haredi soldiers
haredi soldiers Yaakov Nahumi/Flash 90

The IDF will open all positions to haredi solders for the first time, Israel Hayom reported Sunday morning.

As part of the new outline, it will be possible for haredi to postpone their conscription for the purpose of obtaining a high-school diploma, to take repeated tests to improve their results and to receive professional training after the service.

Every year, hundreds of soldiers who have graduated from haredi educational institutions join the IDF, and in order to allow them to continue to maintain their way of life, the directive has been to automatically assign them to units with a suitable character - combat units such as Netzah Yehuda, and rear units such as Shahrm which are more palatable to haredi sensibilities. However, in many cases soldiers who enlisted did not choose to join these units. Some aspired to serve in other units such as intelligence, and others did not want to be placed in a a strictly haredi setting.

One problem has been that haredi soldiers who have sought to enlist in other units often have low test scores due to not receiving a secular education or coming from a low socio-economic bakground, and this affected where they were placed in the army. Soldiers of high ability would be placed in relatively menial positions as a result.

In the past year, extensive staff work was carried out in the IDF Personnel Planning and Management Division to formulate a new policy for the recruitment haredi soldiers.

The IDF emphasized that the target audience that makes up this population is not only those who leave the haredi community, but also those who maintain a religious lifestyle and still choose to enlist in military service. The IDF will therefore allow haredi soldiers to defer their enlistment in order to complete their high school studies and retake tests to achieve a better score. New soldiers who arrived at recruitment centers will be accepted for a special screening, which will not necessarily take into account their socio-economic status and the fact that they have gaps in their core studies, but will examine their abilities through a one-on-one interview.