WHAT IS SHERUT LEUMI?
Sherut Leumi (National Service) is a one to two year voluntary national service option for religious women, who are exempt from military service. Sherut Leumi provides the unique opportunity to give back to Israeli society in a truly meaningful way, while simultaneously fostering personal growth and improvement within each volunteer. Service placements reach all areas of Israeli society including education, welfare, at-risk youth, government, health clinics, immigrant assistance, disadvantaged communities, and more. Hundreds of social welfare and community building projects are able to exist in Israel due to these young women, bnot sherut, who enthusiastically dedicate themselves to the improvement of the Jewish future in Israel.
WHAT ARE BNOT SHERUT BODEDOT?
Bnot sherut bodedot are lone national service volunteers, meaning their families do not live in Israel. Sherut Leumi has become increasingly popular for foreign English-speakers over the past few years. Hundreds of girls have already served and almost 100 Orthodox Anglo girls will be serving in various Sherut Leumi places this coming year. Orthodox English-speaking women generally choose to do national service after their gap-year in
Israel, before they start university studies.
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WHO CAN SERVE IN SHERUT LEUMI?
A recent change in the Sherut Leumi system mandates that only Israeli citizens who have an exemption (ptor) from the IDF can serve in Sherut Leumi. This means that non-citizens must make aliyah, receive a draft letter to the IDF in the mail, and receive an exemption from IDF service before they begin Sherut Leumi on September 1st. In order to receive your exemption by September 1st, you must make aliyah before August 1st. Most Sherut Leumi Placement Organizations will allow you to apply to Sherut Leumi before you have made aliyah on condition that you will make aliyah before your service begins.
If you have any questions about the aliyah process or your specific status as a citizen, please be in touch with Nefesh B’Nefesh.
For more information about the IDF exemption process, click here.
It should also be stressed that the decision to make aliyah should only be made once you are sure you want to live in Israel permanently.
HOW DOES SHERUT LEUMI WORK?
There are several placement organizations for Sherut Leumi: Haaguda Lehitnadvut, Bat Ami, Shilo, Shlomit and Aminadav. Each of these organizations is responsible for a chunk of the hundreds of Sherut Leumi positions. This means that each Sherut Leumi place is connected to one of the organizations. The placement organization is responsible for hiring and caring for the bnot sherut who serve at their designated Sherut Leumi locations. For example, if someone wants to do Sherut Leumi at a specific hospital, she needs to find out which placement organization is connected to the hospital and apply through that placement organization. Alternatively, she can choose a placement organization and search through all of the options they offer. Each placement organization runs separately and offers different benefits and varying degrees of assistance. They each have their own application process and requirements
Miyunim Mukdamim (early screening) is the early sign-up and interview process for certain Sherut Leumi places. This process usually occurs in December, several weeks earlier than most sherut leumi places. For a list of Sherut Leumi places that require Miyunim Mukdamim, click here.
Although Sherut Leumi officially begins on Sept. 1, most places have a few days of training (seminaryon) before the actual work begins, in which bnot sherut are taught how to perform their job, learn the rules and get used to the environment. Keep in mind that most places require work on Sundays and many require Fridays and Shabbatot, as well.
Click here for more information regarding bnot sherut bodedot (lone bnot sherut) benefits.
HOW DO I SIGN UP?
We’re here to guide you through the often complicated and confusing process and to help you reach the best decision for yourself! Sherut Leumi has the potential to be the most meaningful, uplifting and life-changing experience, but will also invariably come with many challenges and frustrations. That’s why it is so important to prepare and research as much as possible before you sign up.
Here Next Year offers one-on-one guidance and mentoring through our Here Next Year Sherut Leumi Rakazot Program. Every prospective bat sherut is paired with a Here Next Year Rakezet who attended midrasha and served as a lone bat sherut just a few years ago. The prospective bat sherut is given personal guidance throughout the entire research and sign-up process. If you would like to be paired with a Here Next Year Sherut Leumi Rakezet, send us an email.
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