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Israel - Sataf Ancient Agriculture with JNF

Volunteer in the beautiful Sataf region and be a part of the team that cares for this agriculturally unique and historically fascinating corner of Israel. Help restore ancient terraces as well as share your experience with visitors to the site.



Fast Facts

Location of ProjectHar Eitan to the west of Jerusalem
Project LengthMin 1 week - Max 8 weeks
Arrival AirportTel Aviv, Ben Gurion International Airport
Volunteer WorkAgricultural work, physically tend terraces, guide visitors
Number of Participants5 international volunteers
Age18 - 80

What's Included

AccommodationShared dorm room in a hostel
FoodBreakfast is included
Orientation KitGoEco volunteer and travel orientation in Jerusalem
SupportLocal in-country team and 24hr emergency support
Pre-Departure Kit Full project details will be sent following registration
Orientation GoEco volunteer and travel orientation in Jerusalem
Health Insurance Comprehensive health insurance for volunteering in Israel

What's Not Included

Flights, airport transfer to Jerusalem (budget around $20), local transportation to and from project (budget around $40), personal expenses, visa (if applicable).


Sataf is situated high in the Jerusalem Hills and is renowned for its stunning hiking trails and natural beauty - one of Israel’s most beautiful landscapes. Pine forests line the prevailing hills, providing a powerful entry to the majestic city of Jerusalem. The area is steeped in much history and ancient biblical anecdotes where you can see irrigated vineyards, vast olive orchards and landscapes that thrive on agricultural terraces.


About the Project

Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael or the Jewish National Fund was established in 1901 and today is Israel's largest green NGO. The organization promotes the notion of a more environmental Israel as well as an appreciation for its natural and cultural tradition.

In the early 1980s, KKL-JNF workers began to reconstruct Sataf’s agricultural terraces and restore the two gathering pools serving two local springs, Ein Sataf and Ein Bikura. They re-dug the irrigation networks to the agricultural plots creating the opportunity for visitors to the site to observe hillside farming as it was practiced in Biblical times.

Archeological research suggests that settlement at the Sataf site began around 6000 years ago, it is assumed that 1, 500 years later the settlers began to craft the earth so it could be used for agriculture, moving large volumes of the rocky ground to create small platforms where they grew grapes, olives, figs, and pomegranates.

As part of the KKL – JNF team the hands on work volunteers will engage in while volunteering on this project forms part of the JNF’s greater goals of advancing water economy, forestry, education, community development, tourism, and research and development in Israel.


Orientation in Jerusalem

Your volunteer adventure will start off with a GoEco orientation at a fantastic hostel in the center of Jerusalem. The orientation is a great way to meet fellow volunteers and travelers from around the world and includes the following:

  • Volunteer preparation and travel directions to the program
  • Expert advice for travelling around Israel during and after your volunteer placement
  • Walking tour of Jerusalem, including the Old City and the famous Machane Yehuda market
  • Discount card to experience Jerusalem's vibrant nightlife
  • 1 night dorm accommodation and breakfast (private rooms available for extra price)

The GoEco orientation will begin at 10:30 AM on arrival day. The next morning, you will travel to your volunteer project via public transportation. Full travel details to Jerusalem and the project will be provided upon registration.


Volunteer Work and Contribution

During your time on the project, you will help care for and develop Sataf’s ancient agricultural terraces and farming sites. Tending to the  terraces requires hands on physical work including renovating collapsed walls and putting the stones that create the ancient terraces back in place. For volunteers who enjoy more agricultural work there is also the opportunity to aid in the cultivation of olives, figs and pomegranates.

In addition to getting your hands dirty, volunteers may also be required to share their inside experience and knowledge with visitors to the site while brushing up on their Hebrew.

Volunteers will be collected from the Jerusalem Central Station at 6:45 am and will generally be working on the project site from 7:30 until 13:30. A minibus will return you to your departure point at 2:30 pm and you will have the remainder of the afternoon to explore all the incredible sites Jerusalem has to offer.

Fridays and Saturdays are free days.

This project is ideal for volunteers who enjoy physical work and working with the earth.


Living Arrangements

Accommodations: You will be staying at a hostel in the center of Jerusalem, making access to any site in the city simple and easy. You will stay in a mixed gender dorm room with between 10 or 12 people.The room comes with comfortable bunk beds and an en-suite bathroom and shower, as well as personal night stands for each volunteer.  A female only dorm room, which holds between 4 and 6 other people, is also available upon request.

If you do not want to stay at the hostel and would prefer to book other accommodation, please let us know following registration.  We will be able to refund you a portion of the volunteer fee and advise you about other options.  

Food: During your volunteer placement, breakfast will be served at the hostel. For all other meals, volunteers need to buy and cook their own food or eat out. The hostel is conveniently located in the center of the Jerusalem with easy accessibility to a range of different restaurants and markets. There is also a fully equipped kitchen for your use at the hostel.

Internet: WiFi is available at your hostel.


Travel Highlights

During your free time you can visit the many famous historical sites of Jerusalem or enjoy the vibrant nightlife it has to offer. There are also many attractions in and around Tel Aviv and adventure activities such as surfing, paddle boarding and wind surfing. Visiting other cities and attractions including Eilat, the Dead Sea and Masada are easy via public transportation. Don’t miss out on all that Israel has to offer. 


Minimum Requirements

  • Desire to work outdoors and contribute to the success of the terraces.
  • Basic English
  • Physically strong
  • Strong work ethic
  • Able to work as part of a team
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