Voluntary Activities – Part 1

The general subject of the unit that we are starting today is Voluntary Activities.

Let's talk about it.

  • What is a voluntary organization?
  • Mention names of well known voluntary organizations.
  • How does a voluntary organization finance its work?
  • What is more important: to donate money or devote time and effort?
  • What kind of work can a volunteer do? Explain!
  • How does a volunteer feel about his work? What is his reward?

Helpful Vocabulary

reward   –   גמול

moral commitment   –   מחויבות מוסרית

non paid workers   –   עובדים ללא תשלום

old age home   –   בית אבות

hospital ward   –   מחלקה בבית חולים

handicapped children   –   ילדים מוגבלים

donation, contribution    –   תרומה

Getting Ready to Read.

The title of the passage you are about to read is Voluntary Work.

  • Why do modern countries need voluntary organizations? Explain!
  • The passage describes the situation in Sweden.
    What do you know about Sweden (economic and social aspects)?
  • Does Sweden need voluntary organizations? Why?
  • Can we force people to volunteer? Why or why not?
  • How can we encourage voluntary work?

Make sure you know the meaning of the following words before you read the whole passage. (Look them up in the dictionary.)

provide services



welfare system



Reading Passage

Read the following passage and then answer the questions that follow.

1. In the past, people used to think that modern societies would be able to meet the needs of all their members. Unfortunately, this dream has not come true and even extremely rich countries find it hard to provide all the services the public requires, and voluntary organizations are called upon to fill this gap.

2. The situation in Sweden certainly proves this fact. Although Sweden has one of the most advanced welfare systems in the world, a recent report published by a public committee states that the government is actually unable to finance all the national, social and welfare services. After all, there is a limit to the taxes a citizen can be expected to pay. Therefore, experts have suggested that every Swedish citizen be required to do 4-6 hours a week of voluntary work for his community.

3. If that is the situation in countries like Sweden, then the need for voluntary organizations in countries with limited welfare budgets like Israel is rather obvious, and yet, forcing citizens to contribute time or money, as suggested by the Swedish committee, may prove unwise. Encouraging people to volunteer might be a better idea. That may not prove too difficult in Israel. As we all know, voluntary work is deeply rooted in our tradition.

4. What is expected of a volunteer? He should be punctual, dependable, efficient and proud of his work. In a way, voluntary work is just like any other job except that it offers no payment. Actually, this is not entirely accurate. A volunteer does get paid. The payment is not to be measured in terms of shekels and agorot. The reward is the satisfaction of doing something for others – lending a helpful hand.


1.  Complete the following sentence according to paragraph 1.

In the past, people hoped their needs ———————————————————————, but this dream has not come true even in ——————————————————–

2. The words this gap in paragraph 1 refer to the gap between

a. the various voluntary organizations.

b. citizens' expectations and services provided by the government.

c. voluntary and non voluntary organizations.

d. society today and in the past (old and modern societies).

3. How is Sweden described in the beginning of paragraph 2?


4. The Swedish government (paragraph 2)

a. may soon increase taxes.

b. expects citizens to pay more taxes.

c. is against raising taxes.

d. intends to reduce taxes.

5. Complete the following sentence (paragraph 2).

According to the report, the Swedish government ———————————————-

6. Why is the need for voluntary organizations greater in Israel than in Sweden (paragraph 3)?


7. Does the author agree with the Swedish recommendation (paragraph 3)?

Yes/No (Circle the proper answer.)

Copy the words that justify your answer.


8. Complete the following sentence (paragraph 4).

A volunteer is expected to be ——————————- and ————————————-

9. What payment does a volunteer get (paragraph 4)?


10. Match the following headings to the appropriate paragraphs. There is one extra heading.

The Welfare System Report                                              paragraph…

A volunteer's reward                                                          paragraph…

Differences between Sweden and Israel                            paragraph…

Israel's security budget                                                      paragraph…

The need for voluntary organizations in every country      paragraph…

Vocabulary and Language Review

Choose the most suitable word in parentheses.

One of the oldest voluntary organizations in Israel is the Israel Cancer Association (who, which, whose, whom) was founded in 1952 (from, of, by, within) a group of physicians. The organization employs a (number, few, several, some) of paid professionals, (but, however, still, and) most of the work (does, is done, made, is made) by (volunteer, volunteers, paid, underpaid). The aim of the (association, voluntary, volunteer, professional) is to help (prevent, stop, deny, reject), detect and treat cancer, as (good, well, soon, far) as cure and rehabilitate the (sickness, illness, patients, disease) and their families.

And that's all for today. More texts and suggestions in my next post.

Lea 🙂 




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