Haredi integration ideas connect enlistment, money (JERUSALEM POST) By JEREMY SHARON 06/20/12)
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The Keshev Committee tasked with formulating a replacement for the
Tal Law was presented on Tuesday with a possible list of carrots and
sticks designed to ensure that targets for ultra-Orthodox enlistment
into the military and national service are met.
The Tal Law, which provided a legal framework for haredi men to
indefinitely defer military service, was ruled unconstitutional by
the High Court of Justice back in February and will expire on August
The model for financial incentives and penalties presented by a
representative of the Finance Ministry is based on the assumption
that there will be a quota for the number of “exceptional” yeshiva
students who can get an exemption from military and national service
programs through full time yeshiva study.
According to the model, anyone not receiving an exemption will be
required to perform some form of national service. If they refuse
then they will be subject financial penalties such as the
cancellation of housing benefits and municipal tax breaks which many
members of the haredi community receive.
The Finance Ministry is also proposing to change the method of
funding, so that yeshivas that encourage students to serve will
receive benefits where as yeshivas whose students do not serve will
lose state funds.
Personal fines may also be imposed, the size of which will be
determined by the amount of support the state provided to a yeshiva
on behalf of the student in question. According to the model, the
numbers of those serving and not serving will be examined at the
beginning of each yearly intake to military and national service.
If pre-arranged recruitment targets are met, then those remaining in
yeshiva will be included in the quota for those receiving exemptions
from national service.
If the recruitment quotas for a specific intake are not met, those
who were not granted an exemption will subject to the range of
In 2011, there were in total approximately 54,000 full-time yeshiva
students exempted from military service through the provisions of the
Tal Law. According to the Finance Ministry’s model, yeshiva students
will be able to defer their service until age 23, after which they
will have to serve.
Students will be provided with the opportunity to declare their
intention to serve before they that time, and will receive
significant incentives to do so. The choice of which form of service
to select will be taken at age 22 and service will begin at age 23.
The Finance Ministry also proposed the opening of new IDF and
civilian service tracks for the haredi sector, which would allow
recruits to maintain their lifestyle and strict observance of Jewish
law. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 06/20/12)
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