Muslim volunteers as social services providers during the COVID-19 pandemic in Israel

Haneen Magadlah, Ram Cnaan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Israeli government paid little attention to its impact on the Palestinian population. Allocations of state aid under-funded Palestinian communities, and all state communications and public announcements were delivered in Hebrew, effectively excluding native Arabic speakers from vital safety information. In response, Muslim volunteers and organisations filled the service and information gaps created by government neglect. In this article, we describe how Muslim volunteers organised and responded in order to support the Muslim community in Israel. Based on in-depth interviews with 19 volunteers in the early days of the pandemic, we show that their motivation was both religious and political, and firmly grounded in Muslim theology. We describe new services provided by volunteers and show that they were uniquely suited to meet Muslim community needs in the moment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)462-482
Number of pages21
JournalVoluntary Sector Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Policy Press 2022.


  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Islam
  • Israel
  • Palestinian society
  • volunteering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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