Chareidi Army Draft Falls Short

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According to recent reports, Chareidi draft targets for the 2015 draft year ending in July fell 9% short, with only 2,475 chareidim drafted instead of 2,700. National service was even worse, with only 728 chareidim volunteering instead of a targeted figure of 1,800. Most army draftees joined special programs for married chareidim or for older conscripts in the 22 to 28 range.

The IDF said that although the shortfall was challenging, numbers of chareidi draftees were rising from year to year.

“Since 2007 the number of chareidim enlisting in the military has grown nine-fold,” a senior officer said. “Starting with the drafting of a few dozen chareidim, the numbers are now in the thousands. This is a rising trend, and it is the result of the spirit of Israeli society, and also of the good preparation by the army and the willingness to accept chareidim in the IDF.”

To increase recruitment, the National Service is considering raising financial incentives for chareidim and widening the age range of recruits from lower than it is at present up to 35.

Meanwhile, a survey (with a 4% error margin) taken among five hundred chareidim by Gesher, an organization founded to narrow the hostile gap between secular, religious and chareidi Jews in Israel, found that 71.9% of respondents of the survey felt no change in the chareidi public’s attitude towards IDF soldiers despite government efforts to forcibly recruit chareidim and despite efforts of the chardak campaign to defame chareidi recruits. 28.5% of the respondents even thought that the chareidi attitude towards soldiers has improved.

{Matzav.com Israel News Bureau}

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