Yeshiva atudents to save lives as military paramedics (archives)
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Students of the Meir Harel Hesder Yeshiva in the central city of Modiin are about to join the Israel Defense Forces as paramedics, in a unique program which will be longer than yeshiva students' regular military service.
So far, the 11-month paramedic course has not been offered to yeshiva students, whose total military service amounts to 16 months. As part of the new program, the Meir Harel students will serve an extra year, or total of 28 months.
The new program is intended for students who have volunteered in the Magen David Adom (MDA) emergency organization and is held in cooperation with the hesder yeshiva, MDA, the IDF Personnel Directorate and the Medical Corps.
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After their military service and during their yeshiva studies, students will have to report for an MDA shift once a week.
Reserve force of paramedics for MDA
The students will serve in the army and then return to the yeshiva and serve as a sort of reserve force for the IDF and MDA.
"There is a shortage of dozens of paramedics in the MDA and IDF," explains Eli Yaffe, MDA's volunteer activity coordinator. "Thanks to the student of this yeshiva, we will receive a significant addition which will be located in Modiin, ready to be called up to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv or Ben-Gurion Airport. It's an exceptional reserve force."
"A paramedic's job is saving lives. It's as simple as that," says Rabbi Colonel (Res.) Eliezer Chaim Shenwald, head of the Meir Harel Hesder Yeshiva. "The IDF is in critical need of dozens of paramedics in its combat and commando units, and the MDA is in need of dozens of paramedics for emergencies in the central district."
"So far, serving in the IDF as a paramedic was not possible for those who wished to combine their military service with hesder yeshiva studies. The program will help preserve the youth's professional knowledge and allow their integration into the MDA's rescue system after their military service," MDA Director-General Eli Bin says proudly.