross Association), Topaz (For the Weil - Being of Children and Youth), the Civil Guard, and thousands of others.

These organizations are based on individual volunteer activity, whether in terms of time, knowledge or funding, without any material compensation. One of every five Israelis is active in a voluntary organization, and approximately half of these volunteers are involved 4-5 hours weekly.


Volunteer activity reflects a universal human sense that "I Am Because You Are".'' It reveals a readiness, desire and need to be with the other, for the other, on behalf of the other, stemming from a basic awareness that the boundaries of our lives stretch far beyond the immediate material needs of money, status and influence. Volunteering is a cornerstone of the noble perception of life as resting on four premises: mercy, truth, righteousness and peace, or, as the Psalmist wrote: "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other'' (Psalms 85, 11).

The volunteers

From Nahshon Ben Aminadav to Albert Schweitzer, from Moses Montefiore to Mother Theresa, from the Righteous Gentiles of the World to the volunteers who assist victims of genocide in Darfur, volunteering symbolizes the eternal covenant between the Creator and his creations. It is an unconditional covenant, as is written: "And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth." (Genesis 9, 16). It is a covenant signed between all living beings, regardless of religion, race, gender and faith; a covenant linking brotherhood, friendship and mutual obligation between human being to human being and between human being to nature and the environment. Such is the behavior of volunteers on behalf of the ill and disabled, the exploited and oppressed. the hungry and tormented, as well as the landscape and the lakes, the preservation of wild animals, and the defense of human rights.

Volunteer organizations and volunteering: their universal significance

The Universal Declaration on Volunteering adopted by all the nations of the world at the start of the third millennium expresses the universality and humanism intrinsic in volunteer activity and points to its stature as one of the most basic values of human culture. The declaration begins with the statement that "volunteering is a fundamental building block of civil society. It brings to life the noblest aspirations of humankind — the pursuit of peace, freedom, opportunity, safety and justice for all people." The opening of the 21st century with this declaration symbolizes an important milestone in the development and shaping of volunteering as a leading human, social and economic value, and as a necessary condition for the functioning of an Integrated, caring civil society embedded in responsible democratic governance that is worthy and responsible, supporting social rights, human rights, and social justice for the entire public.

Dr. Mike Naftali
Chairperson, Brit Olam
The International Israeli - Jewish Volunteer Movement

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Volunteer Organizations