JISS - The Jerusalem Institute for Stategic Studies

The momentum of recent years must be capitalized upon to better integrate Haredim into the work force and institutions of higher education. If we track positive trends, and guide them out of real adherence to the values of democracy alongside genuine respect for Haredi ideology, we can prepare Israeli society, the state, and its institutions for true and full integration of the Haredi community, including army service. The IDF must identify those sectors within Haredi society with which there is a better chance of building trust and absorbing its youth.

A few months ago, an incident in which a Haredi soldier was attacked in Beit Shemesh was discussed on one of the current events programs on the radio. An interview was conducted, which began with a discussion of the attack, the attackers, and the victim, but quickly switched to a conversation about Haredi service in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

After hearing about the progress on this issue, the interviewee was asked whether he believed that “after the Haredim have made progress on the issue of serving in the IDF, they will make another step forward and connect to Israeli culture and values” [emphasis added]. The interviewer’s question displayed yet another example of how the Israeli majority relates to the Haredi sector.

The fundamental assumption in Israeli society, the media, and many of the state institutions  is that the Haredim lag behind in terms of culture and values, and that their integration into Israeli society will bring them out of their current “darkness” into the “light” of the dominant Western liberal culture. This patronizing and elitist approach, which often hides behind false civility and political correctness, endangers the crucial process of the Haredi sector’s inclusion in the IDF, in Israeli society, and eventually, the country’s leadership echelons.

This process is essential for two main reasons, one of them ethical and the other demographic and functional. From an ethical perspective, it is important that all sectors of the Israeli population share in the privilege and dutyto protect the nation and the country from its enemies.

From a demographic point of view, the Haredi sector’s rate of natural increase is significantly higher than that of other groups. Military service by Haredim will soon be a critical element in maintaining draft cohorts large enough to satisfy the IDF’s need, and that their increased entry into the labor force is critical to the future growth of the Israeli economy.

In the coming decades, the Haredi sector will constitute about a third of the Jewish population of Israel. In order for the country to be ready for this situation, we must begin work today on making the necessary changes in the Haredi sector’s attitude towards the state and its institutions and devising tools for its integration into a modern economy and as leaders of the country’s governing institutions.

In contrast to the current integration process, which is motivated primarily by economic necessity and social pressure, there is a need for a deep, broad, and much more systematic approach, inspired by a conceptual transformation from the old Diaspora idea of individual preservation to one of national development and growth. Nothing in this transformation conflicts with or detracts from the importance of the current pragmatic approach. It is simply a deeper, ideologically based process that “rides the wave” of the current process.

As opposed to the prevalent opinion, we should not link a strengthening of the nation-oriented element of the Haredi worldview with an attempt to bind the Haredi sector to Zionism and its underlying ideology. Moreover, any attempt to do so will only harm the process, because a majority of the Haredim strongly oppose the Zionist worldview and see it as a threat to the future of the Jewish people.

For Haredim (as well as many in the National Religious sector), national identity is intimately associated with the Torah and its precepts; and for a large part of Haredi society, any attempt to build a national identity that is not totally bound to the Torah is absolutely forbidden and doomed to failure.

Given the demographic trends, it is essential that the Haredim accept their national responsibility and incorporate into their cultural and educational language the concepts and perceptions of the Jewish nation that are a prerequisite for their inclusion in the country’s institutions and system of government. There have always been Haredi political parties in Israel, as well as government ministries and agencies run by Haredim, but in general the Haredi parties have functioned as “interest groups” focused on promoting sectoral needs.

The time has come to reach the a higher level of integration and provide institutional and organized support for the slow and largely invisible, but important trend that has begun in recent years. The Haredi sector must produce a generation of young people who possess the tools to be leaders in all fields: national and local politics, education, business, law, the sciences, and more.

Many secular and religious Jews fear the significance of the demographic growth of the ultra-Orthodox public and the implications of their integration into all state institutions on the character of the State of Israel. In a democratic state, the minority is expected to accept the majority rule, while the majority protects minority rights. This is quite simple when the state is conducted in general according to the values and cultural rules that are shared by the majority and the minority. The majority in Israel does not share the values of the Haredi minority and fears  that its numerical growth will desist it from “playing by the rules of the game.”

Military Service as an Impetus for Integration

Given the state of affairs that has prevailed in Israel since independence, the most natural and effective method of promoting integration proved to be military service. In the past, this was almost impossible for young Haredi men; today, however, the IDF has instituted a number of tracks and units that allow them to perform meaningful military service without having to compromise on their lifestyle.

Throughout Israel’s history, military service has functioned as a social and cultural melting pot, primarily because serving together,  provides a deep common denominator that connects people of different backgrounds. The IDF has referred to itself as a “melting pot” since its founding, but recently removed the phrase from its official terminology because of the term’s dissonance, for public and military opinion-makers, with the values of individual freedom and the right of minorities to self-determination, which are paramount in today’s liberal age.

The idea that the IDF should be a “melting pot” is one of the two reasons that the Haredim are opposed to military service. They are completely unwilling to assimilate into Israeli society and fear the inevitable cultural impact of living together in close quarters. However, the military’s decision to drop the term “melting pot” has not lessened the threat that the Haredi leadership sees in military service. These leaders have continued to warn against a process that few perceive as part of a deliberate attempt to encourage Haredi assimilation and others see as natural and unavoidable. But all agree that, whether or not the IDF has this in mind, military service holds the threat of changing Haredi soldiers’ character and culture and thus utterly refuse to recognize it as a legitimate option for young Haredi men from the outset.

The other reason for the Haredi leadership’s opposition to IDF service is the sector’s widespread belief that the primary duty of Haredi men, throughout their lives, is to engage in daily Torah study, considered to be essential for ensuring the transmission of the Torah from generation to generation. The Haredim see Torah study as the most basic and important shield for the Jewish people. This has always been the dominant position among the Jews, although throughout history a balance was kept between those who studied Torah full-time and the majority that combined regular Torah study with an occupation that provided a livelihood.

The predominant notion among Haredim today does not accurately reflect the historical condition of Jewish society; rather, it reflects a relatively new approach, championed mainly by the non-Hassidic sector in recent decades that emerged in response to the almost lethal blow that the Holocaust dealt to the Torah world.

In a world in which the reigning trend is one of connection, the breaking of barriers, the blurring of differences, universalism, and globalization, it is very difficult to accept and respect an approach that insists on isolation and seclusion. It should be no surprise that cultural and intellectual figures, politicians, and senior military officers tend to classify the Haredi worldview, consciously or not, as “unenlightened” and “backward” in comparison to their own western-liberal worldview.

The Haredim, on their part, proudly carry the banner of Jewish tradition, an ancient tradition stretching back for millennia, which they believe will continue to exist thousands of years after today’s dominant culture is supplanted by another, as history shows.. In the eyes of the Haredi, the values are not human and subjective but divine and absolute; a worldview based on the Torah is infinitely more advanced, ethical, and enlightened than any transient human value system. The differences between the western-liberal and Haredi outlooks are therefore exceedingly deep, d almost unbridgeable.

In the situation in Israel, which has a secular majority and in which the state is not run according to the Torah, the Haredi sector chooses not to identify with the state and avoids granting it legitimacy. However, the Haredim pragmatically make use of various state agencies to promote the interests important to them, and primarily so they can live a “life of Torah” with government support for their schools, , yeshivot (academies of learning Torah), and welfare services.

Every first-year political science student knows that the existence of interest groups who promote their own priorities is an expression of the strength of democracy. So the Haredi sector takes advantage of the political system to further its own interests. This should not be viewed negativelyt—as long as the Haredim accept the obligations incumbent on citizens and do not just take the benefits. This is the crux of the increasing attention, in recent years, to the issue of military service by the Haredim, because this is the most basic obligation in Israel.

Milestones in Exemption from Service for Yeshiva Students

The debate about Haredi military service preoccupies the Israeli public, and the leadership of the IDF. The issue has many aspects and many implications for the character and strength of the IDF and, in effect, on the image of the State of Israel and its military, social, and economic strength.

The issue was topical even before the state was born. On November 4, 1947—about three weeks before the UN vote on the partition plan,, against the backdrop of the gathering winds of war, the Council of Torah Sages met to discuss the situation and its consequences for the Jewish pre-State Yishuv as a whole and the Haredi sector in particular. The council decided to instruct the executive committee of the Agudat Yisrael party to send a delegate to the defense committee of the Yishuv institutions. The unanimous decision derived from the rabbis’ understanding that this was a matter of life and death.

To remove all doubt, they emphasized that the defense of the Yishuv was sui generis and the party should not send representatives to any other Zionist activity or institution.1

On December 12, 1947, two weeks after the UN voted for partition, the Agudat Yisrael executive committee instructed its representative on the defense committee to demand that Haredi women not be drafted and that yeshiva students be exempt from conscription, on condition that they submit documentation of their student status. The representative also demanded that Haredim who were conscripted serve in religious units, with strict observance of kashrut, and that there be no training exercises on Shabbat and religious holidays.

The leadership of the Yishuv accepted these conditions. With the Yishuv at war, Agudat Yisrael publicly called on Haredi men to serve in order to “protect life and property.”2 And indeed, many Haredi men enlisted and participated in the war.

During the War of Independence, Israel’s national leadership decided to exempt yeshiva students from conscription. Later, in January 1951, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion ruled that full-time yeshiva students would officially be exempt from the military draft. He informed the Ministry of Defense and the army that “this exemption applies only to yeshiva students actively engaged in Torah study in yeshivot, and only while they are engaged in Torah study in yeshivot.”3 The decision applied to about 400 yeshiva students, or less than 1% of the draft cohort that year.

In subsequent decades, the issue of military service by yeshiva students was a frequent topic of discussion between the national leadership and the Haredi rabbis. The scope of exemption was modified several times; but attempts to formalize the arrangement in legislation failed, primarily because of Haredi opposition.

The number of Haredi young men exempted from military service mushroomed; by 1999 they accounted for 9.2% of the draft cohort. Over the years, a number of committees were appointed to formulate recommendations on the issue, but their proposals were never adopted or implemented.

The issue reached the public and political agenda a number of times, but significant change did not come until December 1998, following the High Court’s ruling that the Defense Minister’s authority to exempt yeshiva students from military service did not give him the right to issue a blanket deferment that was not anchored in legislation.

This ruling triggered political negotiations aimed at finding a new basis for the exemption, which led to the Tal Committee and the Tal Law, enacted in 2002 on the basis of its recommendations. In 2010, the Gabai Committee was appointed to examine methods of increasing  Haredi conscription. Two years later, the High Court ruled that the Knesset could no longer renew the Tal Law and must enact a new statute to govern the issue. Several additional committees (Plesner, Peri, and Shaked) were convened, leading, in March 2014, to the Knesset’s passage of the Shaked Law, which sets the parameters for military and civilian-national service by yeshiva students. This law was also eventually rejected by the Supreme Court and the government is seeking a solution.

Designated Tracks for Haredi Military Service

Since the founding of the state, there have been two major initiatives for organized recruitment of Haredim into the IDF. In the 1960s, with the support of the Vizhnitzer Rabbi a special track of the Nahal Brigade was launched. The soldiers served in various units, including as infantrymen, and spent part of their service doing agricultural labor on a Haredi Nahal outpost and on Moshav Komemiyut. A few dozen Haredi soldiers served in this framework, known as the “Haredi Nahal,” until its dissolution in the late 1970s. The second initiative, “Netzah Yehuda,” created almost twenty years ago, is still active today.

The nonprofit association Netzah Yehuda (also known as the “Haredi Nahal” association) was established by a group of Haredi rabbis in 1999. The association, together with the Defense Ministry and the IDF manpower directorate, endeavored to find a solution for young Haredim not suited to continued yeshiva study, by creating a military service track compatible with the Haredi lifestyle. This cooperation led to the formation of Battalion 97 (“Netzah Yehuda”), and later of additional Netzah 4 tracks that offer solutions for various categories of Haredi young men, including those not fit for combat service.

In addition to the many thousands who study Torah from morning to night, there are currently a few thousand young Haredim who do not study in a yeshiva. The Netzah tracks were created for these young men. According to the vision that created  Netzah in 1999, the units have several features, anchored in military directives, that distinguish them from other military units:

  1. The units are completely gender-segregated (men only).
  2. The food served in these units has very stringent kashrut supervision.
  3. The units’ daily schedule allocates time for the three daily prayer services and Torah study (either a class or independent study).
  4. The soldiers in the Netzah units are in almost daily contact with Haredi rabbis. (Since the project’s inception, this support has been provided by the Netzah Yehuda association, which functions as a service provider for the Defense Ministry.)
  5. The Netzah track is divided into two parts: two years of military service, followed by eight months in the classroom, during which the soldiers complete the equivalent of high school and take the core matriculation exams, or study a technical trade. These eight months are referred to as the “Mission Period” (a phrase lifted from the parlance of the regular IDF Nahal track, which includes a “Mission Period” of agricultural labor). The idea is to narrow the gaps between graduates of the Haredi education system and their peers in the non-Haredi system, so as to make it easier for the Haredim to find jobs after they are discharged from the IDF.

The Netzah Yehuda infantry battalion, which is the apex of the Netzah track, provides evidence that not only can Haredim perform meaningful combat service, they can also excel while doing so. The battalion has and continues to receive many accolades for its operational performance, even though its members begin their service at a lower level of physical and mental preparation than non-Haredi soldiers do.

The assertion that demanding military service is not appropriate to the delicate personality of a yeshiva student or may do him damage has turned out to be untrue. Netzah Yehuda’s combat soldiers follow in the footsteps of King David, who was said to make himself as soft as a worm while studying Torah but as hard as a tree when waging war.5

Several years ago, the IDF initiated an additional track for Haredi service, called “Shahar.”6 This track, 24 months long, is intended for older men who are usually married. Its conditions are less rigorous than those of the Netzah track, including daily leave to go home, but also include some of the special privileges provided to Netzah soldiers, including gender segregation in the soldiers’ immediate circle and the availability of kosher food that meets more stringent standards.

This track has significantly increased the number of Haredim who are inducted, but it is very expensive for the IDF, because of the short duration of service, special perks, and the higher salaries received by soldiers with dependents (wives and children).

The Haredi Soldier and Veteran

The official definition of “Haredi solider” is any soldier who attended Haredi schools for a minimum number of years specified by law. This includes those who grew up Haredi but became secular at age 15 or 16, no matter what IDF unit they serve in later. There are also soldiers who define themselves as Haredi but for various reasons choose to serve in regular IDF units (rather than the designed Haredi tracks).

The number of Haredim who join the IDF has increased steadily since 1999, from a few dozen to more than 2,000 each year. As of 2015, there were about 1,800 soldiers in the various Netzah units and another 1,800 in the Shahar units. An additional 1,300 graduates of Haredi schools were serving in other units.7 There was a temporary slow-down in the trend in 2014, around the time that then-Finance Minister Yair Lapid was leading attempts to conscript all draft-eligible Haredi men under the threat of criminal sanctions.

The IDF’s official and declared policy is that the Haredim it wishes to induct are not yeshiva students but rather the hundreds of Haredi young men who have left yeshiva or are registered in a yeshiva but are not actually studying there. Service by all members of this group would exceed the quota the IDF has set for the sector and would help the IDF fill its overall draft targets. The personnel shortfall has increased significantly because of the decision to shorten the term of service for men from 36 to 32 months, and will grow further if, as planned, the term of service is cut again in the next few years.

In examining the rate of military service among different groups, we find that only 18% of Haredi men serve in the IDF, compared to 68% of their non-Haredi peers. In light of the fact that in 2016 about a third of all first-grade pupils in Israel attended Haredi schools,8 we can expect that in 2028 a third of the draft-eligible cohort will be Haredi. Alongside this significant demographic growth, CBS data reveal persistent and significant gaps between the Haredi and non-Haredi Jewish sectors in income per capita (a gap of 47%),9 wage levels, and employment rates (among men, including both those with and without academic education).10

As of today, about 9,000 men have completed the Netzah tracks, and a few thousand the newer Shahar track. About 2,000 young men join this group of Haredi IDF veterans every year. Follow-up of Shahar veterans by the JDC and a survey conducted by the Netzah Yehuda veterans’ association among hundreds of discharged Haredi soldiers indicate that significant changes have taken place: about 90% of Haredi veterans are working or enrolled in academic programs; only 2% returned to the yeshiva.11 In addition, surveys by the Netzah Yehuda veterans’ association reveal that military service has two additional significant effects:

  1. A majority of Haredi veterans note the significant impact of their military service on their successful integration into civilian life and the Israeli labor market.
  2. Many veterans report that their military service developed their sense of individual and social responsibility and strengthened their bond to the State of Israel (and in some cases, that of their family members as well).

The Motivation for Army Service

The cumulative experience of the Netzah units reveals that most of the Haredim who are inducted into the IDF do so in the belief that military service will enable them to acquire an advanced education and an occupation that will help them earn a living after their discharge. This perspective is usually modified during their service; the soldiers report that they now feel that doing their part to defend the country is an additional incentive to serve, alongside motives of self-interest.

Beyond the fact that it is a legal and moral obligation, military service is an impetus to personal development. On the whole, young Israeli men and women who complete military service in their early twenties are characterized by greater maturity, responsibility, and readiness to cope with the challenges of life than their counterparts in Europe or the United States.

This positive influence is in proportion to the weight of their military assignment (for example, it is greater for veterans of combat units or elite intelligence units). More consequential military service, especially in combat units, instills the values of comradeship and mutual responsibility and teaches soldiers an ethical language in which the whole is placed before the individual and the question of “how can I contribute?” comes before “How can I personally benefit from this?.”

An example of this process can be seen in the changes in the willingness of soldiers in Battalion 97 to move up in the ranks. In their first months of service, Haredi soldiers in Battalion 97 are much less willing to participate in Non-Commissioned Officer courses or sign up for Officer courses that require extending their service than are soldiers in the same battalion who come from the National Religious sector.

The Haredi soldiers are focused on their own self-interest and are unwilling to make the personal sacrifice required by such courses: giving up half of the “Mission Period,” greater responsibility, and a heavier work load. As time goes on, many of the Haredi soldiers change their perspective as they acquire a better understanding of the importance of making use of their abilities to contribute their share in the most fitting manner.

As the number of Haredi NCOs and officers who speak this ethical language increases, they will convey it to more and more of the Haredi soldiers under their command. From the earliest stages of the project to get Haredim to serve in the IDF, it was clear that one of the most important keys to its success would be the cultivation of a cadre of outstanding Haredi NCOs and junior officers. This is a lengthy process, but the trend is gaining strength from year to year.

One way to encourage the emergence of such a cadre is the creation of additional premilitary programs for Haredi teenagers, in addition to the three that currently exist. The two Haredi premilitary academies and one Haredi Heesder yeshiva (combining Torah Studies with military service) provide their students with a new ethical language months before their actual induction. The graduates of these programs, currently only a few dozen, begin their military service with a significant advantage over the other soldiers in their units.

The Prevalent Gap

Today, most Haredim still see military service as a solution to the problem of yeshiva dropouts. Most parents and educators see service in the Netzah tracks as a sort of rehabilitative project and not as an organizational framework with intrinsic value and importance. The fact that a majority of those who serve in this track do indeed strengthen their commitment to Torah and undergo personal development during their service is proof of the program’s success; but it also reinforces and perpetuates the public perception that Netzah is a form of rehabilitation.

When people relate to Haredi soldiers as an educational failure, their sense of belonging to the society they grew up in is affected. This creates friction and sometimes estrangement between the Netzah soldiers and their families. Many families see their son’s enlistment in the IDF as a negative example for his brothers and a threat to their education. Many parents fear that their son’s military service will endanger his siblings’ marriage prospects. The Shahar track has addressed these concerns in part, but there is a long way to go to arrive at the conceptual change that will allow the Haredi public to see military service as a legitimate solution for any young man who cannot find his place in yeshiva.

This will be a gradual process whose tempo will be determined primarily by the way Haredi society accepts Haredi soldiers back into its midst after their service and the image it consolidates of them. Here we have a sort of vicious circle: As long as there is no breaking of the glass ceiling—namely, the enlistment of hundreds of Haredi young men who have not found their place in yeshiva but remain strict in their Haredi lifestyle—Haredi society will not modify its opinion of Haredi soldiers. Yet as long as there is no change in Haredi society’s image of and treatment of Haredi soldiers, those hundreds of young men, fearing of the impact on their social standing, will not have the courage to enlist.

This impasse can be resolved in two ways: through a gradual process, as described above, or as a result of clear statements and decisions by Haredi leaders. The first way will be influenced primarily by the actions of the IDF and Defense Ministry, as well as by the market processes that impel Haredim to enter higher education and  employment. The second way is dependent on the Haredi leadership and can be influenced by building trust between them and the IDF.

The Response

To bolster the current trend and increase the integration rate, the State of Israel and the IDF must take resolute and serious steps to increase the number of Haredim who serve in the military.

All sides will profit from such a process: the IDF will benefit from a significant expansion of its male draft pool, while the Haredim will improve their socioeconomic position. The Haredim will gain tools to improve their personal situation and that of their families and will be better able to express their sector’s worldview and culture in the Israeli public sphere, as is appropriate in a democratic country.

Israeli society will benefit from a strengthening of the mutual acquaintance and a narrowing of the gaps between its sectors, from the significant increment to its labor force and those bearing the burden of its defense, and, primarily, from the infusion of energetic and capable new blood into its existing institutions.

The central condition for this effort to succeed is trust. Trust can be built if three principles are adhered to:

  1. Respect for Haredi culture and values, based on humility and true tolerance, even when we hold a completely different and sometimes antithetical cultural and ethical worldview.
  2. An understanding that if we want the Haredim to serve without suspicion, we must respect their desire to maintain certain barriers between themselves and the rest of society. The formation of closed Haredi-only units, although incompatible with the IDF’s egalitarian DNA and the trends towards minimizing differences it seeks to encourage, is the only way to integrate the Haredi sector that fundamentally rejects these trends.
  3. An avoidance of coercion at all costs. The process of integration is already going on, and it will continue at its own pace as long as we are wise enough to reinforce the trust between the IDF and the Defense Ministry, on the one hand, and the Haredi public and leadership, on the other. Coercion and efforts to speed up the process through aggressive legislation will merely slow down the process or halt it in its tracks.

On a practical level, the IDF must examine Haredi sector and identify those sectors within with which there is a better chance of building trust and breaking the glass ceiling. The main effort should be made in encouraging recruitment from among those groups, while ensuring full compliance with the conditions the IDF has undertaken and the befitting sorting of recruits that will enable the preservation of an appropriate level of religiosity in the Haredi units. Today, these groups consist of baalei teshuvah( secularly-raised “returnees” to religious observance), and the Sephardi Haredim. These two populations are Haredi, yet are less alienated of the State of Israel and the IDF than other Haredim.

At the same time, one should not neglect the contact with the leadership of the Haredi-Lithuanian sector, which currently is the most influential faction in Haredi society, including the two groups mentioned above. Among the “Lithuanian” leaders, there are several who follow this process from behind-the-scenes. Some of them have personal and direct contact with soldiers and their parents, and some are even involved in determining the policy and dealing with the occasional hitches and breaches on the ground.

In all cases, the absolute condition for such cooperation, even if it is low-key and concealed, is the strict adherence to the rule that the IDF is not targeting active yeshiva students. Any deviation from this rule will result in immediate cessation of cooperation and support of any kind.

At the same time, and depending on the ties and trust established with Haredi leaders, it is necessary to act prudently towards Haredi political leadership and public opinion leaders among the Haredi public. Both are naturally connected to the Israeli ‘language,’ culture and the various institutions, and better understand the interests, abilities and goals of all the players. The key to success is the understanding by rabbis, politicians and public opinion makers that this is an opportunity for their public, alongside trust-building with the IDF and the Ministry of Defense.

Conclusion

We are currently living through a historic process with far-reaching potential effects on the future of the State of Israel and its image. At the practical level, the changes that Israel is undergoing will continue relentlessly, whether they are encouraged or not – since they are driven by demographic processes, cultural changes and economic pressures.

But the rate of this process is of significant importance. The momentum of recent years must be capitalized upon to better integrate Haredim into the work force and institutions of higher education. Without trying to influence and direct the process, we are likely to find ourselves facing societal problems and perhaps an economic crisis.

On the other hand, if we act to identify trends, and guide and strengthen them out of real adherence to the values of democracy together with genuine respect for Haredi ideology, we can better prepare Israeli society, the state, and its institutions for a true and full integration of the Haredi community.


photo credit: Mark Neyman, GPO.


[1] Archive of the World Agudat Yisrael Federation, minutes for 1948-1953.

[2] Moshe Erenwald, “Piskei halakhah me’et rabbanei ha-tzibbur ha-ḥaredi bishnat TaShaḤ be-inyenei giyyus u-milḥamah” [Halakhic rulings of the haredi rabbis in 1947/8 regarding military service and war], HaMa’ayan 53.3 (2013), No. 205, 33–36.

[3] Report of the Committee to Devise an Appropriate Arrangement for the Induction of Yeshiva Students (Tal Committee) [Hebrew], 1999, Part II: —Background and Data.

[4] A Hebrew acronym: “Haredi Military Youth.”

[5] Babylonian Talmud, Mo’ed Katan 16b.

[6] A Hebrew acronym for “Service by Haredim.”

[7] Gilad Malach, Doron Cohen, and Haim Zicherman, 2015. A Master Plan for Ultra-Orthodox Employment in Israel [Hebrew, with English abstract]. Jerusalem: The Israel Democracy Institute.

[8] Note that not all children who attend Haredi schools come from Haredi families. Hence the proportion of first-graders who are Haredi is slightly less than 30%.

[9] Gilad Malach, Maya Choshen, and Lee Cahaner, 2016. The Yearbook of Ultra-Orthodox Society in Israel 2016 [Hebrew]. Jerusalem: The Israel Democracy Institute and the JerusalemCenter for Israel Studies.

[10] Michael Sarel and Itamar Yakir, eds. 2016. Israel’s Path to Economic and Social Prosperity [Hebrew]. Jerusalem: Kohelet Economic Forum and the Tikvah Fund.

[11] Ilia Zatcovetsky and Reuven Gal, 2012. The Road to Integration: A Policy Paper on the Integration of the Haredi Sector in the Labor Market [Hebrew]. Haifa: Samuel Neaman Institute, 23.

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