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Cowboys of the wild West Bank: The visiting US volunteers who ‘own guns, love Israel’


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The Times of Israel

The Christian Zionist group behind the recent viral images of American farmhands now in Israel eschews tourist sites in favor of agricultural work.
Gavriel Fiske
10 November 2023


HaYovel Christian Zionist volunteers receive a briefing before heading to work in the greenhouses, at Mehola in the West Bank, November 9, 2023. (Gavriel Fiske/Times of Israel)

MEHOLA, West Bank – At the entrance to a vast greenhouse, a group of Christian volunteers surveys the pots of strange, stubby plants they are to weed. They’ve come from various points in rural America — cowboy hats and all — to help alleviate Israel’s agricultural crisis, a result of the war with Hamas.

“We don’t have pineapples in Montana!” someone jokes, and everyone chuckles. But they roll up their sleeves and quickly get to work, moving along the rows of plants and ripping out the unwanted shoots.

The group of about 20 volunteers, who paid their own way to Israel, have come through HaYovel, a Christian Zionist organization based out of the central West Bank settlement of Har Bracha. HaYovel brings 300-500 volunteers each year on various programs that are mainly focused on assisting Jewish agriculture projects in the West Bank.

The organization is also responsible for the Jewish world’s latest sensation, “The Cowboys,” a group of four cowboy volunteers who were first noticed a few days ago by the internet after someone uploaded a picture of them at JFK airport on their way to Israel. Pictures of the cowboys were shared thousands of times on Facebook and other platforms.




Jan 25, 2024 #israelnews #jerusalem

Donate to help us continue to make an impact on Israel during this difficult time: https://serveisrael.com/donate/?utm_s...

The “viral” cowboys from Montana and Arkansas that have been with us here at HaYovel for the past almost three months are leaving. Whether they knew it or not when they first arrived in Israel, they have made a huge impact on the land and people of Israel in many ways. Join Joshua and the cowboys as they discuss everything they have been able to accomplish during their time here including their latest project, building an absolutely stunning horse therapy farm.


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