IDF soldiers (illustration)
IDF soldiers (illustration) Flash 90

A new bill seeks to grant two academic credits to students who serve a minimum of ten days of reserve duty a year.

The bill, proposed by Kulanu's Meirav Ben-Ari and promoted by Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home), was drafted following a report by the Zionist organization Im Tirtzu, which revealed that the majority of institutions of higher learning opt not to provide students serving in active reserve duty with academic credits, despite being permitted to do so by law.

The report discovered that according to the Council for Higher Education, an institution that awards credits to social activity is permitted to do the same for reserve duty, but only 16 out of the 63 institutions for higher learning in Israel have opted to do so.

The report also called attention to the lack of uniformity among academic institutions in the amount of service that students are required to perform in order to receive credits.

For example, while the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya offers academic credits to students who serve 10 days throughout the year, Hadassah Academic College offers credits to students who serve 21 days throughout the year and Katzrin’s Ohalo College offers credits to students who serve a total of 70 days over a four-year period.

The bill will be brought to the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday and is expected to gain the approval of a majority of ministers.

"We are bringing justice to our reserve soldiers and recognizing their contribution to the State of Israel's security," said Bennett.

Im Tirtzu Chairman Matan Peleg welcomed the bill, which he said recognized the sacrifices university students undergo in order to do reserve duty. This is a great day for the spearhead of Israeli society: reservists," he said. "This bill is a necessary recognition of the hardships and sacrifices made by IDF reservists in order to protect the State of Israel and its citizens."