Reuven Pinsky, executive director of the National Service Authority, was a guest in Arutz Sheva’s studio in Jerusalem.

“National Service is a special program for young people who did not go the army because they were denied by the army, or they weren’t called by the army or they’re Orthodox and don’t join the army. They can do National Service in different fields. It can be in education, it can be in the health sector, hospitals, in all the governmental entities. They give one or two years of their lives to the people of Israel, to the State of Israel. It’s fully volunteering, [though] there are some benefits they get from the state, but this is an amazing thing that has existed in Israel for 50 years,” said Pinsky.

He pointed out that, while National Service started out as something mainly for girls, it has expanded to include people from all the sectors in Israel, including haredim and Arabs.

“We have Arabs, Druze, Christians, haredim. The biggest group is still the Orthodox young women, but we really have from Metula to Eilat, wherever you see someone with a need, you’ll see someone volunteering from the National Service and giving him the support he needs.”

One of the newer features of National Service is the ability to do it abroad in the second year of the program.

“In the past few years, we have really understood that the connection of the Israeli people and the Diaspora is so important. We send every year 120 young girls abroad where they teach Hebrew, carry out educational activities, and encourage Aliyah. We want to double that number,” said Pinsky.

“We’re also starting a new project in which young people from the Diaspora, even if they didn’t make Aliyah yet, can come and do National Service here and go back home and say: ‘I did National Service in Israel’. The same way people come to serve in the army, whoever wants to come to National Service from the Diaspora [will be able to do so]. You can only imagine someone coming back after he gave a year of his life here, in a hospital, in agriculture, in education, going back to his community and saying, ‘I’m a proud Jew. I have a very good connection with Israel.’”