“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

More Than National Service: A Commitment to Giving Back

Sherut Leumi is a national service option for young adults, between the ages of 17-24, who choose not to serve in the IDF. Through the diverse placement options, participants in Sherut Leumi 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 exempt from my compulsory army service?

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 and hand it in. Handing in the Hatzharah only takes a few minutes, but receiving the Ptor from the Army can take up to three months.
  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 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.

For more information on Sherut Leumi, please contact us at [email protected]

* Last updated on June 5, 2024 *

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