Sheirut Leumi officials are working to prepare the system for an influx of chareidim. Minister Rabbi Dr. Daniel Hershkowitz has submitted a plan devised to accommodate the influx of chareidim into the national service. The plan was presented to the cabinet at a recent government meeting.
The plan was formulated in response to a ruling of the High Court of Justice abolishing the Tal Law, which grants draft deferments to members of the chareidi community who declare the study of torah as their profession. The plan is based on a 24-month national service in please of the current one-year plan. Married chareidim will serve for 18 months instead of 12 months.
It was also decided to lower the age threshold for the civil service recruits for married people to age 20, providing training towards integrating them for emergency situations and to bring the graduates of the program into civil serve via the IDF Homefront Command’s reserve duty network.
The minister is also taking steps which he hopes will encourage chareidim to come on board, incentives as he puts it, including a higher monthly wage than exists today for national service, free transportation as IDF soldiers receive, and placing those who complete the service on the “preferred” list for and employment subsidy as is the case with IDF veterans.
The government plan also addresses vocational training to assist veterans of the national service settle in the workplace, promising them a preferential job placement status over chareidim who do not join the program. This means the government will subsidize the potential employee’s salary, providing an incentive for an employer to hire him over another equally trained candidate for a job.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)