Orientation and training is mandatory for all who are coming to join the ISM campaign. Even if you have been on previous ISM campaigns or otherwise have significant experience in the region, affinity group building and updates on the situation are important elements of the training and orientation that cannot be missed. Also, insight and help from experienced activists greatly enhances trainings for new activists.
The ISM cannot accept volunteers who do not attend the training and orientations in Palestine.
Training Session Dates
Training sessions are held every Tuesday and Wednesday through the campaign.
Plan your trip around these dates so that you can maximize your time supporting Palestinian communities during the harvest.
Training sites may change due to circumstances in the region. However, when you arrive in Jerusalem and contact the ISM, you will be given updated information about the next training. An ISM volunteer will meet you and other new arrivals on the morning of the training and accompany you to the training site. Trainings are usually held at a site where we can all be together. You can expect to pay approximately $40 for a one night stay at the venue, two full days of meals, and transportation to and from the training site.
In addition to the cost of your airline ticket, you can expect to spend approximately $100 – $150 per week of stay in Palestine. This will include food, accommodation and travel.
Other costs (not required but strongly recommended):
- Purchasing a mobile phone: $80 – $100 Better and in the end cheaper than renting at airport (not recommended)
- Mobile phone cards: $35 per week on average
- Campaign t-shirts: $10.00 each
- Pay Phone Credit Card: 20NIS card that allows you to use street pay phones in Israel. Having one is highly recommended. They are easily found at most shops in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
As a rule of thumb, pack light. Some type of interior-frame backpack is recommended. Sturdy shoes/boots are best with a healthy supply of socks. A cheap pair of flip-flops to use in showers is highly recommended. These are available throughout the country so if you like you can buy them here.
If you arrive in Palestine before the scheduled training and orientation dates, there are a number of low-cost accommodations available in Jerusalem:
Hostels – there are many. Generally activists choose:
- Faisel Hostel: 25 NIS per night (approx. $6.00). Usually crowded and noisy, but the location is great – across from Damascus Gate, and you will meet a lot of activists. They offer free tea, coffee and internet (which makes the price a much better deal). Laptops with an ethernet port can plug into extra lines.
Phone number: +972-2-628-7502
- Golden Gate Hostel: 30 NIS per night (approx. $7.00) Very clean; generally quiet; good location. Located inside the Old City walls (enter from Damascus Gate, take the right fork in the road, after approximately 50 meters, at the Via Delarosa, take a right. The Golden Gate is on the left.)
Phone number: +972-2-628-4317
- The Knight’s Palace: $22US per person per night based on double occupancy and stated affiliation with the ISM. Located inside the New Gate. Reservations usually not required.
Phone number: +972-2-627-4058
During the campaign:
International activists will be staying in towns and villages in the West Bank and (possibly) Gaza (if we are able to enter). Accommodations will be arranged by local coordinators in ISM housing or with Palestinian families. A hosteling fee of 20NIS is charged for each night spent at an ISM apartment, a family’s home or at a community-provided facility. Please factor this into your finances. This money goes directly to either the upkeep of the apartment, as a gift of support for the family or as a donation to the community hosting volunteers.
For volunteers who plan to be in Palestine working with ISM for more than two months (longtermers), they will need to expect to pay the hosteling fee for the first month only.
Please contact Adam (email: [email protected], cell: 0598503948) upon arrival to Tel Aviv, or Jerusalem. Adam can help arrange transportation to Jerusalem from either the airport or the border. He will give you updated information on training and instructions regarding getting to training. He can also answer questions you may have about orienting yourself in Jerusalem. If you cannot reach Adam, please feel free to call our office.
- Adam – 0598503948
- ISM Office – 02-297-1824
ISM does not have a formal registration process prior to the actual training in Palestine. You do not need to officially “register” in your home country or with ISM Palestine prior to traveling. However, we do strongly recommend that prior to joining our Olive Harvest 2005 Campaign that you contact any one of our international support groups (right), many of whom also provide pre-travel orientation and training and who will help to answer your questions.