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Jerusalem - New IDF Initiative Allows Haredis To Enlist, Serve, And Learn Trade While Maintaining Ultra-Orthodox Lifestyle

Published on: December 28, 2015 01:12 PM
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FILE - Soldiers from the Kfir Brigade were recently sworn into the IDF at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. (IDF)FILE - Soldiers from the Kfir Brigade were recently sworn into the IDF at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. (IDF)

Jerusalem - A fledgling IDF initiative called “Olive Saplings” now allows Haredi soldiers in the northern part of Israel to enlist, serve, and learn a trade adaptable to the secular world while still maintaining their ultra-Orthodox lifestyle.

In a press release issued by the IDF (http://bit.ly/1MDhCWW) they report that the “Olive Saplings” program is now offering northern Israeli Haredis positions in Home Front Command at a base located just outside of Safed after the initiative’s pilot program—-which included a few dozen Haerdis—-was deemed highly successful.

Major David Feig, Chief Rabbi of the IDF in the Galilee, praised the program and said it essentially offers Haredis “a twofer” in that it allows them to serve their country while maintaining their lifestyle and acquiring a skill set that will increase their employment opportunities upon completion of services.

“The soldiers will receive a Haredi support system, together with a job, and an opportunity to build experience that will help them in their future as civilians,” Feig said. “This project will give an answer to the prevalent need that occurs in every Haredi neighborhood in the north, and will allow for a large influx of much needed manpower into the military.” 

According to a rep from the IDF’s Spokesperson Unit, the program—-which is expected to include 5-times as many recruits this time—-is seeking to attach Haredis to IDF’s Mechanics, Logistics, and Technological Corps.

According to Captain David Page of Multi Galilee Division, recruits will go through basic training and then attend qualifying training courses at Training Base 20, after which they will be placed in roles that will ultimately qualify them in professions like electricians, mechanics, NCO inventory management, drivers, non-commissioned logistics and administrative fields.

“We took steps during the pilot program to address any anxiousness and concerns and these roles will be a good springboard to the civilian labor market,” Page said. “This is a significant step towards integrating the Haredis into Israeli society.

Corporal “M,” a 27 year-old father of two who completed the pilot program, said, “I recently completed my program in an exceptional manner and from my personal experience the IDF is prepared to absorb the ultra-Orthodox.”

Lieutenant Colonel Tzachi Revivo, an Adjutant officer also affiliated with the program, said, “Our doubts evaporated and what was left was pride and hope. As long as the Haredi are motivated to join us, we will not give up on anyone.”


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Read Comments (10)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Dec 28, 2015 at 01:29 PM albroker Says:

why would any religous Jew join an army that tortures other Jews, gives back the bodies of terrorists while its own soldiers bodies are held as ransom, imports thousasnds of non-jews into the country and the most popular baby name is Mohamed? There is time to do teshuva. I daven for the soldiers safety every day and for them to leave this army.

2

 Dec 28, 2015 at 01:40 PM Maven Says:

What a Chilul Hashem! to see frum looking Jews fighting in an army which is based against Hashgacha Pratis

Now it is even more important for worldwide Torah observant Jews to inform the non-Jewish world that Zionism is a contradiction to Judaism. Jews to have their own state before the coming of Moshicah is against the will of Hashem.

We say in our Tefilous "Umipnai Chatoainu Galinu M'artzenu" "Because of our sins were we exiled from our land. Meaning,we are not in exile becuase we LOST A WAR.No,Eretz Yisroel was given to us ONLY with conditions. We didn't obey it,the almighty sent us into exile and in exile we must stay under the rules and mercy of the nations of the world.

I know the truth hurts but its a fact.

The great Tzadik the Chofetz Chaim who was THE Shulchan Orech on Lashan Hora said:Zionists are Amalekites.

3

 Dec 28, 2015 at 01:44 PM The_Truth Says:

How will this be different to Nachal Chareidi or other similar units? Other than the civilain job at the end, the issues as i understand it were serving in the army was not conducive to being "a good jewish boy".
I hope this unit succeeds and everyone agrees on this "middle ground".

4

 Dec 28, 2015 at 02:55 PM Adopt A Job Says:

Watch all the angry commentators argue how its trief. Those tzionim are just out to get us. Its gezaras shamd. Oh they don't want us to work. They discriminate against charedim. Well its time to put a stop to these bogus excuses. The honest truth is that the rabbonim resent "work". They want their guys to just stay in yeshiva. I will give them the benfit of the doubt that its not just a control issue. Rather its a .misconceived notion that anything secular is trief. They would oppose working n a secular tel Aviv office as we do here in NYC. And thats wrong. We are suppose to work the land yet remain frum. Furthermore you are forcing your people into a society life of poverty.
Do you guys know that under the new evil shriklicah law passed under Lapid anyone over 24 at the time the law was passed can work with no army serivce. Thats right zero. You will still have to be makir the treifa medina by getting a puter. But then you are good to go. So why are "we adopting kollels"? Why not jobs? Yes torah is our life but not when it enforces poverty on the masses. The answer is "work" is a curse word.

5

 Dec 28, 2015 at 05:07 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Maven Says:

What a Chilul Hashem! to see frum looking Jews fighting in an army which is based against Hashgacha Pratis

Now it is even more important for worldwide Torah observant Jews to inform the non-Jewish world that Zionism is a contradiction to Judaism. Jews to have their own state before the coming of Moshicah is against the will of Hashem.

We say in our Tefilous "Umipnai Chatoainu Galinu M'artzenu" "Because of our sins were we exiled from our land. Meaning,we are not in exile becuase we LOST A WAR.No,Eretz Yisroel was given to us ONLY with conditions. We didn't obey it,the almighty sent us into exile and in exile we must stay under the rules and mercy of the nations of the world.

I know the truth hurts but its a fact.

The great Tzadik the Chofetz Chaim who was THE Shulchan Orech on Lashan Hora said:Zionists are Amalekites.

"Zionists are Amalekites?"

Can you please supply the exact מקור where the חפץ חיים, the מחבר of שמירת הלשון, made that statement?

6

 Dec 28, 2015 at 08:01 PM Anonymous Says:

@Maven

Sure! That's what I thought. The חפץ חיים never said that Zionists are Amalekites. That's just something you made up, isn't it? You should be ashamed of yourself misquoting גדולי ישראל the way you do. There is no מקור for this statement, and you are a מחוצף for having stated it.

7

 Dec 28, 2015 at 08:25 PM Anonymous Says:

If the trainees can truly maintain their charedi lifestyle, that would be great. How long before the barber accidentally shaves someone's peyos or the soldiers are forced to listen to kol isha? It's very convenient to tar the chareidim as shirking their responsibility but you have to admit that the army has done plenty to alienate frum boys who want to serve.

8

 Dec 28, 2015 at 08:38 PM LionofZion Says:

#5, If course he can't because the Chofetz Chaim never said it. But come on, do you think #2 follows the Chofetz Chaim anyway? He pulls whatever book and quote off the shelf to make his case against Israel and Zionism, the truth and the Torah don't matter. What is hilarious is that he invokes Hashgacha Protius. Hashem has made it incredibly clear whose side He is on as Israel continues to achieve greatness in the face of great odds.
In the end it doesn't matter what a couple of fools on the VIN website write. Israel = Jews. Frum Jews are taking on all kinds of leadership positions and the country continues to be more and more Jewish.

9

 Dec 28, 2015 at 09:56 PM Heeb Says:

To all the brilliant naysayers, next time חלילה there's an attack, and a soldier comes to save your petunias, u should shun him, as he isn't frum, and u dont want to have anything to do with that abomination.

10

 Dec 29, 2015 at 12:01 PM Adopt A Job Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

If the trainees can truly maintain their charedi lifestyle, that would be great. How long before the barber accidentally shaves someone's peyos or the soldiers are forced to listen to kol isha? It's very convenient to tar the chareidim as shirking their responsibility but you have to admit that the army has done plenty to alienate frum boys who want to serve.

Please stop with this nonsense nonintellectual blable. Don't pick on a few rotten apples to distrot the truth. The israeli army is not out there to shamd or force anyone to sit thru kol isha. Yes there will always be stories in a multi cultural divided society But generally that is not the case. And niether do "barbers accidentally shave off peyos". Unfortuantley often only the charedim less serious about religon go to the army due to charedi bullying. So naturally, more will return with cut off peyos. But it started before they went to the army. And if charedim would be more tolerant it would stop.

11

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