New haredi recruits accepted into civilian service program

The first intake of volunteers for the haredi civilian service program since the expiration of the Tal Law took place on Sunday.
According to the Civilian Service Directorate, an alternative to military service for ultra-Orthodox men, several dozen volunteers signed up to the program on Sunday morning, following a five-month freeze in recruitment since the course was only mandated by the terms of the Tal Law.
Sar-Shalom Gerbi, who heads the directorate, met with the volunteers and praised the government decision last month which allowed for renewed recruitment, while decrying the fact that the directorate had to reject haredi yeshiva students who applied since August.
Last months decision allows for up to 1,300 haredim to be recruited to the civilian service by August 1 or until new legislation is passed to replace the Tal Law.
There are currently almost 1,600 haredi, serving in the civilian service at present in several different government departments and services, including the police force, the prison service, fire departments, welfare programs and others. Service is for one year, 40 hours a week.
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