Tank soldier prays
Tank soldier praysIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Hesder yeshiva students on Sunday enlisted in a new program that puts them on the front lines for two years, instead of 16 months. 

The November draft, one of three during the year, also shows a general increase in motivation for the third straight year, according to IDF Personnel director Major General Avi Zamir. The new draft also adds a new enlistment office – the Internet. The next draft will take place in March.

A total of 74.2 percent of those enlisting in field units this November chose to be combat soldiers, a slight increase from the figures for the August draft and for that of November 2009. In November 2008, the rate was only 65.7 percent.

“The fact that we see for the third straight year an increase in motivation to serve in combat units is a badge of honor to Israeli youth,” the personnel director said. “The quality of the soldiers determines our ability to carry out missions and challenges “as an army of the people.’”

Every soldier can choose three units in which he wants to serve, and all of the soldiers were enlisted in one of their preferences, with nearly 75 percent receiving their first choice.

Besides the longer service for Hesder yeshiva students, who learn in yeshiva for three additional years, the new draft also adds a new draft office – the Internet. Soldiers can enlist on the web, choose which units they want to join and also can chat online with the recruitment officer.