The number of religious Jewish women volunteering for the Israeli army has almost doubled in the past five years. This according to a new report published by the IDF noting that while just 935 religious Jewish women signed up for military service in 2010, over 1,800 had already done so in 2015.
On Tuesday, the IDF put on a special presentation for young religious Jewish women who were interested in the possibility of military service. Some 1,600 women attended the event.
The head of the IDF’s Personnel Directorate, Maj.-Gen. Hagai Topolanski, addressed his audience’s various fears, chief among them the concern over restrictions on their religious lifestyle.
Gen. Topolanski stressed: “There are so many religious women with amazing qualities that can be put to use by the IDF. There are many opportunities [for these women].”
Brig.-Gen. Rachel Tevet-Wiesel, advisor on women’s affairs to the IDF chief of staff, made note of the “increasing number of religious women serving with us. They serve in elite units, training facilities, technology and communications. They can be found in the Air Force, the infantry brigades and the Armored Corps. Anywhere they are needed!”
Israeli women, just like men, have been conscripted into the IDF since 1949. Besides Eritrea, Israel is the only nation in the world that requires military service for women. However, there are exceptions. Religious Jewish women have traditionally been exempted, as have Arab men and women.
Currently, just over 40 percent of Israel’s fighting force are women, and it is a great encouragement to see more and more religious Jewish women joining that number.