The application deadline for Jewish National Fund-USA’s (JNF-USA) Alternative Winter Break is set to close on Nov. 10 as college students prepare to combine social justice and travel on their next visit to Israel.

“I’ve been on Alternative Winter Break twice and I’m going back a third time this December because it’s such a great experience. It’s always a great group of participants, and I especially like the volunteering because we can actually see the impact we’re making after a long day of work,” said UMass Amherst student Max Rubin.

JNF-USA has been running Alternative Break trips to Israel for 15 years. The organization has brought 2,000 Jewish college students and young adults ages 18-24 to get their hands dirty while making a difference for the land and people of Israel. JNF-USA has consistently met the needs of Jewish college students who want to experience Israel by volunteering. Through JNF-USA partnerships across Israel, participants are given access to different types of volunteerism, which include helping the environment, working with children, supporting people with special needs and assisting minority groups.

“JNF-USA Alternative Winter Break was unlike any other Israel experience,” said UMass Amherst graduate Maxine Wiesenfeld. “I was able to feel like I was doing my part in helping Israel through hands-on volunteering and interacting with people of various communities. I genuinely felt like I was making a difference, all while making some of my now best friends.”

“We are getting calls from students who want to visit Israel, yet they also want to make a difference and have a positive impact on a people-to-people level,” said JNF-USA director of campus engagement Amy Cytron. “We are seeing a trend within the 18- to 24-year-old demographic where they have a deep social conscience and want to find meaningful volunteering opportunities. Alternative Winter Break allows them to have that impact while striking the right balance between independent time and group activities.”

To register for Alternative Winter Break, visit jnf.org/break.

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