Hesder soldiers
Hesder soldiersIsrael news photo: IDF

A group of religious Zionist rabbis and military men have formed a forum that is promoting the idea of establishing hesder yeshivas for hareidim. The forum's founders will meet Minister Moshe Yaalon Monday and discuss the idea.

Yaalon has been entrusted by the government with finding ways of enlisting more hareidim to military service or other forms of national service.

Besides establishment of hesder-type yeshivas, the forum is also advocating a renewed investment in the Nahal hareidi program.

Students in hesder ("arrangement") yeshivas have a shortened military service that is combined with Torah studies. A relatively large number of them opt for command positions in the IDF and become officers.

A prominent member of the group meeting Yaalon is Rav Elhanan Bin Nun, Rabbi of Shiloh and former head of the Beit Orot Hesder Yeshiva, who fought in the Yom Kippur War as a hesder student.

Another member is hareidi rabbi Rav Moshe Rosenfeld, who served in the same company as Rav Bin Nun. He is now a businessman and president of a Jerusalem yeshiva.

Both Rav Bin Nun  and Rav Rosenfeld served with Yaalon in the 50th Battalion.

Other participants are:

Maj. Dr. Shomo Kalish, a hareidi combat pilot who is also a businessman and manager of a capital fund.

Prof. Elisha Haas, a major in the reserves, who commanded an infantry company in the Yom Kippur War.

Lt. Col. Meir Indor, who fought in Yom Kippur on the Syrian front.

Lt. Col. M. B., a commander of an infantry battalion and director of a hesder yeshiva, who coordinated the meeting.