Rabbi David Stav, spokesman for the Association of Hesder Yeshivas, says there has been a rise in the number of Hesder yeshiva students. According to Stav, the number of Hesder students has risen by 10% over last year and now numbers 1,400. Rabbi Stav says there has been a similar growth in the Haredi yeshivas in which students do not serve in the army.
The number of students in pre-army yeshivas who learn one year at yeshiva and serve three full years in the army has not grown at all. Many had anticipated a drop in the number of Hesder and pre-army yeshiva students with the increasing tendency by the political echelon to use the army to carry out actions against Jews.
Students in the Hesder program belong to the national religious community and participate in a five-year program which includes 3 ½ years in yeshiva and 1 ½ years in the army, usually in a combat unit.