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Israel marks IVD with ‘week of active citizenship’
15 December 2003

Tel-Aviv: A whole “Week of Volunteerism and Active Citizenship” marked the International Volunteer Day (IVD) celebrations in Israel. Over 100 organizations responded to a call by the National Council for Volunteerism in Israel to celebrate IVD through volunteer-related events. They organized several social and cultural events such as artists’ meetings, lectures, conventions and workshops.

One such event was a symposium on “Volunteerism during an economic crisis: Threat or opportunity,” discussing the growing trend of professional volunteers and their impact on paid employees during economic turmoil. One of Israel’s leading newspapers covered the topic in an article titled More and more volunteers – are they replacing paid employees?

National radio stations broadcast special programmes during the entire week, trying to raise awareness of volunteerism issues across the country. One public radio station dedicated a programme, You have someone to talk to, discussing IVD and civil volunteering activities in Israel. Listeners were then invited to ask questions to national council specialists present in the studio.

In a radio programme dealing with Israeli Society, another radio station dealt with volunteering issues and highlighted the council’s activities. In addition, panel discussions that took place throughout the week were aired on the Local Community Network Channel.

All through December, the parliamentary committee for welfare and health focused on the contribution of volunteers to welfare and health services; the mutually beneficial relationship between the government and civil society in forming social policy; and on defining responsibilities of the two. Volunteer organizations were invited to participate in the committee’s discussions, which were aired by a broadcasting channel.