Most of the volunteers arriving to work on kibbutzim serve as de facto, unofficial "ambassadors" for the country as they return home and share their unique Israel experience with those around them.
The Foreign Ministry and the Kibbutz Movement have recognized the inherent potential and plan to substantially expand the professional seminars offered to volunteers to teach them about Israeli history and society.
In a meeting between Kibbutz Movement Secretary-General Eitan Broshi and Foreign Ministry Public Relations Department Director Daniel Zonstein, it was agreed that cooperation between the two bodies would be increased in 2014. Within this framework the seminars available to volunteers who wish to attend will also be twice as long.
The volunteers will be taught about the country and the origins of the Jewish people, the Holocaust, the beginning of Zionism and the creation of the state. Additionally, Israel's achievements in science, academics and technology will be part of the syllabus. The Foreign Ministry will also enlist the services of retired ministry officials, who will travel to meet the volunteers at the 30 kibbutzim participating in the Foreign Volunteers Project operated by Kibbutz Movement.
A Kibbutz Movement representative explained that volunteers come to Israel from 40 countries around the world. They are a young driving force with the potential to influence public opinion on Israel in their countries of origin.
"It is important for us to expose them to different aspects pertaining to Israel and to include them in the large group of over 20,000 former volunteers who were in Israel and the kibbutzim, and who continue to stay in touch through our Facebook group," said Broshi.