To support Israel in a hands-on way, North Americans can volunteer on an Israel Defense Forces’ base, participate on a premier archaeological dig and experience private touring to places off the usual tourist grid.

VFI-PLUS ARCHAEOLOGY (Sept. 8-21) brings volunteers to a defense base and an active archaeological dig site staffed by an international team and supervised by Tel Aviv University. The program begins with one-week volunteer service on a defense base followed by two days of private guided touring, then five days of volunteering, learning and working at the biblical City of David archaeological site in Old Jerusalem, and two more days of guided touring. The 14-day all-inclusive program is designed for both new and veteran volunteers.

Adjacent to Old City Jerusalem, the City of David area is a world-class archaeological wonderland with biblical connections. Since 2007, this excavation has been uncovering different layers of the city’s life from the Middle Ages back to ancient times.

VFI-PLUS (Oct. 25-Nov. 11) is designed for first-time volunteers and includes two weeks of service on an IDF base, working alongside active-duty soldiers and experiencing an inside look at life in the Israeli army. It also includes eight days of private tours across Israel. The 17-day, all-inclusive program also welcomes veteran volunteers.

VFI-PLUS ADVANCED (Dec. 6-22) is designed for repeat travelers to Israel and offers two weeks of volunteer service on an IDF base and eight days of guided touring to places overlooked by many tours. The 17-day, all-inclusive program is designed for first-time as well as veteran volunteers.

To learn more about VFI’s volunteer service programs, or to apply, visit www.vfi-usa.org.