What is Sherut Leumi?
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 Sherut Leumi, 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.
The websites of the different Sherut agencies are very hard to navigate. Is there anyone who can help me?
Yes, you can ask your Mikasheret to sit down and help you out or ask a Hebrew speaking friend to go through it with you.
How important is it to know Hebrew?
You need a basic understanding of Hebrew for almost any Sherut position; after all, you are volunteering in Israel where Hebrew is the spoken language. The level of Hebrew you’ll need varies based on the organization and your role. If you choose to do Sherut in an orphanage with teens, knowing Hebrew is a huge factor since you need to be able to communicate with them. If you choose to do Sherut with babies, fluent Hebrew isn’t as essential
Do I have to make Aliyah in order to do Sherut Leumi?
Yes. In order to do Sherut Leumi, you must hold an Israeli passport or make Aliyah prior to starting Sherut Leumi.
Does it make a difference which agency I use?
No, if the agency offers a program that is right for you then go with them. (You may receive a different travel backpack but that’s about it!)
What is Yom Sayerot like?
Yom Sayerot is a day to check out different Sherut Leumi opportunities. Generally speaking, you go for an interview, tour the facilities, learn more about the organization, and meet with the staff.
What time of year do the Sayerot start?
Most Sayerot start around February, but there are a few such as Misrad HaBitachon and Chul (Sherut Leumi outside of Israel) which start earlier on in the year.
Am I still able to do Sherut if I decide after the Yom Sayerot?
Call the Sherut Leumi Rakezet (Coordinator) for the organization that interests you, and explain why you wish to register. They are likely to consider you. However, keep in mind that you would be signing up after everyone else has already started the placement process and some of the spots may already be taken.
What happens if I don’t like any of the places I looked into?
Let your Rakezet know that you are still looking for a placement. Sign up for second round of Yom Sayerot and give it another shot.
How many years am I obligated to do Sherut?
Technically speaking, once you’re exempt from the army you are not required to serve at all, but many religious girls choose to do Sherut since they feel that they would like to serve their country. Most organizations only require a one year commitment (some only allow one year), while others require two.
Should I consider a job placement just because it pays me a higher living stipend?
We do not recommend taking a job just because of the stipend. That is not what Sherut Leumi is about! In addition, keep in mind that, at present, a Bat Sherut generally makes more money than a Chayal, though these types of things are always open to change.
Do I need Protexcia (personal connections) to get a good placement?
Protexcia is always useful because the people who are hiring you know little about you; if they receive a recommendation from someone they trust it is valuable to them. However, what is most important is showing that you are a hard worker and a good fit for the job.
How do I decide between doing army service and doing Sherut Leumi?
This is a personal choice that every Orthodox woman needs to make. One option is not better than the other; rather, it is a function of the kind of national service that is suitable for you. For more information on army service, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are males entitled to serve in Sherut Leumi?
Yes. Males are entitled to serve in Sherut Leumi with an exemption from the army. There are many interesting opportunities for young men looking to serve within Sherut Leumi . Please refer to our contacts on the Sherut Leumi article.
Important Note: If you want to do Sherut Leumi, you must submit your exemption from the Rabbinate to your local drafting office more than 90 days before you potential draft date. If you don’t submit your exemption in time, the army will void your exemption and you will be drafted by the army.