Where You'll Live

One of the most fascinating parts of the Shalem experience is the ability to live in and explore the diverse regions of Israel. Over the course of nine months, you’ll experience life in Israel’s capital city of Jerusalem, and the religious kibbutz of Yavneh.


There is no city on the earth that can compare to the city of Jerusalem.  The largest city in Israel, Jerusalem provides a rich mix of cultures, religions, and ethnicities – a true bazaar of differences all existing together in the same place.

While in Jerusalem, you’ll live in the beautiful neighborhood of Baka, perfectly located to provide walking access to many of the city’s wonders. You’ll participate in weekly siyurim and volunteer placements in the Old City, Yad Vashem, Hadassah Hospital, Rusty Mike Radio Station, the Biblical Zoo and more. Jerusalem is also a wonderful place to spend Shabbat and chaggim, with more synagogues per capita than any other city in the world. You are encouraged to take advantage of all the art, theater, music, sports, museums and cultural centers that Jerusalem offers. Plus, we’ll give you a monthly bus pass to get around!

Kibbutz Yavneh

Kibbutz Yavneh is located in the Southern coastal region, three miles east of Ashdod. Founded in 1929, its founder dreamed of building a cooperative community and religious study center in the tradition of the ancient city of Yavneh, a Jewish spiritual center after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.

shalem_kibbutzWhile on the kibbutz, you’ll have a chance to work in the orchard, dairy barn, kitchen, the famous Adi watch factory, and more. You’ll love taking care of the animals, and the adorable kids! Yavneh also offers leisure accommodations such as a large outdoor sports area, a swimming pool, and a closed circuit TV. You will be invited to take part in all cultural and festival events, participate in many of the chugim offered on the kibbutz including zoomba, basketball, kickboxing, tai-chi, music, and more.  Enjoy Shabbat with the unique flavor that only a religious kibbutz can provide. You’ll even be paired up with an “adoptive” Kibbutz family who will provide a sense of warmth and a feeling of home.

Marva Army Experience

marva field week 008One of the ways to truly understand Israeli society is through a military experience. Marva is the army program run by the Israeli Defense Forces and you’ll have the chance to participate during the last part of Tochnit Shalem. (Marva is not part of the IDF and is not considered actual army service). Marva is an 8-week program and each week is dedicated to a different topic. You’ll go through physical and emotional army training. You’ll wear uniforms and be under military discipline and rules. The army program includes learning how to shoot a rifle, learning survival skills, field training, self-defense, topography and navigation, meeting Israeli soldiers and observing live drills with the different army units. It also includes learning about famous battles in Israeli history and learning about the different units in the Israeli Defense Forces.

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