FAQs

Those who volunteer can drop out of the army until his “chiyul” – induction day. It’s obviously best not to leave it until the last minute. For a regular machal applicant, the chiyul date is the same as the beginning of his service.  For a Hesder applicant (machal Hesder), the “chiyul” date takes place two months before the actual service (giyus). Nonetheless, chiyul is his cut-off date for dropping out.

An Israeli citizen who is obligated to do army service cannot drop out.

Press the link HERE to see the chart explaining all the different lengths of army service. https://www.nbn.org.il/aliyahpedia/army-national-service/pre-draft/army-service-length-of-service-for-men-and-women/

Part of the process of joining the army includes filling out a medical form that asks for the applicant’s entire medical history. There are surgeries and procedures from the past that can certainly play a role in receiving a lowered profile. The profile determines the applicant’s ability to serve as a combat soldier or a non-combat position. There are many medical histories that have little to no impact on the applicant’s profile.

It depends on the specific medication being taken. For example, ADD and ADHD medication does not disqualify applicants from combat units. We strongly urge everyone to be fully honest with their full medical history to the army from the outset, including psychological and psychiatric care.  Once the medical form is filled out properly and completely, we can ascertain the implications prior to the applicant’s draft (chiyul).

Allergies do indeed impact your profile. It does depend on the type of allergy though, if it’s seasonal or a constant, and if it’s life-threatening and/or debilitating or not. Any applicant who needs to regularly carry an epi-pen will receive a non-combat profile because the alternative is too dangerous. Imagine being in the middle of a sensitive mission and having a serious allergic reaction in the middle. For the army, it’s not worth the risk.

An Israeli citizen with an Israeli passport or teudat zehut might be obligated to full service and might be eligible for joining machal which is a shortened service fit for volunteers only. To be eligible for machal: (1) you could not have been in Israel more than 120 days from 10 years old and on. (2) you have not been in Israel for more than 180 days over the past 5 years.

One of the first exams you go through in joining the army is a Hebrew exam. If you do not pass, the army will place you in a 3 month ulpan course, called Michve Alon, which counts towards your army service. After Michve Alon, the army will place you in a regular army unit. Once in regular service, olim can request to take a further ulpan break from the army to strengthen their Hebrew.

No! We can only work with students who have their parents’ blessings to proceed. However, we are more than happy to discuss the process and details involved.

Lone Soldiers receive additional monies beyond the regular soldier salary. The exact salary of a soldier depends on his training, certification, and status in the army (combat or non-combat). The average salary for a non-citizen lone soldier ranges from 1350 – 2587 sh. In the event that you rent an apartment for living quarters during your service, the army will pay up to 1300 sh towards the rent. They must see the contract for them to determine how much exactly they will pay.  An Oleh Chadash (a new immigrant) who serves as a lone soldier receives an additional 942 sh per month towards his salary, and also receives a monthly stipend of 150 sh for spending in any store within the Supersol Network. The Supersol money does not roll over from month to month.

If you already hold a university degree, you can try to be accepted to the military’s academic departments. You should contact Nefesh b’Nefesh to discuss the possibilities of working in your field of expertise. If you wish to get a degree through the army and then serve in that field, you should contact the Atudim advisement department in Nefesh b’Nefesh.

For Intelligence, the Navy, and Media you need special security clearance that minimally requires Israeli citizenship for a year and sometimes two.

The Charedi Units are comprised of boys from charedi families who chose to join the IDF, lone soldiers who chose to join nachal charedi specifically, and older boys from yeshivot gevohot (higher level learning). The bases for Nachal Charedi are removed from all the other army bases in the country. Girls are not present on the base and, as such, are not the ones leading any of the army training as happens in other units. All the food is mehadrin. Keep in mind, however, that not all nachal charedi soldiers identify themselves as charedi. Many of them are rendered “lone soldiers” because they are not welcome in their homes.

The Hesder program combines learning and army service. Learning takes place both before and after one’s service. For Machal Hesder there is a 21 month requirement, comprised of 2 months of learning prior to a 17 month draft, and followed by an additional 2 months of learning in the yeshiva. During the months the student is learning he does not receive an army salary but does benefit from free transportation. The Hesder boy serves in units that are comprised of other hesder boys, yeshiva students who usually personify high motivation for army service and serious commitment to Torah and mitzvoth.  In the event that a boy serving within the Machal Hesder program makes Aliyah during his service, he will need to add one additional year of learning in yeshiva after completing his 17 months of service, and extended army service will not be demanded.

Theoretically a soldier should not have any expenses during his service other than personal indulgent spending by choice. During holiday seasons, the army provides lone soldiers with additional stipends, beyond the monthly 150 sh. However, when soldiers opt to live independently, it is possible that they will need to buy many appliances and furniture as well as pay the many bills and food associated with living on one’s own.

In Lev LaChayal, all house needs, including food and toiletries, bills, rent, and taxes, are all paid for by the organization. As such, our soldiers can put away their entire salary and use it as seed money when starting their lives after the army.

Outside of Lev LaChayal, very few options exist for the time spent in Israel prior to the draft. It is recommended by the army to be in Israel as of 2.5 months before a draft in order to ensure successful inclusion in the machal (volunteer brigades). Yet, none of the infrastructures open their homes for volunteers until a couple of weeks before the draft. Everyone is expected to figure out his own room and board, friendships in a foreign country, Shabbatot and Yom Tov arrangements on his own.

Lev LaChayal offers a full training and learning program from September to March and January to August. This provides both incredible guidance and preparation time as well as a fully supportive home base for the time until the draft.

Here are a few options:

(1)     On weekends and holidays, soldiers are eligible to stay at one of the Beit Hachayal hostels, which are run by Aguda Lema’an Hachayal. Lone Soldiers may stay at the Beit Hachayal for free. To be eligible, you must present an Ishur Boded and army ID at the Beit Hachayal. Be in touch with the Beit Hachayal in advance by phone to coordinate the time of your arrival. Spots can be reserved at the Beit Hachayal through the Mashakit Tash as well. Beit HaChayal accommodations are open 24 hours a day and can be used as necessary, even without prior coordination.

(2)     There are also numerous homes for lone soldiers all around the country, run by various organizations. They become your home base during your service. Examples – Bayit shel Benji in Ra’anana and Garin Tzabar.

(3)      Lev LaChayal offers a home before one’s service for a yeshiva based pre-draft training program as well as a home base during one’s service. All the expenses during the army service are free for the soldiers. This includes homes fully taken care of: rented, cleaned, maintained, and regularly stocked with food. For Shabbatot and Chagim, our soldiers eat by their Rabbis and the many supportive families in the community of Ramat Shilo. Additionally, we provide rides to the train on Sunday, Thursday and Friday.

Until 23 years old you can join Machal, the army’s volunteer program. Afterwards, Machal is no longer available but other options through the regular army are available, if accepted. The table below shows the ages and respective lengths of army service, whether in machal or not machal.

Machal is a special volunteer option which enables a non-Israeli citizen to serve in the IDF for 18 months. Machal Hesder is an option as well. It is a commitment of 21 months, comprised of 2 months of learning in yeshiva, 17 months of army service, and 2 months of learning again afterwards. If one makes Aliyah after his becomes an official soldier (chiyul), then he needs to learn an additional 12 months in yeshiva, making it a total obligation of 33 months.

Someone who makes Aliyah cannot do machal and someone who is above 23 years of age cannot do machal. If you make Aliyah when you are married with a child OR are older than 21 years old then you are not obligated to do the army at all.  However, you can still volunteer for the army. So, while you are no longer obligated to the army, you can still volunteer – in the regular army until 28 years old and in machal until 23.

 

Age of Aliyah 18-19 20 21 22- 27 Exempt But Eligible for Volunteer Service 28    Exempt And Not Eligible for Army Service
Single Male 32 months 24 months 24 months Non-Combat: 18 months  Combat: 24 months n/a
Married Male without a child 24 months 18 months 18 months
Married with a child Can volunteer: minimum of 24 months Can volunteer: minimum of 18 months Can volunteer: minimum of 18 months