Sherut Leumi: National Service

“Sherut Leumi is a chance to give back to the country who gave me so much” –Talia Schickman, volunteer in a kindergarten for kids with disabilities

Sherut Leumi is a national service option for religious girls between the ages of 17-24 who choose not to serve in the IDF. Through the diverse options offered by the various Sherut Leumi placements, young women are afforded the opportunity to work intensively in a professional environment in Israel and, as a result, to learn about themselves, their capabilities, and explore fields of interest that may become long term career options.

Why consider Sherut Leumi? It gives you the opportunity to:

  • Give back to the Jewish Nation and to Israel.
  • Work in a field of interest and explore a potential career path.
  • Learn Hebrew and integrate into Israeli society.

What are the different types of Sherut options out there?

Sherut Leumi offers programs in a wide range of areas, including special education, administration, hospitals, law, geriatrics & nursing homes, health clinics, teens at risk, internal security, education, disadvantaged communities, immigrant assistance, environmentalism and other related non-profit organizations.

Things to ponder before deciding on a Sherut placement:

  • What do I want to get out of this year?
  • Where do I feel I can contribute most?
  • Is there an area in which I would like to gain experience?
  • Do I want to work mostly with English speaking people?
  • Does the community suit my personality (e.g., Jerusalem vs. Kibbutz)
  • The amount that Hebrew factors into the job. How fluent is my Hebrew?  How can I improve my Hebrew?

How do I get started with the Sherut Leumi process?

Click here to learn about signing up for Sherut Leumi from Israel, after making Aliyah
Click here to learn about signing up for Sherut Leumi from Israel, before making Aliyah
Click here to learn about signing up for Sherut Leumi from abroad

What benefits do I receive as a Bat Sherut?

Click here to read about the benefits provided for Bnot Sherut.

How can I be exempted from my compulsory army service?

If you have not received your first notice (Tzav Rishon) yet, but would like to get the exemption (Ptur) earlier than your draft date, the first step is to go to the IDF conscription office (Lishkat Hagiyus) to open up a file. This process may take some time so please take that into consideration. If you have already received your Tzav Rishon, you will not need to do this.

In order to get a Ptur (exemption) from the army for religious reasons, you must:

  1. Go to theRabbanut. For a listing of Rabbanut offices throughout the country, see: Bring 2 passport pictures and your Tzav. There is a 45 NIS processing fee. While the Rabbanut offices open at 8:30am, you may not be seen until after 9.
  2. State to theRabbanut that you don’t want to go to the army for religious reasons.  Some girls are asked to meet with a Rabbi who might pose questions to see “if they are religious”; others are able to obtain the letter of exemption without further questioning.
  3. Once you have the Ptur you have to take it to the Lishkat Hagiyus and hand in your Ptur. If you don’t have the Ptur before your Tzav Rishon, you must go to Lishkat Hagiyus on the assigned day anyway. Once you receive the Ptur, you are responsible for making sure that the army receives it.
  4. Your Ptur should arrive in the mail about a month after your meeting; make sure you hold on to it since you will not be able to do Sherut Leumi without it. (If you lose it you can call up Lishkat Hagiyus and they will send you another one.)

You must obtain your Ptur at least 90 days before your enlistment date. If you do not receive your Ptur in time, the army may decide to enlist you.


For more information on Sherut Leumi, please contact our Sherut Leumi advisor, Karen Richman, at

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