idf girls train 224 88.
(photo credit: IDF)
Enlistment of religious women into the IDF, which dropped off after implementation of the disengagement plan in August 2005, is on the rise, senior officers said this week. Nearly 100 religious girls were drafted into the army in March, they said.
In an effort to assist religious girls during their military service, the IDF established midrashot - yeshivot for women - in 1995. The midrasha program combines military service and Torah study, similar to the male hesder yeshivot. Enlistees in the program serve in the IDF for 23 months and spend another year in a midrasha. There are 27 midrashot and more are scheduled to open next year.
But following the evacuation of settlements in the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria the number of religious girls who enlisted in the IDF plummeted.
"The disengagement turned a lot of girls away from the army," said an officer involved in assisting religious women in the IDF. "Two years after and the numbers are only now returning to the way they used to be."
Religious girls have the option of receiving an exemption from military service. But the IDF Human Resources Division has made a concerted effort to "open" a number of attractive jobs for religious female soldiers, the officer said.
Sixty religious female soldiers began a teacher's course in the IDF Education Corps in April, the officer said, and will soon be assigned to military bases.