Photo Credit: Hashomer Hachadash
Israeli Haredim are being trained and organized in neighborhood patrols.

The October 7 attack and the ongoing war have significantly impacted the sense of personal security of Israeli civilians. In addition to conflicts at the borders, recent terrorist attacks in cities have heightened concerns about personal security and expanded the need for civil defense initiatives.

Hashomer HaChadash and the Brothers for the Home Front forum have established the joint People’s Guard project, to train Haredi individuals interested in contributing to security tasks within their communities to enhance the sense of personal security. Hashomer HaChadash provides training for the volunteers, drawing on its 15 years of experience in primarily safeguarding agricultural lands but also in urban defense assignments.


There is a significant protection layer in volunteer neighborhoods, consisting of unarmed patrols, armed individuals, standby squads, and urban emergency teams. The Israel Police has approved the project and views it as providing a significant defense response in a time of war.

Israeli Haredim are being trained and organized in neighborhood patrols. / Hashomer Hachadash

So far, some 1,500 Haredi volunteers have joined the project, receiving training from Hashomer HaChadash, including identifying suspects, emergency first aid, and contacting security forces efficiently. The project opens up Haredi society to a direct relationship with security forces and may eventually usher in national service in the Haredi sector.

The participating civilian security communities are in the neighborhoods of Beit Shemesh, Jerusalem, and Beitar Illit, as well as other Haredi neighborhoods throughout Israel. The volunteers conduct unarmed patrols day and night, equipped with communication tools connected to relevant emergency centers, aiming to generate deterrence and alertness in cases of suspicious events and provide an immediate and initial response.

As part of the project, according to the training of Hashomer HaChadash, there is also protection activity and increased presence around designated public institutions and synagogues. Many residents in Israeli cities have said that the presence of trained Haredi patrols allows them to walk around city centers with a better sense of security. The project closely cooperates with local authorities, law enforcement, and security agencies, as well as maintaining significant cooperation with the residents.

On Rifman, VP and co-founder of Hashomer HaChadash, who leading the training of the People’s Guard, said, “The decision to establish the People’s Guard is a defining event in Israeli society, and everyone who can come and support the process and the volunteers should join.”

Roni Ayalon, one of the founders of the People’s Guard, said, “We have established a defense body that will help the Haredi public as well as every neighborhood, town, and agricultural farm that needs it. Both the rabbis and the residents cooperate; the public came in droves because they understood the importance of taking personal initiative and the need to be present in the field, according to professional training.”

Moshe Potolski, a volunteer patrolling the Har Yona Nof Galil neighborhood, shared: “The community is very happy to see their neighbors walking around the neighborhood and providing security and a sense of protection. Even on Shabbat, in the synagogues, they are very excited to see that there are ‘Mishmar’ volunteers who make sure to secure all the synagogues in the neighborhood. In this sensitive period, this is really important.”


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