National Youth Service (NYS) in Israel allows youth, who are not conscripted into the Israeli Defense Forces, to volunteer for a period of one to two years, in order to perform various civilian duties. In this research, we examined questions regarding motivations for service, social attitudes and satisfaction from service among NYS volunteers in Israel. With the exception of two studies that focused on the monetary benefits of NYS (Nathanson, Gal, Bar- Tura, 2001; Amir, 2001) and a few smaller evaluations on the satisfactions from service (e.g. Harnik, 2001), no comprehensive research has yet been conducted regarding the non-monetary benefits of voluntary service in Israel. We argue that national service has genuine non-monetary benefits for the volunteers as well as for the society. This argument is based on wide-ranging literature that looks upon civic or national service as an educational tool through which social attitudes are shaped (Sherraden & Gal, 1990) and “Bridging” Social Capital is developed (Putnam, 2000.)
Gal, R., Amin, K., Fleischer, N., & Strichman, N. (2003). Volunteers of national youth service in Israel: A study on motivation for service, social attitudes and volunteers’ satisfaction (CSD Working Paper No. 03-23). Zichron Yaakov, Israel: Carmel Institute for Social Studies and Washington University, Center for Social Development.