Photo Credit: Nahal Haredi Organization

More than 150 veterans of the IDF Haredi Netzach Yehuda (Nahal Haredi) unit assembled last Thursday in Jerusalem to participate in the launching of a brand new project entitled Mikud L’Chaim (Focus for Life).

The goal of the project is to unite the army veterans and grant them them new tools to form an independent Haredi community in light of the different path in life that they chose from the vast majority of their peers. The program is to be operated by the Netzach Yehuda Veterans Department, a branch of the association that escorts Haredi soldiers throughout their years of army service and beyond.

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Focus for Life will run with a three-hour weekly meeting which will be divided into three subjects: Judaism and Jewish philosophy; identity and personal growth; and financial independence. Numbering among the distinguished lecturers are Surveillance Unit Regiment Commander (Res.) Moshe Keinan; Rabbi Michael Yosefi; Eyal Twito; and Rabbi Yoni Sa’id, Chief Rabbi of Uruguay, among other notable figures from the world of Torah and halachah, media, economy, and psychology.

Yossi Levi, Haredi IDF veteran and Deputy CEO of the Nahal Haredi Organization was one of the program developers.

“Our aim is to help these veterans absorb their own identity and capacity to create around them a society with a strong Haredi character that is founded on the eternal Jewish values of mitzvah observance, fear of heaven, and service of God,” Levi says. “The higher goal, of course, is to build a healthy, happy, and fulfilling life. It’s a process that Haredi young men generally undergo in yeshiva, and we want to ensure that our veterans have this closure, as well.”

According to statistics published by Netzach Yehuda, the number of Haredi IDF veterans is steadily rising, and the vast majority is swiftly integrated into the job market.

Eighty-eight percent of Netzach Yehuda veterans work after completing their army service. The Nahal Haredi Organization’s Veterans Department supports them as they reenter the civilian world and integrate successfully into college or work, and is with them in all important milestones in their personal lives.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.