Female religious IDF inductees
Female religious IDF inductees Illustrative picture: Courtesy of 'Aluma'

The Supreme Court ruled that the Ministry of Education will now be required to finance informational and preparatory activity for the IDF within educational institutions for religious girls, just as it funds military preparatory activities for religious boys.

According to a report in the Yediot Aharonot, within the framework of these activities, female students will be provided with tools to cope with a diverse society and with the anticipated challenges to their religious identity within the military framework, in addition to guidance and meetings on the issue of ways of integrating girls into the IDF.

The newspaper also reported that the ruling was handed down by the High Court following a petition filed by attorney Amnon Lorch via attorneys Guy Forer and Debbie Shalit from Yigal Arnon’s office against the Ministries of Education, Defense, the Ministry for Social Equality and the IDF.

Judge Neal Hendel, the head of the group of ruling judges, was quoted in the newspaper: "We cannot close our eyes to the rise in the number of religious women serving in the IDF. If the state-religious education system believes that it is necessary to prepare the religious son for the challenges of service, why should the religious daughter's share be withheld? "

Justice Hendel did not ignore the halakhic objection of the Chief Rabbinate and most halakhic authorities to the recruitment of girls for the IDF, and stated that "The halakhic position regarding the service of women in the IDF is more complex and, just as there are rabbis who prohibited, so there are rabbis who permitted.”

Following the filing of the petition, the Ministry of Education published support criteria for military preparatory activities for female students in state-religious education.

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