Three Ukrainian brothers make Aliyah, join Haredi IDF battalion

Yehoshafat, David and Yosef Goldstein enlisted in the IDF, and found themselves contributing to the country through the Netzah Yehuda Battalion; 'We had the privilege of enlisting in the IDF with pride as Torah-observant Jews'

The three Goldstein brothers immigrated to Israel from Ukraine, joined the IDF and share a deep love for Israel, contributing to the country through their service in the ultra-Orthodox Netzah Yehuda Battalion in the Kfir Brigade. In 2014, when tensions escalated around the Crimean Peninsula, the eldest sibling, Yehoshafat, made the decision to immigrate from Ukraine to Israel.
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Yehoshafat recounts that at the age of 16, he arrived at a Chabad center in Kherson, where he delved deeply into Judaism. Subsequently, he continued his studies at the Karlin Yeshiva in Ukraine, all the while influencing his family to draw closer to Judaism. At the age of 22, he enlisted in the IDF within the framework of a unit that integrates Haredim into the IDF in the technology and logistics corps and later served as a military escort driver in the Netzah Yehuda Battalion.
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האחים לבית גולדשטיין במדים
האחים לבית גולדשטיין במדים
The Goldstein brothers in IDF uniform
(Photo: Courtesy of the family)
Yehoshafat's brother, David Aharon, also enlisted in the ultra-Orthodox battalion. David arrived in Israel in 2016, following in his brother's footsteps through the "Masa Israel Journey" organization. He served for two years as a combat support soldier and was cited for outstanding performance. After two years of service, he embarked on a study program in software engineering.
Yosef, the youngest at 20, immigrated to Israel with his family in 2018. He enlisted in November 2022 and currently serves as an operational driver in the battalion. Last Saturday, the three brothers gathered at Yehoshafat's, who is currently on reserve duty, capturing the moment when three Haredi brothers wearing IDF uniforms together.
"As a child in Ukraine, I endured antisemitic bullying at school, to the point where I would sometimes stay home and only attend exams. They called me a 'Zhīd'," Yehoshafat recounts. "I always felt like a stranger in the country where I was born. My biggest dream was to come to Israel, and thankfully, our entire family had the privilege of making Aliyah to Israel and enlisting in the IDF with pride as Torah-observant Jews. Here, we know that this is our true home, where we can walk freely and defend ourselves."
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פעילות לוחמי צה"ל מגדוד נצח יהודה בראמללה
פעילות לוחמי צה"ל מגדוד נצח יהודה בראמללה
Netzah Yehuda troops standing guard near Ramallah
Regarding his service in Netzah Yehuda, he says, "The army builds the individual, and for those who claim that the army turns Haredi guys into secular ones, I say: If you come strong, there's no reason to change in the army. I've seen many Haredi guys around me who enlisted and even became more religious. It all depends on how you approach it. In the future, I expect to see a much more extensive integration of Haredim in the army."
Yossi Levy, CEO of the Netzah Yehuda Association, says, "The Haredi Netzah Yehuda Battalion has been operating for about 25 years, and within this framework, over 10,000 Haredi individuals have enlisted in the IDF while preserving their Haredi way of life, integrating into the security forces, and making a significant contribution to the country's security. The Goldstein brothers are proof that this integration works excellently, as they chose to enlist and serve in the same battalion."
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