Serving in the IDF

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    Army Service For Men

    If you are making Aliyah, it is important to be aware that every Israeli citizen is obligated to serve in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Exemptions from army service are made based on a variety of factors including age, family status, religious convictions, medical profile, etc.

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    Army Service for Women

    If you are making Aliyah, it is important to be aware that every Israeli citizen is obligated to serve in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Exemptions are made based on a variety of factors including age, family status, religious convictions, profile, etc.

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    Basic Training in the IDF

    Basic training courses vary significantly depending on your job placement and the location of your course. There are different levels of basic training for Kravi (combat) soldiers, who are on training level 05 or 07, and non-combat (soldiers who are not in Kravi units), who are on training level 02. Within each of these groups, the approach to basic training tends to be different on each base.

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    Chayal Boded (Lone Soldier) Benefits

    As a Chayal Boded (lone soldier) in the IDF, you are eligible for different benefits.

    Speak to your Mashakit Tash (army social worker) in your military unit in order to ascertain which benefits you are eligible to receive.

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    Teens and the IDF

    An email was received by Nefesh B’Nefesh from a potential Oleh who wants to make Aliyah in the summer with all of his family, except for his 15 year old son (who is planning on coming on tourist status). The following is an update about the implications of such, in terms of future Aliyah and Army service.

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    Life After the Army

    After being in the army’s highly structured environment, being on your own can be overwhelming, and many people feel like they are making Aliyah all over again. You’ll find that many Israelis deal with the post-army transition by traveling overseas, frequently to South America or the Far East. As Olim, you may find that it’s not appropriate to take the same route; if you’re on your own in Israel, you may have a different set of financial responsibilities than your Israeli peers.

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    Army Service Programs

    Hesder – a 42 month commitment, involving 26 months of Yeshiva study and 16 months of active army service. As part of Hesder, soldiers are drafted together into a field unit.

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    Joining the Israeli Army – Tzav Rishon (First Notice) and Drafting

    The Tzav Rishon (First Notice) is the first step in the army’s drafting process. When you make Aliyah, your information will be sent to Misrad Hapnim (Ministry of the Interior). After this process has taken place, a Tzav Rishon will be sent to the address listed in your Teudat Zehut. If you move, make sure that you update the address in your Teudat Zehut at your local branch of Misrad Hapnim. You can expect to receive your Tzav Rishon anywhere within 6-12 months after making Aliyah.

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    Getting By on Your Army Salary

    It’s no military secret that soldiers’ salaries are tiny. How can a soldier pay the bills without going into debt? Lt. Gal Zerihan, a service conditions officer in the Galilee Division, helps soldiers manage their salary and cover their regular expenses. For young adults, army service is the peak of their transition from teenagers reliant on their parents to independent adults responsible for making their own decisions.

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    Army Packing List for Men

    The following is a list of items to bring with you when you go to your Lishkat Hagiyus (drafting office) on the day of your Tzav Giyus (draft notification). Pack all items in a 60 to 90 liter bag. Make sure you bring enough toiletries and clothing to last for a two week period.

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    Army Packing List for Women

    The following is a list of items to bring with you when you go to your Lishkat Hagiyus (drafting office) on the day of your Tzav Giyus (draft notification). Pack all items in a 60 to 90 liter bag. Make sure you bring enough toiletries and clothing to last for a two week period.

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    Machal – Volunteers in the IDF

    The Machal program offers the opportunity for individuals who do not live in Israel to serve in the IDF. In order to qualify for the Machal program, you must be Jewish or Zakai Aliyah (i.e., have the right to make Aliyah). If you have Israeli citizenship, you must have left Israel by age 10 and not exceeded 120 days per year of visitation prior to your recruitment.

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    FAQ: Serving in Machal

    The following is a listing of the most commonly asked questions about Machal. We hope this FAQ helps you clarify any similar questions that you may have about the program.

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    Nefesh B’Nefesh-Sar-El Army Volunteers

    Our new partner, Sar-El, has origins tracking back to1982, during the first war with Lebanon, when civilian replacements were needed for thousands of reservists called to duty just as Israel’s harvest season began. Israeli General Aharon Davidi sent emissaries to the United States to enlist volunteers to harvest crops and save the economy.