Volunteering in Israel

Mahal IDF Volunteers

The following programs enable young Jews from all over the world to volunteer for the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) and become regular Israeli soldiers. The programs aim to contribute to Israel's defense and to provide knowledgeable and enthusiastic young leaders for Jewish communities.

IDF programs for non-Israelis:
The Mahal program is for men younger than 24 and women younger than 21. Eligible are non-Israeli Jews, descendants of a Jewish grandparent and the spouses of the aforementioned. The program consists of minimum 14 1/2 - 18 months of IDF service (depending on command of Hebrew).

The Mahal Nahal Haredi program is for non-Israeli religious (haredi) Jewish men younger than 24. The program consists of 14 1/2 - 18 months of service (depending on command of Hebrew) in a separate IDF Nahal Haredi Infantry combat unit.

The Mahal Hesder program is for non-Israeli religious (dati) Jewish men younger than 24. The program consists of 6 1/2 months of studies in a Yeshivat Hesder (IDF Rabbinical College) followed by at least 14 1/2 months of IDF service, in total 21 months.

IDF Programs for Overseas Israelis and their Children:
Paths for Israeli citizens residing overseas and children of overseas ISraelis younger than 24. The short path is 14½ months.

For more information, please see the Mahal-IDF-Volunteers.org website, which got the "Jewish Agency Top Site" award. With 135,000 visitors annually, this site is the leading guide and one-stop-assistant for all would-be overseas enlistees prior to joining the IDF. This website will assist you from retrieving information to pre-checking your qualification and until your enlistment in the IDF. In addition, the information on this website is of special interest to Jewish youth organizations, Jewish educators and Jewish community workers.

Over one thousand young people from more than 40 countries have already joined the IDF through its exciting programs for overseas volunteers.

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