A plan to launch & market a New Official Kibbutz Volunteer Representative Office in the UK and to produce a new generation of Kibbutz Volunteers from the UK and Europe
Anyone familiar with Kibbutz will know that the Movement is not what it once was, but it might be a surprise to know that a Kibbutz Volunteer Programme still exists, still managed by the Kibbutz Volunteer Office in Tel Aviv.
Of course there are fewer participants than there once was, and less Kibbutzim that accommodate Volunteers. Also, nowadays most Volunteers come from places such as India, China, Korea and South America.
Despite the valuable PR that the Kibbutz Volunteer Programme created for Israel, by building a worldwide community of life long friends of the country with participants, this was never a strategic motive. In actual fact, the main objective of the programme was that it simply provided and still provides low cost labour for the Kibbutz.
I intend to bridge this main objective with an acknowledgement to the multiple benefits that will result from creating a new re-energised Kibbutz Volunteer Programme for a new Generation. It will be adapted for a new era, particularly targeting potential applicants in the UK and Europe. This unique opportunity for young people, to see the reality for themselves, to meet Israelis, Palestinians and people from all over the world, to travel the country and experience unique cultures and a vastly different way of life, will be an important chance to influence opinion. This will be less about being a Volunteer and more about having a Kibbutz and Israel experience that will become an enduring experience for the rest of their lives.
The KVP Office in Israel has already confirmed support for a new official representive office in the UK and is enthusiastic to welcome applicants from the UK (and the EU) once again. They also have no shortage of placements that could be facilitated. However, for many reasons, they had resigned themselves to believing that there was no longer any interest for the Kibbutz Experience from people in Europe, as years before.
I strongly disagree. I think, particularly in view of the misplaced prejudices held by many young europeans today, it makes sense that the opportunity to spend a significant period in Israel should be available to those willing to go. I see this as an unmissable opportunity to produce similar positive relationships with this current generation, like those established with past participants of the Kibbutz Volunteer Programme two or three decades before.
Eventually, an application fee from all applicants will mean, after time, this operation will become self funding.
However, funding is required to help launch such a new UK (& Europe) Office, and to get things off the ground with a fair chance of success. Help from various organisations related to Israel and Zionism is still being sought, but I hope to also attract help from individuals too.
I am looking to raise an initial start-up fund of £30,000, most of which will be used towards a marketing plan, targeting potential individuals who could be attracted to the unique opportunity of becoming a Kibbutz Volunteer. The plan would include arranging a presence at various career fairs and exhibitions around the UK, and advertising in relevant publications etc. Some funds will be needed to create the actual entity, an actual London base, and the various infrastructure that such an organisation will require.
I am determined to realise these objectives and feel optimistic that there will be many others who share my conviction that this is an important deserving cause. Clearly it can be a viable contribution towards the advocacy for Israel movement, helping to influence opinion towards Israel.
About Me, Danny Rolnick
I’m 51 and a British born Jewish atheist and passionate Zionist. Currently I live with my British wife and our 10 year old daughter in Hertfordshire.
Between my late teens and early twenties I lived in Israel on kibbutz and also served in the IDF for 3 years in an infantry unit with an Israeli Garin in Nachal. I retain my dual Israeli Citizenship. I have lived abroad on other occasions too, including Australia & Cyprus, and I am well travelled.
Since the late 90s until recently, my main career has been within the Events Industry, specifically for Private Events and Events for children. I have also worked as a professional DJ since the 1980s and still continue to do so.
I am experience in all aspects of event management and event production, as well as with all aspects of managing business.
I am now determined to realise the objectives I have set out above, to apply my various work experience, and highly creative skills to building the operation required.
It is estimated that 400,000 individuals around the world have once been a Volunteer on a Kibbutz in Israel.
Most of the Volunteers are not Jewish or have had any ideological reason to be in Israel, except, maybe, for the ideals of Kibbutz Life. Their Kibbutz experience remains as one of, if not their most treasured memory in their lives and, despite the rising trend of anti-Israel opinion around them, they generally remain affectionate, compassionate supporters of Israel, even decades later. Their voices offer a valuable contribution in support of the global Israeli advocacy movement, acting to defend against the growing tide of opinion towards Israel.
The ‘Kibbutz Volunteer Club’ www.kibbutzvolunteerclub.com was created in October 2017 on Facebook, to be a platform where this unique global community could share and express their positive feelings towards the country. Since this time over 3000 members have joined and KVC has already become an important social network. KVC is continuing to attract further members and preserving relationships with them, ensuring this community of Israel admirers feel valued and appreciated.
The KV movement still continues to operate the Kibbutz Volunteer Programme, placing volunteers from India, China, Korea and South America, but not Europe, due to the perception that there is no longer an interest. We would like to create a new generation of Kibbutz Volunteers targeting young British non Jewish and Jewish students to promote an understanding about the region and to influence a better perception about Israel. Consent has already been obtained by the Kibbutz Volunteer Programme Office to open an official representative office in the UK
The aim is for KVC to become a recognised part of the Israel Advocacy Movement. This will be achieved in 3 ways:
1) To offer a Kibbutz Volunteering Programme in the UK and Europe
2) To stage reunion events to bring together the collective voices and stories.
3) To publish a compilation of KV stories to be published and distributed via ZF