The first ever group of Orthodox Jews was recruited into the Israel Air Force (IAF) last week as part of project "Blue Dawn", Yedioth Ahronoth reported Sunday.
In the framework of the project, 40 haredi men who had drooped out of their yeshiva studies, received training in areas such as aircraft maintenance, mechanics and the arming of fighter jets and helicopters. The recruits all have a low medical profile and cannot serve in combat positions.
The project was launched due to the depleted supply of human resources in the Air Force and in an attempt to provide Orthodox men with professional experience that would later help integrate them into the private market.
However, rabbis of the Netzah Yehuda organization, which founded the IDF's Nahal Haredi battalion, have expressed their objection to the project.
"We and our families paid a heavy personal price so that the Nahal Haredi would gain its legitimacy, and we were shocked to hear of another program for the recruitment of haredim that is famous for its permissiveness. This can hurt the Nahal Haredi."
The IAF rejected the claim, saying the program was set up in accordance with "all of the IDF Rabbinate's demands".