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|Author: Eli Birnbaum|
How long an oleh is going to do military service depends on the following factors:
Age on arrival (according to army regulations), Family status, Physical profile.
Remember that the information below is general and the final decision rests EXLUSIVELY with with the IDF. NOTE: The amount of time you must serve in the army has been changed and depends on when you arrived in Israel. If you arrived after January 1, 2001 then chart one applies. If before that date then chart two applies. Since there may be complications as to the meaning of "arrived in Israel ", you should check directly with your local Israeli consulate or with the Lishkat Hagiyus to get a definitive answer.
Married +2 all profiles Maagar
Married + 4 no service
* for profiles under 64 see your local Lishkat Hagiyus
What is a ma'agar and why do I care?
As you can see in the above chart, the service that many of the categories does is labelled "ma'agar." A ma'agar literally means a data-pool, but for our purposes, we will call it a "reserve." This is not to be confused with reserve duty (miluim). If you fall under the "ma'agar" category, your name is added to this reserve of names which the IDF has the right to use according to its needs. If the needs dictate, then you can be called for an initial training period plus annual miluim. In practice, a person whose name is in the ma'agar may not serve at all.
Who does not serve at all and is not even put into the ma'agar?
Any oleh arriving over the age of 35 or any oleh arriving over the age of 18 who, by the time he is drafted, is married and has 4 or more children.
What if I want to do active service and miluim. Can I volunteer?
The IDF usually makes its decisions on who to take based on its manpower needs. You have the right to request to volunteer for the IDF as well as to serve a longer period than your official requirement. Succeeding in having the army let you volunteer depends on your physical profile, age, and family status. Remember that if you want to volunteer, you have to push them (gently) - they will not come to you.
If I don't serve or if I am in the ma'agar, do I need permission to leave the country?
An oleh chadash, just like a veteran Israeli citizen, needs to have permission to leave the country. By law, up to the age of 45, the citizen needs to provide the authorities at the airport or border with an "ishur yetziah" (document stating such permission). If you are in a position where you will not have to serve, whether or not you are in the ma'agar, you will need to visit your local draft board ("lishkat hagiyus") to retrieve such a document. In these cases, the "ishur" will most likely be a permanent one and you will not have to visit lishkat hagiyus again.
What is meant by shlav bet service?
Shlav bet is the term given to those who serve in the 120 days-or-less categories. Based on the chart, if you serve for 39 or 100 days, that means that you are in "shlav bet." Remember that this number of days is yourinitial service, after which you will be put into a miluim unit in which you can be called yearly for up to 30 days. If and when you do miluim, it will most likely be in something low-key such as guard-duty at an army base.
Note that Shlav Bet also applies automatically to anyone who did a minimum of 18 months in a foreign military.
Calculation of the Age of Arrival
The IDF's calculation of the age of arrival stands on its own and has nothing to do with tourist status vs oleh or temporary resident status. It is also very complicated, and we will try to present the general guidelines:
If you arrived for any extensive stay (more than 4 months maximum in one calendar year), your age at the original date of entry becomes the official one as far as the IDF is concerned, even with small trips abroad. In order to erase that date as your original entry, you must be out of Israel for at least two calendar years with no visitsthe first year, and a visit no longer than 2 months in the second year.
If you come to Israel on a recongnized one-year program of any sort, and you are here for under one calendar year, you may erase your original date of entry by being outside of Israel for one calendar year with no visits.Even if you were on a program, once you have been in the country for over one calendar year (366+ days), even with small trips abroad during the year, your date of arrival is the day you entered for that first year of study. In order to erase that date, you have to be out of Israel for at least two calendar years with no visits the first year, and a visit no longer than 2 months in the second year.
Service for Women
Married women and women who arrive at age 17 or older are exempt from army service. Single women who arrive below age 17 serve for 21 months.
Service for Medical Professionals
Note that in most cases, there are different regulations that apply to oleh doctors and dentists, both men and women. Here are some current guidelines:
A dentist (male) entering up to age 29 (inclusive) will serve 18 months and then do regular reserve duty.
A Medical Doctor (male) entering up to age 32 will serve 18 months and then do regular reserve duty.
In each case, during the intitial time, the doctor/dentist will be paid a regular "keva" salary by the IDF.
Any doctor/dentist older than that will serve an initial 21 days and then do regular reserve duty.
Any female doctor or dentist arriving up to the age of 26 will serve 18 months.
For more information, especially pertaining to your individual situation, contact your local draft board (lishkat giyus):
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