I’ve tried three times to volunteer while in Israel and each time my attempts were thwarted!

First, I tried to organize a group of Fulbrighters to work with JNF on Mt. Carmel to clear away some of the burned areas. Only one person expressed interest, so I didn’t feel like I could call to offer the services of only 2 of us.

Second, we offered to work a day at a soup kitchen that we had donated to, but the guy who ran it just wanted us to host him in NYC with a group of friends so that we could connect him to more money. Not going to happen.

Third, I volunteered to help an Israeli high school student prepare for bagrut, the final English exams that are required for graduation. There was a group of students in Shderot who don’t have access to local English speakers, so their advisor arranged for skype tutorials. I spoke to one of the students on the phone and we set up a day & time and then when the time came she was a no show. I contacted her & the organizer about it, to no avail.

Sigh. I am not meant to do good works while I am here other than be a good representative of the US. FYI, if you are thinking of volunteering, don’t be discouraged by my tale of woe. After 3 attempts, I am discouraged, but I know plenty of other Fulbrighters who had very good luck arranging their volunteer situations.