JERUSALEM (VINnews) — The Yisrael Hayom newspaper reported Sunday that the IDF has agreed to a new arrangement which will enable chareidi recruits to defer their army service until they complete studies which will improve their status and allow them to join elite units which were previously closed to them.
Hundreds of chareidim enlist yearly and in order to allow them to continue their lifestyle they are automatically deployed to appropriate units such as the Netzach Yehuda battalion or the Shachar programs. However many of the conscripts wish to serve in more elite IDF units or are not at the religious level of these units.
In general these soldiers have a low grouping level due to their lack of secular knowledge and low socioeconomic background and therefore they are placed in inappropriate roles. The new policy will see a special approach to chareidim which will enable them to defer the draft and complete their studies and then via a special individual sorting system they will be deployed to units according to their capabilities.
The initiative was started by Major Michael Reber (36), who himself was in the chareidi world and then left to study law. Reber says that when he arrived he was offered the chance to be a worker or kashrus supervisor. Explaining that he had a law degree and wanted to serve in the army’s legal department, he had to fight hard to join the military prosecution.
Reber , who serves as head of the IDF Integration Section, says that many soldiers are given lowly roles despite their sharp acumen and mental skills. Reber joined an association called “going out to change” which sought to change the policies and enable those who leave yeshivas to perform significant roles in the IDF.
“The IDF is now opening all roles to chareidi society,” Reber says, adding that “finally they are not looking at one aspect but rather at the entire picture and realizing that even if a soldier is missing certain capabilities, he has studied in yeshiva and has other capabilities which can be developed. In the last half a year we have accompanied many conscripts from chareidi backgrounds who have reached key roles, for example in the elite 8200 unit or the research section of the intelligence corps. Capable people will not need to fight from now to get into appropriate positions.”