There is a possibility to get an exemption from serving in the IDF on religious grounds.  One can start the process of getting a Ptor (exemption – פטור) before or after receiving their Tzav Rishon (first notice – צו ראשון).

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

  1. Go to the Rabbanut. For a listing of Rabbanut offices throughout the country, click here. There is a 45 NIS processing fee (the Rabbanut does not accept cash, only Israeli credit/debit cards). While the Rabbanut offices open at 8:30am, you may not be seen until after 9.
  2. State to the Rabbanut 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 Hatzharah (declaration) without further questioning.
  3. Once you have the Hatzharah you have to take it to the Lishkat Hagiyus (IDF Recruitement Center) and hand it in. Handing in the Hatzharah only takes a few minutes, but receiving the Ptor from the Army can take around two months.
    For Lone Benot Sherut who will be arriving in Israel close to the start date of their service: there is an expedited process which should take one week from the time the Hatzharah is handed into the Lishkat Hagiyus. See the process for Lone Benot Sherut below.
  4. When you receive your Ptor in the mail, make sure you hold on to it since without it you will not be able to do Sherut Leumi. (If you lose it you can call up Lishkat Hagiyus and they will send you another one.)

Please be aware that the army has gotten stricter about accepting religious girls’ Ptor from the Rabbanut. The army has the right to question whether somebody is living a religious lifestyle or not and they have the final decision of whether or not to draft someone into the IDF. The army can invite anyone for an interview and has the legal right not to accept the letter from the Rabbanut.

If you haven’t received your Ptor before the date of your Tzav Rishon, you must go to Lishkat Hagiyus on the assigned day. You must follow the instructions of the army until you receive your Ptor.

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

Expedited Process Lone Benot Sherut:  for Olot to get the Ptor, as of July 2020:

  1. After Aliyah, as soon as you have your temporary Teudat Zehut, go to the Rabbanut to declare that you are religious, and that you are asking for exemption from army service because of religious reasons (הצהרה), as per step 1 instructions above.
  2. Once you have your declaration הצהרה from the Rabbanut, go to the Lishkat Giyus (IDF Recruitment Center). The branch you go to is based on the official address you have on your Teudat Zehut.

You will need to bring your Teudat Zehut,  and to hand in the declaration you got from the Rabbanut. Since you are an Olah Chadasha, the army should process the Ptor within a week. After you hand in the documents, you should be able to come back after a week to pick it up. Please don’t leave the Lishkat Hagiyus before you verify this with them!

  1. If you are facing difficulties at the Lishkat Hagiyus, please contact the Sherut Leumi Authority while you are there at this number – 02-5411519 (in Hebrew). Tell them that you are an Olah and that you are currently at the Lishkat Hagiyus. They will know to help you.

If they don’t respond, please contact NBN Answers at *3680.

For more information on Sherut Leumi, please contact us at: sherutleumi@nbn.org.il

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