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September 26, 2016 / 23 Elul, 5776
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30,000 Haredim Receive Their Army Exemptions

'Nahal Haredi" soldiers (Netzah Yehuda battalion) learning Torah during their army service.

'Nahal Haredi" soldiers (Netzah Yehuda battalion) learning Torah during their army service.
Photo Credit: Yaakov Naumi/Flash90

Since the Shaked Haredi Draft bill passed, almost 30,000 Haredim (Ultra-Orthodox), ages 22-28, have received or will be receiving their permanent exemptions from IDF army service, according to a report in Makor Rishon.

Until now, Haredim were required to be learning in Yeshiva until age 28, while they were receiving IDF exemptions.

Those 30,000 Haredim are now free to continue learning in Yeshiva, or alternatively, join the job market and support their families. They will no longer need to apply annually for an army exemption.

The ministerial committee that dealt with the draft law is also evaluating what steps can be taken to help integrate those newly exempted Haredim who want to enter the workforce, including salaried training programs and employer incentives to hire Haredim.

Furthermore, due to high demand on the part of Haredi soldiers who did complete their IDF service in one of the Haredi army units, the army is working on creating a second battalion of Haredi IDF reservists for those who want to continue to serve.

On the downside, due to active discouragement on the part of the Haredi leadership and Rabbis, enlistment of those between ages of 18-21 has sharply dropped, and the Haredi draft quotas, of only a few thousand a year, which until now were being met, may not be reached.

A sign in Jerusalem's Ultra Orthodox Meah Shearim neighborhood against serving in the IDF. Photo by Nati Shohat/Flash90.

A sign in Jerusalem’s Ultra Orthodox Meah Shearim neighborhood against serving in the IDF.
Photo by Nati Shohat/Flash90.

The IDF and the Defense Minister recommended to the committee that lines of communications be opened with the Haredi leadership to stop their incitement against Haredi youth serving in the IDF or doing National Service. National Service is the alternative for those who don’t want to serve in the army.

Shalom Bear

About the Author: Reports news at JewishPress.com.


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