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Religious Police Academy Moving Forward

Israel's first religious police academy, geared to the religious-Zionist sector, is close to opening its doors.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 5/8/2011, 9:33 PM / Last Update: 5/9/2011, 12:13 AM

Israel's first religious police academy is close to opening its doors, with administrators in the process of selecting the first group of students. The academy aims to draw young people from the religious-Zionist sector who have completed their army service.

The program at the academy will last for one year and four months, with students alternately learning Torah and taking courses to prepare for their jobs with the police.

Like the “hesder” and “shesder” programs for IDF soldiers, the new police program will guarantee that enlistees' environment is at least somewhat religiously friendly, by keeping small groups of students together during their time on the job.

Director Yechiel Kafah said, “Members of the religious-Zionist sector have taken a leading role in the army, in the justice system, in science, in education, but it seems that in one field there are still few kippah wearers, and we are here to change that.”

“Our goal is to develop a generation of religious police officers, in a variety of positions, who in the future will be the spearhead of the police force,” he added.

The idea of a “hesder” for the police force was the brainchild of Nachi Eyal, chairman of the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel. His son, Yechiam Eyal, was seriously injured by police during the violent evacuation of Amona in early 2006.

After being angry with the police for a long time, “I saw that I actually accomplished relatively little in terms of making a real difference. I realized that I had to work differently in order to make a real change,” Eyal explained in an interview with Israel National News in March. “This is the only way to effect a change, though it might take a long time.”