To every soldier in the army, there are many people they can turn to, but within a certain order and manner. For most to all things, the soldier should turn to her personal commander. When it comes to religion, halacha, or kashrut, the soldier can turn to the unit’s rabbi or to the Rabbinate of the IDF. For specific issues dealing with women doctors, rights, and obligations, the soldier should turn to the “Yohalan Unit” (Advisory board dealing with female matters)
Kashrut in the IDF is kept very strictly. The responsibility in every unit is that of the unit’s rabbi as well as a kashrut supervisor who passed a special training to receive this job.
Observing the Shabbat and the Mitzvot in the IDF is carried out on every base in every unit. However, jobs and places which require work on Shabbat are those which are “operational;” in short, if it deals with national security (such as observers or someone in charge of the war operation room), then it is allowed and required as work on Shabbat. Throughout Shabbat, one is not required to do anything that doesn’t observe Shabbat if it is not connected to one’s job.
100%. In the IDF in all sleeping rooms, bathrooms, and showers, according to law women and men are separated from one another. In addition, it is set up that there are no ways to observe into the living quarters and the opposite sex is not allowed to enter into the other sex’s living quarters.
In most jobs in the IDF, they train and place men and women in equal positions. However, according to IDF law, each religious soldier has the opportunity to request training within a framework of single gender. This law applies to basic courses and commander courses.
Every meal served in the IDF, according to IDF law, on every base is kosher and passes under the supervision of the Rabbinical Authority, each unit’s rabbi, and a kashrut supervisor. However, if a soldier is interested in receiving meals that are “Kosher LeMehadrin” to her on the base, she can request from her commander and the unit’s rabbi and the meal will arrive within a specified time frame.
Of course, every female soldier is allowed to choose on her draft day between either a pair of pants or a skirt for the maday alef (the uniform for outside of the base/non-working uniform). In addition, a female has the chance to receive more skirts from her local base.
You are giving an “acclamation year” by the Army once you make Aliyah. The army wants you to use this year to learn Hebrew and get used to living in Israel. If you are joining Garin Tzabar or Machal, you are only given a few months before you start the Army once you arrive in Israel. If you would like to join the Army before your “acclamation year” is up, you will first need to request a Tzav Rishon (first call up).
Yes it can. There are many opportunities to use your degree in the Army. For more info, please see Using Your Degree.
Yes and no. There are plenty of positions in the army that assist combat units, like a nashak(weapons mechanic) or nahagim (drivers), which are not consideredlochem (fighting) positions. Outside of these jobs and other similar positions, there are no combat units that wouldn’t be put on the front lines in the event of a war. There are however combat units that one could consider “less” dangerous, liketotchanim (artillery), because of their actual job in combat. For more information on this and/or similar questions, please read our page on combat units descriptions.
There are special intelligence units that utilize language skills, but these are not units that you can “ask” for in the traditional sense. More often than not, many of these units will find you after you have completed tzav rishon and bring you in for an interview if they think you are a capable candidate.
There are also jobs inside of Kishrei Chutz where speaking another foreign language may have its advantages.
Contact your local shaliach about living in a Kibbutz; he/she should be able to set you up.
a. Firstly, you need to decide where you want to live. If you want to live in a city, then check out the following websites. If you are interested in living in a Kibbutz, proceed below for further information.
b. Before you arrive in Israel, try checking out yad2.co.il or homeless.co.il. Both of these are excellent websites (in Hebrew) that may help you find a great place at a reasonable price anywhere in Israel.
c. You may also want to check out Craigslist.com, but these tend to be very expensive and for seasonal travelers.
Depending on where you live, you can usually find Hebrew classes either offered at the local community college or University. Also, try speaking with your synagogue and/or Jewish leaders in your community about tutoring. They may be able to recommend someone to you or at least point you in the right direction.
No. The IDF trains and functions only in Hebrew.
However, there are non-combat positions that communicate and interact with foreign governments and diplomats in English, but generally speaking, you need to speak Hebrew to be placed in these positions.
No, the IDF will enlist you and all new recruits are required to go through basic training like every other soldier.
No! Although it is recommended to do a little physical training before the army to make your transition that much easier.
Yes, but it is up to the army to decide. It may or may not affect your profile. For those with very bad eye vision, you may not be able to serve in an infantry unit, but units such as the tanks and artillery are still available.
- Teudat zehut (ID card) or Israeli passport, Israeli drivers license
- Notice of your obligation to serve (if you have one)
- If you have learning disabilities, bring with you the proper documentation to prove so
- Bring your health questionnaire with you that you received at home (if you got one)
- Medical insurance details
- Foreign passport (if you have one)
- Teudat Oleh
- High school or college diplomas
Generally, you can go abroad as long as you are back 3 days prior to your draft date.
If you are in the process of getting an army job, you may need permission to travel abroad.
Not true! Each case is different and individual.
Of course not! An exemption can be overturned if you are motivated and wish to serve.
Women are considered just as valuable as men, and have the same job opportunities, except for combat units, in which different opportunities exist.
In order to determine how long you need to serve, you will first need to determine your date of arrival, as the Army sets how long you need to serve based on your arrival date, and not on your Aliyah date. This may be confusing, so we explain exactly how to determine your arrival date vs. your aliyah date.
Yes, you can volunteer either by making Aliyah and declaring citizenship or volunteering as a foreign volunteer through Mahal.