Army Service Programs:
Tzofim Garin Tzabar: Garin Tzabar creates a group framework of guidance and support for young Jews and Israelis living abroad who choose to spend a significant time in Israel and to serve in the Israeli army. It includes a thorough preparation process that includes discussion, questioning and personal reflection prior to the arrival in Israel. Once they are in Israel there is a Absorption Process 3 months prior to the military service where the participants are placed in a hosting kibbutz that becomes their home away from home; prepared for the military service; attend educational activities; tour Israel; and learn Hebrew at the Ulpan class. This process is monitored by a Scout member and handled by the Group staff who live at the Kibbutz and includes Director, Counselor, Hebrew teachers, IDF soldiers and educators. During the 2 to 3 years military service the soldiers receive personal guidance and support; participate at group seminars and trips; enjoy weekends and holidays with adoptive families at the Kibbutz; work closely with the IDF Officials and Scouts Garin staff to resolve personal and military issues.
Lev LaChayal: This program provides a supportive Yeshiva environment to students who choose to serve in the IDF as lone soldiers. The pre-Army portion of the program “covers all the bases”, combining high-level Torah study, IDF-designed physical training, an advanced Hebrew Ulpan and tours of the country. Each individual receives the spiritual, ideological and physical preparation necessary to allow him to make his maximum contribution to the IDF. Lev LaChayal offers personal guidance for each individual as he navigates through the potentially bewildering military and immigration bureaucracies, and with difficulties he may encounter during his service. Perhaps most importantly—Lev LaChayal offers a place where each lone soldier can call “home”, both during the pre-Army and the subsequent Army service. Lev LaChayal is open to both Olim and Mahal candidates (ages 19-25) who have previously spent at least one year in a Yeshiva program.The pre-Army program runs for 6 months, starting September preparing participants for the March draft and again in March for an August draft.
Army Service Tracks:
Atudat Olim – for new Olim who wish to complete their university studies prior to doing their army service. After completing your Tzav Rishon, you continue with your studies. If you are studying in a technical institution (i.e., engineers or technicians) you have one year after your arrival in Israel to begin your studies and then 4 years to complete them. For any other academic studies program, you must begin within 18 months of your arrival to Israel and you have 3 years to complete studies. Once you complete your studies, if the army places you in a position that is relevant to your field of studies, you may be required to serve for up to 5 years. According to the army’s decision, during the last 2-3 of these years of your service, you will receive Keva (a higher army salary). If the army is unable to place you in the position relevant to your field of studies, you will have to serve the amount of time that you were required to before signing up for Atudat Olim.
Hesder – a 36-48-month commitment involving Yeshiva study (both depending on your age of arrival) and 17 months of active army service. As part of Hesder, soldiers are drafted together into specific units.
Netzach Yehuda (Nachal Haredi) – a religious military track which incorporates a full IDF service in a strictly observant environment. For soldiers serving three years in Netzach Yehuda, there is the possibility of a third year of professional learning (based on eligibility).
Mahal – assists young Jews from all over the world (who are not Israeli citizens) to volunteer for the IDF for 18 months without making Aliyah. For more details, see FAQ: Serving in Mahal and the official IDF explanation (Hebrew).
Mahal Hesder – an army volunteer program intended for religious students who wish to serve in a special framework incorporating voluntary IDF service and Yeshiva studies for those who do not hold Israeli citizenship. The length of the program is 21 months, serving in regular Hesder units. For details, see the article “Mahal”.