Rabbi Malinowitz: Dual Citizens, Maintain Your Ben Mehagrim Status!

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Matzav readers are all familiar with the fact that due to the recent Israeli Supreme Court ruling, learning in yeshiva will no longer grant bnei yeshiva an exemption from the army, as Matzav.com has reported extensively.

However, there is an important detail for dual citizens to make note of. Matzav.com spoke to Rabbi Nechemia Malinowitz of Eretz HaKodesh, who explained, as he details in the video below, that those who are citizens of a different country and also have Israeli citizenship – making them dual citizens – can still obtain a ben mehagrim status. A ben mehagrim – literally “the son of an Israeli citizen” who now lives abroad – is eligible for an army deferment of between one and four years in order to study in Israel.

As Rabbi Malinowitz explained, the aforementioned Supreme Court ruling does not affect those with a ben mehagrim status.

However, Rabbi Malinowitz points out that you must maintain your ben mehagrim statusyou’re your ben mehagrim status expires, it will be very difficult to transfer to a ben yeshiva status. Therefore, dual citizens are urged to maintain their status as bnei mehagrim.

[Note that in order to receive a draft deferment based on ben mehagrim status, one must be registered as an Israeli citizen and have a mispar zehut (Israeli ID number). Check with the Israeli parent or parents as to whether their teudat zehut has or had a sefach (addendum) with the child’s name and mispar zehut. If the ben mehagrim was never issued a mispar zehut, he will need to obtain one. To do so, the Israeli parent(s) must go down to the nearest Israeli consulate to have the child registered as an Israeli citizen. An appointment should be made in advance. The parent(s) should bring their Israeli identification documents, the child’s original birth certificate with an apostille, and his foreign passport.]

For more information, you can reach out to the Igud at 02-673-1149.


{Matzav.com Israel}


  1. If the bochur is living abroad, he can renounce his israeli citizenship and then he has no liability for army service.


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