Man, poster regarding gender separation.
Man, poster regarding gender separation. Israel news photo: Flash 90

The IDF has hired public relations professionals from the hareidi sector to assist it in marketing itself to hareidim.

According to Voice of Israel government-run radio, the IDF wants an advertising campaign to encourage hareidim to enlist to the IDF, and to inform them of the tracks available to hareidim within the IDF.

The Gal Oren PR firm has won the tender issued by the Government Press Office for this purpose and hareidi PR man Yaakov (Yanki) Bichler will be handling the marketing campaign vis-à-vis the IDF's Personnel Branch.

"The IDF cannot do marketing work within the hareidi public and therefore it needs the hareidi marketing experts," a military source said. This is especially true in the last few weeks, he said, when subjects related to recruitment of hareidim and the Tal Law were in the headlines."

The source said that the campaign will not be "advertising" military service, but rather "marketing" it.

Bichler's first action was a background briefing with representatives of the hareidi press, attended by Brig. Gen. Amir Rogovsky, Head of Personnel Department.

Regarding the alleged firing of IAF Chief Rabbi, Rav Moshe Ravad, he said that Rav Ravad "had neither resigned nor been fired. We do not have such concepts."

The rabbi "is accompanying the [Shachar] project, has been a trusted associate along the path and has accompanied us," Brig. Gen. Rogovsky explained. "Today there are 3,000 hareidi soldiers in the IDF. In Shachar alone, there are more than 1,800 hareidi soldiers."

Rogovsky said that the IDF is ready to take in hareidim. This means "Integrating hareidim, not changing hareidim," he stressed.

The IDF Spokesman's Unit said that "The IDF tries to reach every enlistee and understands that there is uniqueness in the hareidi sector. That is why Personnel Branch is being assisted by a specialized firm that advises it…"