The New Kibbutz – from Jaffa to Java

Volunteering to work in a kibbutz has a long tradition, though Israel is no longer (just) known for its export of agricultural products. It's the Start Up Nation and high-tech superpower that everyone talks about. “The New Kibbutz” reflects this development. Back in the days, volunteers from Germany used to come to the Kibbutzim to work in agriculture, while nowadays they’re rather eager to explore the start up ecosystem and learn about its fast development.

Supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Consulate General of Israel in Munich, AHK Israel started the project “The New Kibbutz” to give Bachelor and Master students from Germany the opportunity to intern in Israeli startups as well as more mature companies, mainly in the high-tech sector. From marketing to software engineering – the portfolio offers a huge variety of internship positions. In addition to work experience, the internships are accompanied by workshops and excursions on Israel-related political, economic, historical and social topics.

We guide the candidates through the application process, take care of visa-applications for each intern and support with organizational matters, such as finding the right accommodation and adjusting to the Israeli lifestyle. Due to visa regulations, the internships are unpaid, however most companies provide financial support in form of meals, public transportation and phone costs.

So far the feedback from participating companies as well as interns of “The New Kibbutz” program has been overwhelming. Since 2015 students from various fields of studies continue to take part in the program and return to Germany with a bag a full of experiences as well as new ideas and plenty of knowledge for their future careers. The program yet again shows how German efficiency and Israeli diligence perfectly complement each other.

Since January 2021 the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has been the official partner of the New Kibbutz program, supporting students from Germany with a generous scholarship in order to promote international exchange and cooperation. The financial resources are provided by the Federal Ministry of Education & Research. Visa applications are handeled by the Embassy of Israel in Berlin.