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September 23, 2014 / 28 Elul, 5774
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30% of Religious-Zionist Girls Join IDF, and the IDF Needs More

The IDF wants more Religious-Zionist girls to sign up, and is planning on taking steps to make the IDF more attractive for them.
Female IDF soldiers lighting Chanukah candles.

Female IDF soldiers lighting Chanukah candles.
Photo Credit: Nati Shohat/FLASH90

Approximately 30% of young women who graduate from Religious-Zionist High Schools go on to join the IDF, according to a report in Makor Rishon. From the remainder, the majority do a year or two of National Service.

Among the general population, 42% of women don’t join the IDF.

For the IDF Manpower Division, 30% of the Religious-Zionist women simply just isn’t enough, and they are looking for ways to significantly increase that number.

The primary fears among Religious-Zionist women is that IDF service is incompatible with a religious life-style, alongside the longstanding stereotype that one of the primary missions of women in the IDF is to make coffee for the officers.

The IDF plans to take steps to make IDF service more attractive to incoming Religious-Zionist girls, including opening new IDF career paths, making sure their religious rights are guaranteed, ensuring prayer times, the option to wear skirts instead of pants, and trying to group Religious-Zionist recruits together, so they’ll feel more comfortable.

In addition, according to the plan, Religious-Zionist girls may be given the option to appear before a special religious committee to change units, and potentially, to even opt out of the army, if they find their current unit, or the IDF as a whole, to disparate and incompatible with their religious lifestyle.

The IDF wants to ensure that there will be Halachic oversight for Religious-Zionist women, and be able to handle any questions or problems that may arise for them.

The IDF is even making a point of letting Religious-Zionist girls know they’d be getting important jobs, and won’t end up making coffee for someone.

In 2011, 1,500 Religious-Zionist young women went to the IDF, in 2012 that number rose to 1,800.

A survey done by “Aluma” of Religious-Zionist women serving in the IDF found that 85% of them felt that the IDF service did not negatively affect their religiosity, and some even found their Judaism strengthened by their IDF service.

The IDF can do that for that you.

Photo by: Matan Hakimi /IDF Spokesperson / Flash 90

Photo by: Matan Hakimi /IDF Spokesperson / Flash 90

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6 Responses to “30% of Religious-Zionist Girls Join IDF, and the IDF Needs More”

  1. YOU MEAN BEN WENT SECTION 8 AGAIN SAID HELPER SARAH LOL LEANING TOWARDS A RABBIPASTOR CARPENTER AND MARY THE FIRST FEMALE RABBI=WHAT THE HELL LOL

  2. Interesting article. I read this in our local Jewish newspaper the Jewish Cronicle. I had neices and cousins in the IDF.

  3. Herb Portnoy says:

    God bless you all!….wish I were young enough to join the IDF

  4. Carlos Font says:

    God bless you too, Mr. Portnoy. As an ex- USN pilot I share your wishes, I recoiled at the idea of women in the service
    at first but have since modified my opinion: No combat, not in ships and definitely not in fighter planes..It is not that they are not capable; I just don't want these sweet, young future mothers getting. killed. Thank you.

  5. God bless these girls!!

  6. It's a tragedy when sweet, young future young future mothers get killed or disfigured, but it's JUST AS much a tragedy when sweet future fathers do!

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