Photo: Dudu Bachar
Nahal Haredi soldiers (archives)
Photo: Dudu Bachar

State Comptroller: Not enough haredim in IDF

2012 Report shows 60% increase in number of yeshiva students who dodge army draft; says authorities not meeting government goals for integration of haredim in labor force

The number of haredim drafted into the IDF is low, while the rate of those who are rejected or exempt is steadily increasing, State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss stated in his 2012 report, which was released on Tuesday.


The state comptroller determined that while the army was able to meet the government's enlistment demands, it was still not doing enough to recruit haredim.


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According to the report's findings, between 2003 and 2010 the number of potential recruits who were dismissed from army service after declaring that their main occupation is studying Torah (Torato Omanuto) climbed by 60%, from 39,000 to 63,000.


Lindenstrauss states in the report that the rate of non-recruitment leaped during these five years from 8.4% to 13% of potential recruits. However, the report notes that changes to the recruitment procedure, which were introduced in 2011, led to a one-time decline in the number of potential recruits exempt for religious reasons.


In 2010 and 2011, 13% and 16% of haredim enlisted in the IDF respectively. Last year, some 610 soldiers joined the Shahar project, which aims to integrate haredim into the military, bringing the total number of soldiers who served in the project to 1,700 since its inception in 2007. An additional 380 soldiers joined the Nahal Haredi in 2011, with a total of 1,600 soldiers serving in the battalion since 2007.


Not enough haredim in labor force

The State Comptroller Report also examined the integration of haredim into the labor force, which Lindenstruss called "a national socioeconomic mission of utmost importance."


A review conducted by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, which oversees the implementation of government policies in the matter, found that a much higher number of haredi females were participating in the initiative, compared to haredi males.


"The authorities will doubtfully meet the government goals for 2020 of 63% employment among haredi males between the ages of 25 and 64," stated Lindenstrauss.


The state comptroller called on the government to reevaluate the policies and their effectiveness, adding that the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor must show greater involvement in the process.


"The ministry should regulate the contact between employers and haredim who are seeking work, and draw employers' attention to governmental incentives," he noted.


The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor issued a response stating it has invested some NIS 100 million in 2011 for the promotion of the haredi sector, and will study the report in order to implement its conclusions.




פרסום ראשון: 05.03.12, 07:38
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