September 27, 2023

The recruits will be able to postpone their draft to complete core studies

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) will allow ultra-Orthodox recruits to serve in all positions in the military, including in intelligence roles and units with non-ultra-Orthodox troops.

As part of the new policy, ultra-Orthodox recruits will have the opportunity to postpone their draft to complete core studies to improve their qualifications, Israel Hayom reported.

Also, before their discharge, the ultra-Orthodox will be allowed to take part in a special training program, assisting them to take part in civil society afterward, according to the Israeli daily.

Each year, hundreds of recruits who have been raised in conservative religious communities are enlisted into the army without having the proper education – due to lower standards in secular education topics within the ultra-Orthodox school system.

Statistics from the Education Ministry in 2014 showed that only 22 percent of ultra-Orthodox students take matriculation exams, and only 8 percent of those students pass.

In comparison, 65.5 percent of all Israelis had completed their matriculation requirements.

Until now, the lack of education resulted in many ultra-Orthodox soldiers serving in jobs where they did not use their full potential, the Israeli daily reported.

However, in 2021, the IDF Planning and Personnel Directorate implemented a new policy on drafting soldiers from ultra-Orthodox schools, aiming to make it possible for both “drop-outs” of these communities as well those adhering to strict religious practice to serve in the military.

Currently, the ultra-Orthodox make up just 13 percent of Israel’s population. However, the population is expected to double within the next 16 years, according to a study by the IDI.

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