Keshev Committee 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
The Keshev Committee tasked with formulating a replacement for the Tal Law was
presented on Tuesday with a possible list of carrots and sticks designed to
ensure that targets for haredi enlistment into the military and national service
The Tal Law, which provided a legal framework for ultra-
Orthodox men to indefinitely defer military service, was ruled unconstitutional
by the High Court of Justice back in February and will expire on August
The model for financial incentives and penalties presented by a
representative of the Finance Ministry is based on the assumption that there
will be a quota for the number of “exceptional” yeshiva students who can get an
exemption from military and national- service programs through full time yeshiva
According to the model, anyone who does not receive an exemption
will be required to perform some form of national service. If they refuse, then
they will be subject to financial penalties such as the cancellation of housing
benefits and municipal tax breaks which many members of the haredi community
The Finance Ministry is also proposing to change the method of
funding so that yeshivot that encourage students to serve will receive benefits
where as yeshivot whose students do not serve will lose state
Personal fines may also be imposed, the size of which will be
determined by the amount of support the state provided to a yeshiva on behalf of
the student in question.
According to the model, the numbers of those
serving and not serving will be examined at the beginning of each yearly intake
to military and national service. If pre-arranged recruitment targets are met,
then those remaining in yeshiva will be included in the quota for those
receiving exemptions from national service.
If the recruitment quotas for
a specific intake are not met, those who were not granted an exemption will be
subject to the range of possible penalties.
In 2011, there were
approximately 54,000 full-time yeshiva students exempted from military service
through the provisions of the Tal Law.
According to the Finance
Ministry’s model, yeshiva students will be able to defer their service until age
23, after which they will have to serve.
Students will be provided with
the opportunity to declare their intention to serve before they that time, and
will receive significant incentives to do so.
The choice of which form of
service to select will be taken at age 22 and service will begin at age
The Finance Ministry also proposed the opening of new IDF and
civilian service tracks for the haredi sector, which would allow recruits to
maintain their lifestyle and strict observance of Jewish law while serving the