Photo Credit: Hillel Maeyer/ Ministry of Defense

96 youth from the Ultra-Orthodox community concluded last week the first ever pre-IDF course offered to the community members. The course, offered by the Ministry of Defense, was aimed at exposing the youth to the IDF and the special Haredi battalion and boosting the motivation of Ultra-Orthodox youth to enlist in the IDF.

Coming from Bnei Brak, Beit Shemesh, Kiryat Sefer and other Haredi communities, the participants experienced, during the week long course, a military like environment similar to basic training. Together with the forced marches and maneuvers, weapons training and Krav Maga, they heard lectures from rabbis and military officers and encountered the experiences of Ultra Orthodox soldiers who have enlisted before them.

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All activities were tailored to meet the halachic requirements of the participants, including Glatt-Kosher Mehadrin kosher food.

Tsuriel Piltz, coordinator of activities at the Ministry of Defense for Haredi youth, explained that these unique preparatory days were conducted in a manner that respected the sensitivities of the participants, during which they learned that they can serve in the IDF in a meaningful fashion while fully maintaining their religious lifestyle. “The number of participants this year has given us much hope for upcoming inductions and the possibility of integrating Haredi youth into the IDF.”

The IDF has recently marked 15 years since the establishment of the Netzach Yehuda Battalion, the Ultra Orthodox battalion that enables Ultra-Orthodox Israelis to serve in the IDF in an atmosphere conducive to their religious convictions, within a framework that is strictly halachically observant. The unit started off with only 89 soldiers; Over 800 joined up during 2013.

Amikam Savirsky, of the Ministry of Defense stated: “The IDF and Israeli society are currently in the midst of a gradual historical process in which the number of Haredi soldiers enlisting constantly grows. The Ministry will continue to encourage this process in various methods, preparing the youth for their induction into the army.”

Udi Dror, another Ministry of Defense official, added: “This program is another milestone in the endeavor to enlist Ultra Orthodox youth into tracks that will create new leaders. The contribution is twofold, to the IDF and the Israeli society and economy.”

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10 COMMENTS

  1. In the USA when there was a draft , all those studying in religious institutions were given 4 D exemption. If it was a practice in the USA then certainly in Israel. Every democratic country has exemptions for religion students! Certainly Israel should have the same!!!

  2. That is the most pathetic thing I read. Will you GROW UP? They are embarking on a huge kiddish Hashem. You're acting like the yeitzar hara trying to keep them from doing a huge mitzvah. No grow up and man up. Many are having a very positive experience and guess what…they're still hareidi.

  3. Rabbi Friedman, The US was not threatened like Israel is , making it essential for Haredi to serve. Also,those who got a deferment did not live on public assistance when they opted out of the services.

  4. Personally I think it is inappropriate for American Jews to protest about Israeli policy in the streets of NYC. The rise of anti semitism is bad enough, we don't need the US public focusing on an internal Jewish issue

  5. The IDF can use all the praying, G-d-fearing members it can get! This is wonderful, and hope it encourages more young members. After all, the Jewish Torah (Christian "Old Testament") has many stories about G-d sending His battallions out to do battle and defend their homeland!

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