As many as a thousand religious women convened in Tel Aviv’s Beit Ha-hayal to get information about their new military service options

Date: 03/11/2010, 10:52 AM     Author: Meital Sini, “Bamahane” magazine

For religious women, the days of IDF (Zahal) service in either a look-out position or as an infantry instructor are over. The IDF (Zahal)’s Manpower Directorate has recently introduced new positions for religious women intended for military service including those of Israeli Navy Control Supervisor and Cadet (or students in uniform) Commander in the Ordnance Corps. These new service options were presented to the women intended for service in an educational conference, held for the second time in Beit Ha-hayal in Tel Aviv, for students of public religious schools.

“The IDF (Zahal) will do everything in its power to guarantee a suitable and respectful environment for every male and female soldier,” said Women’s Affairs Advisor, Brig. Gen. Gila Califi-Amir, at the assembly, as she turned to the young women around her.

“Our goal is to provide for religious women who are uncertain about serving in the IDF (Zahal) and open up unique positions well suited for them,” added Head of the Religious Women Office in the Induction Center, Capt. Ravit Noy. “We want to raise awareness about the army’s efforts to consider them, wanting to give them the best and most meaningful service.”

As many as a thousand young women attended the conference this year – twice as many as last year. “We are very satisfied with the turnout,” said Head of the Planning Division and Personnel Manager in the Manpower Directorate, Brig. Gen. Amir Rogovsky.

“Our duty is to maintain the army’s high quality and bring the best people, through these types of days exactly. We are seeing great results and the real work will start soon with their sorting process,” said Capt. Noy.

The women in attendance showed great interest in the array of service opportunities presented to them. “We’re still debating between national service [a year of community service in Israel] or army service but this event was definitely informative and exposed us to options we couldn’t have learned about anywhere else,” said Sapir Maman and Shir Gerufi, who attended the event. “We want to know where we can serve while being religious and at this conference they’re offering a wide array of different, interesting options.”