web analytics
April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



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

Share Button

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.”

Share Button

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.

Leave a comment (Select your commenting platform)

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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden
Pakistan Library Renamed to Honor bin Laden
Latest News Stories
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden

Many Pakistanis consider bin Laden a “hero of Islam.”

Two major obstacles have kept Israel from joining the program: Allegations by U.S. officials that Israel has discriminated against Arab- and Muslim-Americans seeking entry, and a proliferation of young Israelis traveling to the United States as tourists and then working illegally.

A Lebanese man who was arrested in Thailand on suspicion of belonging to Hezbollah admitted to targeting Israelis, Thai media reported.

On Friday afternoon, Syrian fighter jets hit opposition/rebel targets and villages on the Syrian side of the Ramat HaGolan (Golan Heights), in the Quneitra region. Large pillars of smoke are seen rising from struck areas. Quneitra is the site of an official crossing between Syria and Israel on the Golan. IAF jets were sent out […]

As Rabbi Stav said, “You’re free to think what you want. But do you want me to recognize Chelsea Clinton’s child as a Jew?”

Chimpanzees and Orangutans eat Matza, unleavened bread traditionally eaten during the Passover holiday, at the Ramat Gan Safari on Thursday, April 17, 2014. I hope they can digest it. On Passover no leavened bread (Chametz) is allowed in Jewish possession, and that includes food we feed our animals.

Following intelligence reports of further expected Arab rioting and violence on the Temple Mount today, the police have placed restrictions on Muslim entry to the Jewish holy site, according to a report on Arutz-7. Entry will be limited to Muslims over the age of 50, and women, also they must be Israeli citizens or residency […]

PA President Abbas’s refusal to publicly condemn the terror attack that killed Baruch Mizrachi is putting a damper on the parade.

The Shas political party, founded and run by the late Rav Ovadia Yosef, has a appointed a new spiritual leader, according to a Galei Tzahal report. The rabbi chosen to replace Harav Ovadia and be the new president of the party’s Council of Torah Sages is Rabbi Shalom Cohen. Aryeh Deri is the political leader […]

In 1941, the Jews of Kiev received a similar leaflet. When they showed up the next day, more than 34,000 were murdered.

Teen stabbed in South Florida high school.

The Kotel Plaza, the stairs, the Kotel entrance, the roads, everything was packed for Birkat Cohanim – the Priestly Blessing of the People – now imagine if this had been held on top of Har HaBayit, the Temple Mount!

Four Israeli citizens were hurt Thursday in a road terror attack near Tekoa in Gush Etzion.

Israel Police closed access to the Temple Mount to Jews and other non-Muslims on Thursday due to Arab violence.

Jews in Donetsk, Ukraine this week were ordered to “register” themselves and their assets.

U.S. Special Envoy to the Middle East Martin Indyk is on his way back to the region to revive talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

More Articles from Jewish Press Staff

Chimpanzees and Orangutans eat Matza, unleavened bread traditionally eaten during the Passover holiday, at the Ramat Gan Safari on Thursday, April 17, 2014. I hope they can digest it. On Passover no leavened bread (Chametz) is allowed in Jewish possession, and that includes food we feed our animals.

The Kotel Plaza, the stairs, the Kotel entrance, the roads, everything was packed for Birkat Cohanim – the Priestly Blessing of the People – now imagine if this had been held on top of Har HaBayit, the Temple Mount!

Four Israeli citizens were hurt Thursday in a road terror attack near Tekoa in Gush Etzion.

Hebron is proving to be a popular family tourist site during the Passover Holiday.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

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: