web analytics
April 28, 2015 / 9 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Special Needs Israelis Realizing their Dreams as IDF Soldiers

”Soldiers with special needs voluntarily commit to serve their country for three years, just like their peers.”
special needs soldiers

Photo Credit: IDF

At a time when the media are rife with stories about young, healthy Israelis who shun military service, it was heart warming to learn about an IDF program which seeks to include, rather than exclude, a segment of the population one would not expect to make it into mainstream Israeli society, much less into full military service.

We thank the IDF Spokesperson’s Office blog for the following report.

Lt. Col. (res.) Ariel Almog

Lt. Col. (res.) Ariel Almog

Lt. Col. Ariel Almog, founder of the “Magshimim Halom” (Realizing a Dream) project for special needs soldiers, served for 28 years in the IDF Artillery Corps. In 2001, he was severely wounded. While in hospital, he met soldiers and patients who had suffered from severe psychological trauma. That’s when he knew that he wanted to do something to help people who didn’t fit into a regular IDF framework find a way to contribute.

A few years later, the “Magshimim Halom – Mitgaysim leTzahal” (“Realizing a Dream – Enlisting in the IDF”) project was born. Ariel, then a commander in the Home Front Command, decided to give young people with special needs the opportunity to serve on his base.

“We dismantle gas masks and sort all the different parts of the mask, which we then send for repairs,” says Daniella, a soldier who works in the warehouse. “All the soldiers do the same job, whether they have special needs or not. This work used to be done by non-special needs soldiers, and frankly it was more complicated, because they were not as motivated.”

Thousands of Israelis are now benefiting from the hard work of Magshimim Halom’s soldiers.

Military service is an integral part of Israeli life, and Lt. Col. Almog could not accept that an entire segment of Israeli youth were not able to share this experience. ”Soldiers with special needs voluntarily commit to serve their country for three years, just like their peers,” he says. “They have the full support of their families, who see this program as a great opportunity for their children.”

Magshimim Halom’s more than thirty soldiers all live together. Some work in a warehouse, and the rest in the kitchen or in the base office. Their instructors are with them at every stage, available to help them deal with any problem they may encounter.

“When they arrive, some of the soldiers do not have the capacity to eat or bathe alone,” says Lt. Col. Almog. “With time and the help of the instructors, they become independent, even at work.”

“Magshimim Halom soldiers who have finished their service now work for private companies,” says Aviva, one of the instructors. “Working here allows them to progress and gives them confidence.”

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

5 Responses to “Special Needs Israelis Realizing their Dreams as IDF Soldiers”

  1. SABABA! I did volunteer work thru Sar-El at an IDF base and saw some of them and they seemed very happy and proud to be there.

  2. Naomi Romm says:

    I have been working with this special population for many years. This is so heartwarming. Yasher koach.

  3. Toba Margel Scott says:

    beautiful…..the only disability one has, is the one you give yourself!

  4. Ariella Efrat says:

    I hope they never realize their dreams just for bashing in other peoples dreams and making their lives miserable… I hope karma bites these coward soldiers and end up miserable in their whole lives and for what is to come!

  5. Ariella Efrat says:

    IDF soldiers who kill kids are not allowed to have dreams!

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Aftermath of a rock-throwing attack in Samaria.
Arab Teen Attacker Shot, 2 Israelis Hurt in Attacks
Latest News Stories
F. Glenn Miller regrets that his murder victims were not Jews.

Miller would like a chance to tell the court it’s time to “put the Jews on trial where they belong.”

Aftermath of a rock-throwing attack in Samaria.

Two Israelis were hurt in road terror attacks Monday, and a 16 year old Arab teen was shot while attacking a motorist.

A Chassidic Jewish man holds aloft a baby boy named Chaim Mordechai Gross in a 2009 Pidyon HaBen ceremony in Israel. (Illustration Photo)

The Brooklyn neighborhood of Borough Park holds the record for the highest birth rate in New York City in 2013.

Israeli rescue volunteers confer with Chabad emissary in Kathmandu, Rabbi Chezki Lifshitz.

The death toll continues to rise following earthquakes in Nepal as rescue workers fight the clock.

Ready for the big news? George W. Bush doesn’t think much of Barack Obama’s foreign policy decisions.

A credible threat that rival gangs will unite amid riots to “take out” Baltimore Police after Freddie Gray, 25, dies in custody.

The families of two American Jews began breathing again early Monday after Danny Cole and Mendy Losh “phoned home” from a small village thousands of feet high on Mount Everest to say they’re still safe.

UN admits Israel was right – Hamas attacked Israelis from UN facilities. Oops.

Senators want Iran to recognize Israel, release Jason Rezaian and for the President to certify Iran isn’t targeting US citizens…

The divestment measures are driven by hatred of Israel, not humanitarian concerns about Arabs.

Eleven Israelis, including 3 babies were returned to Israel from Nepal overnight. Here’s one of them.

No one was hurt because the bus was empty. No one heard about it because of the politically (in)correct media.

Biotech giant and cash-rich Gilead Sciences will open a marketing office in Israel, Globes Business news reported, making the company the first new generation American biotech firm to do so in the country. NewPharm in Israel markets Gilead’s products to the tune of tens of millions of dollars year, and the local company said Gilead […]

Israel leads rescue efforts. Death toll will rise. Thousands are homeless. Below: Dramatic as-it-happened video.

No matter who was behind the attack, Hezbollah knows it has more than one enemy.

More Articles from Jewish Press Staff
Teens-Twenties-logo

The poetry slam required entrants to compose original poetry with powerful imagery and energetic rhythm bringing their poems to life – making it palpable to the audience.

A new Chareidi initiative has been launched for Yom HaZikaron, called “Sheket, Zochrim” or “Be Silent, We are Remembering”.

He followed and spread the teachings of his late father-in-law, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik.

United Hatzalah program honors our survivors, war veterans with specialized medical care

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/special-needs-israelis-realizing-their-dreams-as-idf-soldiers/2013/03/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: