The IDF – Being in the Israeli Army


  1. Hi. I’m moving to Israel and joining the IDF. What can I expect? I’m mad pumped. I have no idea what’s coming. I don’t speak hebrew and I’m going to the IDF ulpan. What can I expect? What are the young Israelis’ views on sex and dating?

    • Expect a lot of yelling. Expect a lot of “hurry up and wait.” Before you go into the army, you will first have medical exams and then be tested on multiple different levels, including IQ. During this day at the drafting office, you will also be asked personal questions and they will most likely determine that you are a “Lone Soldier” and you will qualify for extra benefits, including a higher salary, extra vacation time and more. All of these tests will help determine where you will serve in the army.

      Keep in mind, that you could end up in a really terrible unit. You may not be a fighter, you may end up driving trucks. If you are really unhappy, don’t stop fighting until you get what you want. Anything is possible in Israel as long as you are willing to fight for it. But, also go into it knowing that you may not get what you want.

      Expect to be lost. Expect to get headaches from trying to understand. Expect to make some of the best friends of your life. Expect to be bossed around by kids that are younger than you.

      Since you are doing the IDF Ulpan, the likelihood is that you are going to have a lot of Russians in your ulpan, so expect to pick up as much Russian as you do Hebrew.

      As far as sex and dating, it depends on which group you ask. The religious, don’t like them. The secular, love both sex and dating. But keep in mind the dating and mating rituals in Israel are quite different than in the US.

      • Also, expect bad food. Expect not to get a lot of sleep. Expect to do more cleaning duties than anything else.

      • Hi, I’m thinking about moving to Israel. I’m concerned though, because I have a myriad of health problems. (asthma, breathing, anxiety issues, just to name a few) Would I still be required to serve the IDF? Also, Im married; would they recognize that when Im there? Im 24, btw.

      • You might be able to get an exemption. There is also a chance that you would be a jobnick.

      • I am a non religous 21 year old american wanting to join the idf
        i have no jewish background but would love to serve for the idf and maybe one day become a citizen of israel
        i really want to move there permanetly
        with that being said i have a college degree as an industrial electrician so after my idf experience i could offer my skills in one of the many places where needed there
        can someone point me in the right direction?

      • You will be unable to move to Israel and join the IDF. You are not eligible under the right of return to immigrate to Israel. As a non-Jew and non-Israeli citizen, you will not be drafted to the IDF.

      • Hi there! I am a 24 year old female. I am making Aliyah in February. I spoke to representative of a lone soldier’s program and she told me that I still have a good chance of getting into the army in general through making a special request as a volunteer when I get my identification number. She said the minimum for non-combat was 1 year.

        I, however, am extremely interested in being part of a combat unit (any one that excepts females). She told me my chances were much less of getting into combat, due to my age- but still doable. I would have to get close to 97 points on my physical.

        I was wondering if you could tell me just how slim my chances are, and how the appeal process would be- given everyone keeps telling me “if they say ‘no’ keep insisting”.


      • If you are willing to sign for two years you might have a bigger chance, other than that I don’t have any specific suggestions.

      • Hi I’m 17 know and I live in new York I was starting to make plans for next year and I’m curious what’s the shortest time I could be in the army for and I had tubes in my ear that fell out wich allows me not to go so deep underwater so I was concerned if I’m going to need to do that for Training hope u hear a answer back…

      • You won’t be required to do anything that you are not medically allowed to do. However, it i important to note that it will probably impact your physical profile and limit the type of service you do. If you make aliyah at your age, then you would be required to do a full three years. If you wait a few more years it decreases. You could also sign up for machal which is for international volunteers.

  2. hey, im planning on doing army as well, but only the 6 months necessary..i was wondering about army life but on a different level.
    do they help you with rent for an apartment? with bills you have in israel? transportation? and what should your answers be in order to get as much money as possible?

    • You already sound like a veteran Israeli – trying to get as much money out of the State of Israel as possible! With this attitude you will certainly succeed in Israel. As a lone soldier you will be allotted a certain amount for apartment rent. About 5 years ago, the lone soldier salary for a jobnik was about 4,000 NIS. If you want to get more money, then you can be in kravi. Transportation is like all the other soldiers – public buses. Best of luck!

      • Good evening, Aliyah. I need an important information speaking about 6 months with IDF. I am not Jew and I am not Israelian, but, I attend an important Israeli Community here in Rome, My dream is one day I join with your people. One of them (speaking about IDF) told me I can enjoy for 6 month training also. Is it true? If yes how can i enjoy? I asked to you because i know you knows many things, maybe on the IDF MAIL RECRUITMENT I can’t ask many things. Just recruitment…

        Thank you for your patiently.

        Laila Tov. Andy

      • Hello Andy, I apologize, but I am not familiar with this 6 month training is. If you want to join the IDF, you would first need to undergo conversion and then either join machal or make aliyah to Israel and be drafted. Best of luck.

    • the army gives you 1050 shekles a month to help towards rent and bills if you will be renting a private apartment. There are other living options like on a Kibbutz (you don’t pay anything) or a Soliders House (Beit Chayal) where everything including food is payed for. This however is only for soldiers whose parents dont live in the country. If you have questions, contact the Lone Soldiers Centre, or Nefesh B’Nefesh. You can google them both for their contact details and ask as many questions as you would like.

  3. I am an American Jew (Dad’s side), and 26 years old, with no immediate family in Israel (lone soldier). I want to make Aliyah, and I heard military service isn’t often required for my age, but if I am gonna get the benefits of citizenship, I want to do my part and be ready to defend the state like everyone else. I’m excited to learn Hebrew and get trained, (I’ve gotten in best shape of my life, and starting Hebrew lessons.) I keep hearing this “required six months.” Where is this number from… Is this the 3 months basic and 3 months combat training or warfare training? I know most Israeli’s do 2 or 3 months of border duty on top of that as part of their training, and can I sign up for that after initial training if my Hebrew is only from the IDF ulpan program? also, anyone know how long that program will take to get me ready enough to enlist?

    • Jonas,
      Depending the age of a male when he makes aliyah to Israel, he can be required to do differing lengths of army service. The 3 months you heard about is called shlav bet and is basically to get you prepared to do miliuim (reserve duty) for basically the rest of your life. The younger you are, then the longer your sherut chovah (mandator service). You can try to get your service lengthened – just remember, even if you hear the answer no, at first, keep trying until you hear the answer you want to hear. I recommend doing Ulpan beforehand and then joining the army . . . you will have a very different experience. Ulpan in the army is going to be mainly with Russian immigrants that don’t particularly want to serve in the IDF.

      There are also some other things to take into consideration. As you said, you are an American Jew on your dad’s side. This means that you have the right of return and to become an Israeli citizen, BUT you can NOT legally get married in Israel. This is a VERY unfortunate situation. There is an option to go through a conversion in the IDF which is accepted by the Rabbinute, so that you can get married in Israel. The conversion process in the IDF is easier than the conversion process with the civilian Rabbinute.Don’t feel as if you have to do this, but it is important that you understand the laws.

  4. Thanks for the response. And I appreciate you expressing the difference in experience for non-Hebrew speaking Jews in the army. I found a short interesting article on this…,7340,L-3989271,00.html

    Beyond that, any idea what I can expect for an initial commitment?

    Perhaps a better way to ask that question is “what’s the minimum term of service for volunteering in the IDF after aliyah beyond age of 24? and what’s minimum term for a combat unit under the same conditions?”

    My impression was, 3 months Shlav bet and then anywhere from 6 – 14 months sherut chovah can be expected. So basically a year or two with Hebrew crash courses I’m guessing. Does that sound right? I just want to have an answer for my family, who supports Israel, but doesn’t want to see their only remaining son leave home to be in danger (parents, right?). Not to worried about marriage right now, so that doesn’t bother me.

  5. So I am 34 years old, I have a college degree. (More than one in fact.) I have also served several years in the U.S. Army. I would like to make Aliyah single soldier. Where do you suggest I start?

    • Gideon,

      At your age, I don’t think there is any requirement to join the IDF. I don’t think you will even have to do shlav bet, but if you really want to join, then get ready for a fight. When you say single soldier, I think you mean “lone soldier.” After making Aliyah, you can try the drafting office and see who you can talk to about joining. Just be ready to meet a lot of resistance . . . and don’t take it personally.

  6. Okay just curious. Why would I meet with resistance? My age or that fact that I am coming from the U.S.? I would think my military experience and college education would be pluses.

    P.S. Yes I meant lone soldier. I know I am not required but I wish to serve. I would have made a career of the military here if not for plans to make Aliyah.

    • Gideon – Get used to meeting everything in Israel with resistance! That is just part of the culture . .. especially in the army. The thing is about the army, and Israel in general, is that common sense doesn’t always apply. So, even though you have a lot to offer, the army may not see it that way. There might be some security issues with you having served in another army, but I don’t know. My best advice is to just keep your goals in mind and don’t let anyone talk you out of them. Anything is possible in Israel with persistence!

  7. I am very concerned about what unit I will be in. I am hoping to become a lone soldier soon. Does that mean I get to choose my unit? I don’t have 20/20 vision. Will that affect me?

    • No soldier gets to choose the unit. The army chooses for you. Being in the army is not about having choices. Your vision will impact your medical profile, how much will depend what your actual vision is.

  8. So what would happen if a Canadian like myself moved to Isreal who isn’t a jew, infact isn’t religious at all? Would I still have to serve?

    • A non-Jew can not move to Israel as a citizen, so no, you would not have to serve in the army.

  9. I am hoping to make aliyah this next year, as I will be turning 22. I would like to do start a year long masters and following that seek professional employment. Can I request when making aliyah to be placed in the reserve pool, or is service mandatory as long as I obtain a certain score on a health profile?

    • I believe at your age, you will be required to serve shlav bet, which is a 3 month service. Then you will be a part of the reserves. There might be a chance you will have to do six months, but I think that is the longest period for someone making Aliyah at your age. Unfortunately, you won’t know for sure when they will call you for shlav bet, but I would recommend getting it done before you start your school, for a number of reasons, such as it might be a good way to meet people and learn Hebrew. However, the army is typically pretty reasonable about understanding school when it comes to shlav bet . . .. just don’t expect the same courtesy for your reserve duty.

  10. Hi! I am a 22 year old female considering making Aliyah. Because of my age and gender, would I still have to do the 3 months? I’m still trying to decide if I want to make Aliyah at all! Thank you!

    • You will not have to do the army at all.

      • I am a 22 year old female who already has a dual citizenship in Israel and America, and I have lived and studied in America for a majority of my life. I am moving back to Israel for 1-2 years to volunteer/work a little starting this October and then maybe another 4 years for medical school in Israel beginning in 2016. Will I be drafted into the army at any point during this time? I was already drafted once but I went to the Israeli embassy in NYC and explained that I was a college student in NY at the time. Thanks!

      • If your service was cancelled through the embassy, you will most likely not have any problems. At worst, you would be able to explain your circumstances and get it cancelled.

      • What if I want to serve in the IDF upon my arrival? Who should I talk to?

    • Go to the drafting office.

  11. Next year, ill be in the IDF, what place and units will I be in? Like whats the worst and the best? and where are they in Israel?

    • It all depends on your skills and medical profile on where you will be. What is worst and best depends on what you want to do. And I obviously can’t tell you where they are all located in Israel . . . the location of bases are secret.

  12. Hi, im an 18yr old christian american male contemplating joining the IDF after i go to college because i beleive more in what they are fighting for over there then what they are doing over here. would they let me join? can a foreigner earn their way into the isrealis special forces branches?

    • I don’t think you will be able to join the IDF, but there are plenty of other volunteer opportunities.

    • Why are Christian Americans not able to Join the IDF.

    • The IDF is a an army that defends the Jewish state. Christians do not have the right to become a citizen of Israel. More importantly, the US has laws against Americans joining other armies – you will lose your American citizenship.

      • You wrote “Christians do not have the right to become a citizen of Israel” You should be more precise in what you write. You mean to say that non-Jews (whether Christian or otherwise) do not have the right to immigrate to Israel and obtain Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return, but there are many non-Jewish citizens of Israel, those who are born there (Israeli Arabs) and those who obtain Israeli citizenship by other means (marriage to an Israeli, naturalization, etc.) There are Christians in the IDF–e.g., Arab citizens of Israel of Christian faith who do sometimes volunteer for IDF. Additionally, non-Jews from abroad who marry an Israeli citizen or a Jew who is eligible for aliyah under the Law of Return can obtain Israeli citizenship that way, for example, many Russian Christians married to Jewish spouses (or even someone with 1 Jewish grandparent) immigrate to Israel with their Jewish spouse, became Israeli citizens, and subsequently have to do IDF service if they fall within the correct age and health parameters. I’ve known a few foreign-born non-Jews from various countries (Russia, England, New Zealand) who obtained Israeli citizenship through marriage to an Israeli citizen or who got it after their Jewish spouses made aliyah and they served in the IDF.

      • Mikhael, you are confusing some issues. First of all, it was a specific answer to a specific question, so that is why I specified Christians, which is obviously a subset of non-Jews. If a person meets the definition of the right of the return, then they are considered Jewish by the Government of Israel – even though they may not meet the Rabbinate’s definition. So, that is not a way for a non-Jewish person to immigrate to Israel. A non-Jewish spouse of a Jew only receives rights to live, work, etc in Israel, but does not become a citizen – based on my understanding. Christian Arabs are citizens of Israel, so again, this is an irrelevant point for the person asking the question. But there are more Druze that serve in the IDF than Christian Arabs.

      • “A non-Jewish spouse of a Jew only receives rights to live, work, etc in Israel, but does not become a citizen – based on my understanding.” That’s a false statement. If you’re married to an Israeli citizen (being a non-Jewish spouse I mean), you’re entitled to receive the citizenship after 5 or 6 years, it’s not an easy process though, since Misrad Hapnim makes it difficult because they are not very happy about the idea of having non-Jewish people living here.

  13. I’m 22 years old and wondering, if I make aliyah while in Mahal, whether I would have to serve for 3 years instead of the 14-18 months required of people in Mahal.

    • I had a friend in the same situation. He only did 14-18 months, but that might have changed. You really need to check with Mahal.

  14. Hey i am 18 i was born in Israel and moved to US when i was 7. I am thinking of making an Aliyah after i hopefully become an Orthodontist or doctor. Do you know if i will be able to get a job successfully move to Israel and be able to get a job with my license? I speak Hebrew, English, and Russian. if i will be around my higher 20s? (27-29) will i have to serve in the IDF? what if i will move when i am 18, (while my family is still here)? Thank you!

    • Well, if you made aliyah when you were 7, then you would technically be considered a katin chozer, which means that your rights would be a bit different. The army has different rules when it comes to doctors in the army, so I unfortunately do not have that information for you. However, I do have friends that were doctors and had to serve in the army, even though they were older. I have no idea what your service time would be, but you can assume that the army would want to have you serve as a doctor, as they don’t have enough. As far as being able to find a job – doctors that speak Hebrew, Russian and English are in demand. If you move to Israel when you are 18, you will be considered a lone soldier and would definitely have to do 3 years and then only after you would go to med school. You MIGHT be able to talk the army into letting you do med school first, but then you would have to serve something like 5 or 6 years. And, I should point out that, Israel is one of the hardest countries to get into med school. And expect to get paid a lot less there than in the US .. .

  15. As a doctor making an Aliyah, is it a guarantee that i will have a job? Thank you very much your answers are very helpful! and, what about moving to Israel with an American Dr. license, is that fine? or will i have to re-do everything.

    • You are not guaranteed .. . there are no guarantees in life, especially in Israel.

      If you are talking about a drivers licence, then you will have to take a driving test . . . but not the written driving test. As far a doctors license, I’m not sure .. . but, I’m sure nefesh b’nefesh would know.

  16. My mother and father are both Israeli which by default makes me Israeli, even though i was born in the US. I lived in Israel for 2 years and came back to the states when i was 9, so I have a teudat zehut (number only). I believe, although im not certain, that my father recieved my IDF package? when i was 17, but I was living in the states (im 27 now).
    Im considering moving back but Im not possitive on the legalities (I havnt defered my service at the consulate yet). Have you any ideas of what will happen? Service, jail, etc?
    Also, how in demand are post- production movie/tv composting artists?
    Thank you.

    • You should be in touch with the embassy regarding this information. To check out jobs, you should try israemploy website – check out the useful links page.

  17. Hey im planning to do aliyah when im 18-19 years old. I live in sweden, and after high school here, you get a 1 year break. I plan to use the 1 year break, and take a extra year break, so I have 2 years in israel. Do you know a opition for me on how long I should serve? I dont want to serve for like 2,5 years, but I also dont want to serve only 3 months. I also dont know hebrew, and therefore going to go in a U-plan.

    • The army doesn’t really let you design your own track. However, I would look into a program called machal Metnadvim me’chotz l’aretz – Volunteers from Abroad.

  18. Would being 22 when starting Mahal shorten my military service time?

    • Being drafted at 22 shortens your military service. I’m not sure what happens when you are drafted through machal though.

  19. If you become an Israeli citizen and don’t speak English can you serve in the army or are not drafted.

  20. I want to move to Israel when I am about 21 I am male. I know some German and Russian but zero Hebrew. I am also Jewish by heritage. If I don’t speak Hebrew will I be drafted and if so are there English units? Also any clue how to learn the Hebrew language and alphabet because I am at a loss of how to learn it.

    • You will have both civilian Ulpan (Hebrew classes paid for by the government) and army ulpan. You won’t have to do the full service period of 3 years at 21 – but you will have to do some time. There are plenty of people in your situation. You should make sure you know what the laws are for proving your Jewish identity before making aliyah.

  21. So what web material and/or books are out there to learn Hebrew the fastest? I can’t be living in Israel and joining the IDF muttering jibberish. And what are the options for living once in training? Do we stay at the base? Do we get days off? I was on birthright last summer and some IDF soldiers joined our trip around Israel. I suppose it’s up to the IDF to decide what happens in almost all the situations regarding deployment of a soldier.

    • I know there are some online classes that you could take – usually they advertise on jpost or haaretz or maybe even ynet.

      As far as living, there are lone soldier houses. The army also gives (very small) stipends for apartments. You won’t know if you are going to be staying on or off base until you get your position in the army.

  22. Hello, I am on schedule to make aliyah at the end of this year. I will have just turned 25. I believe Shlav Bet is my likely route. If I request my Tzav Rishon early what time frame do you think i am looking at before 6 months of service begin. (Any help is appreciated). Thanks

    • It is hard to say. Some people get called up immediately after Ulpan ends, while others don’t get called up for a year after they make aliyah. The thing about the army is that it doesn’t work according to your time schedule. However, you should act like you don’t know this and demand them to draft you for when it is convenient for you. If you demand loud enough and enough times, then you can get anything done. This is how everything works in Israel – including the IDF.

    • Is this David who lives in Ros….ll., Georgia? I found you online! Who would know you best?

  23. Hello. I am a 32 year old attorney lving in the US and would like to make alyah. I am fully aware of the resistence I would face. Joining the reserves is a central part of my desire to move to Israel. Is there demand for someone with my credentials, despite my age? Perhaps a role in anintelligence unit or foriegn affairs? I’d imagine the Israeli legal system is somewhat similar to the US. I can read and write Hebre, but would certainly need ot take Ulpan before hand.

    Personally, I made the mistake of joining Marva when I was military age after college. At the time there wasn’t as much information available regarding Mahal, which I realize now was the route I should have taken. Marva was like summer camp and it left me feeling very unfulfilled. It is one of the biggest regrets of my life. I understand I am too old for Mahal now, so i figured the resreves is the only shot I have to serve my people (in terms of military service). Again, I have a jurist doctorate degree, and I’m sure my analytical skills could be an asset to the IDF in one capacity or another.

    This is a great site, thank you for your time.

    • It is hard to say. I think you would be fighting a very uphill battle. I am not sure what the cut off age for Shlav Bet is. And even if you would be in Shlav Bet, there is no guarantee that you would be using your degree. (You could end up just being a driver.) Nefesh B’Nefesh, would for sure know the cut off age for Shlav Bet. However, remember, the biggest thing you need to be able to do in Israel is to fight for what you want. That ability will make your time in the country more successful. Best of luck!

  24. I am an American 24 year old male. I plan on making Aliyah in either November or December this year. I would really rather extend my army time and do combat. Do you have any suggestions to kick start my ulpan (since I do not know hebrew), so I can join the army ASAP. Also, is it possible to do combat since I am 24? I have heard a lot of different things. Is there anything I could do?

    • I don’t know the answer for sure. But, if you really want to, you will have to argue – which is a good survival tool for Israel.

      There is ulpan in the army. If you need it, then you will be put into it.

      I read a newspaper called sha’ar l’matchil, which really helped me learn Hebrew.

  25. Hi I’m making Aliyah in October, and will then move onto he army process. What should I do first? I am terrified of being away from my family but I know tr military will be a good experience and I will learn a lot of discipline and maturity. Still, what should I expect from the army as an 18 year old girl?

    • Also! How soon after I arrive do you think my service will start?

    • Don’t be terrified. Technology makes it easier these days. 🙂 You will find family in Israel too. Friends become family. You will learn a lot from the military, some good, some bad . .. but mainly how to sleep on the bus! You actually may not be drafted by the military, because the rules are that if you make aliyah after 17 as a female, you don’t have to serve. If you are drafted, there are a number of options for the timing. I was drafted after 5 months, but my experience was unusual. I believe most people are drafted after a year.

  26. I’m an american Jew ( Mothers Side) I’m makeing aliyah. I’m 21 now but I’ll be 22 when I make aliyah.The army service for me would be 3- 6 months max. I want to do longer. Would it be possible to do a longer service. I know it also depends on my test results

    • Yes, it is possible to lengthen your army service. You may have to fight for it, but it is possible.

  27. Hi, I was born in Israel, then moved to the United States at the age of 6, and then I returned last year. I have two years of high school left (Currently enrolled in a Mofet class with an emphasis on biology and relearning Hebrew like crazy). People have been telling all sorts of things about the army, and honestly, I’m kinda confused about it all. Primarily, I’m very interested in doing something in the army involving biotechnology, but I’m very worried that the army doesn’t have any options for me in that area, and second, do you have any advice for someone who wants to be fully prepared for Tzav Rishon?

    Appreciate your response.

    • You’ll be surprised how many different positions there are in the army. And yes, there is even one for Biology and biotechnolgy. Just be persistent and insistent on what you want. To get ready for your tzav rishon, you should see if you can make any connections with people that have already been in this type of unit or position. Read up about the options so you can say exactly where you want to go. Best of luck!

  28. I’m an 18 year old american male, I’m not Jewish but one of my grandparents is. A friend and I are wanting to join the IDF just to fight. After our tour is up can we move back to the US or will our gov’t be angry?

    • Israel is the only army that an American citizen can join without loosing their citizenship. However, if you just want to go join the army to fight, then this may not be the right reason to go. For one, you’re going to have to learn a different language to be able to serve. Another reason is, that you have no idea what your position will be. You might end up working at a desk or in the kitchen. You might have really boring guard duty or feel useless. I think you should way your reasoning a bit more carefully before making such a big step. Maybe spend some more time in Israel before making a decision on what you want to do.

  29. I’m a 16 year old american girl, and I hope to make Aliyah after college, and join the military. Do you know if there are requirements for you to be eligible for the combat units?

    • Yes, there are. You will receive a grade for your physical fitness, if your grade is not high enough, then you will not be able to be in a combat unit.

      • im 21 but i will make my aliyah just after i will turn 22, i want to join IDF. im a girl. do you think its possible?

      • It is possible, but difficult.

  30. Hi, I live in England and I want to make aliyah (and join the IDF) when I’m 18 (I’m currently 16). I learned hebrew in school and I can speak simple conversational language. Would I have to go to ulpan? How long will I be able to serve for? After how long will they choose my unit, and will I have a choice? Will the army help me find a home, or will I stay with Israelis?
    Also, how long after I get to Israel can I get citizenship?

    • I recommend going to Ulpan. You can meet people, plus it will help your Hebrew. It is something you get for free from the country, so you might as well take advantage of it. Army service is 2 years, possibly 1 year and 11 months. You don’t always know your unit right away. I didn’t know which unit I was in until after I finished boot camp. I just lived in an apartment and didn’t have an adopted family. You get citizenship right away. You will have to apply with your israeli consulate. However, if you make aliyah after 17 years old, you will not be automatically drafted into the IDF.

  31. I am 18 and female half Israeli (father’s side). I recently came to visit for the first time and have fallen in love with Israel and want to come back and stay for a few years.

    I am looking into getting dual citizenship (I live in the U.S.) but am wondering if that means I have to serve in the army. If I do serve in the Israeli army will that affect my chances of getting in the U.S. military? I do not know Hebrew.

    Your advice would be greatly appreciated 🙂

    • Only if you move to Israel before the age of 17, does a female get drafted into the Israeli army. I don’t know what the rules are in the U.S. army, but would assume this would be a conflict of interest.

  32. Is there anywhere online that I can take a test to determine if my hebrew is up to the IDF standards?

    • I don’t know of any. They typically test you during the drafting process, when you get your tzav rishon.

  33. Hi there, I live in Canada and Im seriously considering joining the IDF once I graduate university . However, by the time I graduate I will be 22 (Im soon to be 21 now), and Im worried that unfortunately, I’ll be too old to join the israeli army…
    Do you think theres any way at all I could join at 22?
    Thank you for your help.

    • Yes, you would have to serve 6 months if you make aliyah at 22 years old.

  34. Hi! Im 22 and im making my alyah in dicember,
    How many months/years of duty do I have to do?
    Thank you for you good work!

    • You would probably have to serve for 6 months.

  35. hi 🙂 i am from the UK, used to live in israel until i was 8, still speak hebrew as if it was my first language.currently i am 15 so ive got 3 years… my problem is that i am academically gifted and it would be ashame if i dont do a masters degree in england (not good enough in hebrew as i have learnt here). my question for you is whether i will be able to serve in special forces when im older perhaps as old as 25? I have got the ability but would i be too old?

    • Not necessarily. But if you aren’t going to serve the full 3 years, it doesn’t make financial sense for the army to train you to be in an elite unit. Also, your age may not be the limiting factor, it could depend on your profile or other external factors in the army – i.e. positions open in the elite units, etc . .

  36. Hi I’m 16 and I’m planning to make alyah. I just want to know what you do after your IDF training?

    • If you mean after boot camp, then that depends on where you will be serving and what your position will be. The type of training you have will also depend on what position you will be serving. As a male you will serve 3 years and as a female 2 years. If you mean after your full service, then that depends – you could work, study or both. Many Israelis take a long trip to the east or south america after their service.

      • Let’s say your in the regular ground infantry. What would you do after boot camp? Would you just be at checkpoints all day?

  37. 30 year old American here. I wish I had the opportunity to travel the Israel, train, learn more Hebrew and fight alongside the best military. You all are very fortunate to have such an opportunity to be part of the IDF, go to Israel and fight for her.

  38. best army in the world

  39. Hi!
    I have an Arab-Christian friend who’s very interested in serving in the IDF. I cannot answer him as I don’t live in Israel, so any answers would be appreciated (I’d like to feel smart, ha)
    The questions are:
    1. Since he’s Arab, would he be able to choose his position in the IDF as he doesn’t want pubic exposure?
    2, He’s an Israeli, so who does he have to contact in order to test his eligibility to join the IDF?
    3. What stages does he have to go through?

  40. Hi,

    I am now finishing college and want to make aliyah when I graduate. I will be 22 yrs old then. I aspire to join an elite unite, such as shayetet 13. I was wondering how long my service will be?

    • Hello,
      I am a 23 year old male considering joining the IDF. I’ve heard many different numbers on time of service. I’ve heard 6 months and I’ve also heard two years if I attain citizenship. I’ve also come across the mahal program which I think is about a year and a half. What would my service be if I attain citizenship vs. volunteering. Also, my mothers cousin lives in Israel, would I still qualify as a line soldier? Thanks.

      • You would probably have to server for 6 months if you attain citizenship. Yes, you could still qualify as a lone soldier even if your mother’s cousin lives in Israel

  41. I admire the IDF and the will and strenth of the israeli people. God bless everyone involved in keeping this country safe.

  42. Hi, I’m an American female Jew (Fathers side). I’m 31 and considering making Aliyah. Will I be required to serve in the IDF? Are there benefits to serving if I don’t have to as in paying housing etc?

    • No you won’t be required to serve. However, make sure you now all the laws, for instance, you won’t have the right to get married in Israel – this creates many complications. It is an archaic law that effects a large population in Israel. The main benefit to serving in the army is the cultural aspect. There really is not much of a financial aspect.

  43. I am an american christian wanting to join the IDF, what steps do I need to take to join? I understand that being of non-jewish decent complicates things, but I want to serve the israeli people in any way I can.

  44. Hello , i’m 16 years old and from germany , im jewish and my mom is a israeli citizen. After finishing school in 2 years ( in age of 18,5 ). I really want to join the IDF. How many time it takes from sign in, visa , all tests… until be finally in the army ? so i do know when i have to sign up? thank u 🙂

    • Just by moving to Israel, you will be drafted. It can take half a year to a year. Do you know Hebrew? You will want to make sure to Ulpan before the army and hopefully try to avoid army ulpan.

      • i’m at a jewish high school , so i learning hebrew in school but i think i will/have to do the uplan.

      • i dont want moving to israel ( or i dont know yet) i want to do the Mahal Program 🙂

  45. Hey, Im 26 and from America. I am currently on a MASA volunteer program and have been in Israel since September. My program ends at the end of January. I’m considering making Aliyah when it is over. I was also 25 when I first came to Israel in September. Would I still be required to do army serivce or would I have to volunteer and fight to get in?

    • You might have to do shlav bet – 3 months so you can be part of the reserve forces.

  46. Hi. I enjoy reading all the information and your answers and maybe you could help me: Ive heard there is a chance to sign a contract with IDF for some extended period of time. My question is if its possible to sign some kind of agreement with them to extend period of service to make service in elite units aviable? im going to make aliyah while im 21, but as far i anderstood there are small chances to get in that units fir 2 years. thx

    • Yes, there is that option.

  47. Hi,
    Ive heard its harder for citizens who never lived here to get into moddin.
    do you know if thats true?

    • That sounds correct, but it is still possible.

  48. I’m a camerounian and i’ve never been to isreal before , is there any chance of being a lone soldier for me? (nd i’m 27 years old).

    • I would suggest visiting before you try to serve in the country’s army . . .

  49. I am leaving to Israel on February 13th for the end of April draft. (through Mahal). I am very confused as to what the process is before I get to Israel, and once I am there. I am hearing alot of conflicting things on what paper work I need, and if I get my visa in the USA or once I am in Israel etc… I was wondering if you can help shed some light on this issue. Thank You!

  50. First off: thank you for blogging it up like you do. It’s really handy for people looking for straight up anwers and effectively mine’s allready been answered from the dialogue with Gideon David.

    However, I still wish to ask you a couple of things:

    I’m 33, grandson of a jewish man. He had a twin sister who’s offspring now live in Israel. With this being said, will I be considered a lone soldier?

    What, if any, are the chances for a 33 year old guy to make a career in the IDF? I read somewhere that any man over 26 is exempt.

    Could I get into Mossad eventualy?

    Thank you for your time.

    Roel, the Netherlands

    • Yes, you can still be considered a lone soldier. You will have to show that they can’t support you though.

      Honestly, pretty slim of a chance, but not impossible. You may be exempt, but you can still volunteer.

      The Mossad will look for you if they want you. But I heard they are in need of foreign passports. 😉

  51. I am a 20 year old American with dual American/Israeli citizenship planning to make aliyah. Would I need to go to the army? If so, is there any way I can get out of services to continue my studies?

    • I am a 20 year old American with dual American/Israeli citizenship planning to make aliyah. Would I need to go to the army? If so, is there any way I can get out of services to continue my studies?

    • Typically, when making aliyah to Israel after the age of 17, females do not have to serve in the army. However, Americans living in Israel with dual Israeli-American citizenship are supposed send in a form to the embassy to cancel their army service before they are supposed to serve. You should contact the closest embassy and Nefesh B’Nefesh.

  52. hey , i am 21 and i am from argentina i am would like to go to israel at 22 to study there. i have to join the idf ? what is the average age for students to enter college? thanks

    • If you are a male, then you will be drafted. If you are female, then you won’t be drafted. Most Israelis, don’t start studying in a university or college until after their army service, a year or two of work, and then a long trip to somewhere abroad. So, the average age is closer to 24.

  53. thanks for the answer! i think i will study hebrew this year in argentina and next year at 22 i will go!

  54. I’m really wanting to join the IDF, it’s my reason for living. I’m wondering if this will be a problem, I have medical record of having Jewish blood, but neither I or anyone in my family practices Judaism. We have no proof of religious Jewish history, only the blood line. I’m I still eligible to make the IDF?

    • I’m not sure what you mean by Jewish blood. Judaism is a religion, not an ethnicity. But you have the right to move to Israel if you can prove that you have one Jewish grandparent who is Jewish. For instance, were they buried in a Jewish cemetery? have a ketuba? etc . . .

      • Sorry, my English. I mean, such as family practicing Judaism in secret therefore no Jewish record.

      • Do you know a Rabbi that could testify to this?

  55. Not in any way I know of.

  56. This thread is very interesting.
    I am 23 and finished university nearly a year ago and have been working since. I plan to liquidate the life that I have here to join.
    My main concerns right now are making sure that the I dont do this to discover that I dont qualify. I spoke to Machal and was told that I would have to take a 10 min test in Hebrew which will determine if I can join. If I fail I cannot take it again and will be too old for the next draft. My Hebrew was pretty good about 5 years ago. Can anyone tell me the level of difficulty and the nature of the test? As it is I can hold a conversation, but barely.

    • The rules might be different for machal, because that is not the rule for typical army service. In typical army service, if your hebrew isn’t good enough, they send you to ulpan – which is usually with a bunch of russian immigrants. Is there an opportunity for you to go to civilian ulpan first? You should ask machal about what the test includes so that you can figure out what is in the 10 minute conversation so you can prepare better.

  57. I am a 19 boy and my mom is from isreal and I am thinging of going in to the idf but I won’t to know will the idf help me to pay for a phone and for food and will I have were to go if I will need help and for how long will I need to be in the idf

    • As a soldier, you will get about 2000 NIS a month. You can get a little more if you are a warrior, for danger pay. If you were to Israel right now, you would have to do around 2-3 years, possibly the full 3. It is very hard to live off the money you get from the army. However, if you are in the army most of the time, like as a fighter, then you barely have time to spend money.

  58. Hey Im an 18 year old girl from england, and thinking of making aliya in september. I want to do the army service but I was wondering would I have to do it for 1 year and a half, or would it be for 3 years?

    • Women only have to do 2 years. However, women are ONLY drafted if they make aliyah at or before the age of 17.

      • ahh thanks very much. and if I want to join the army I can join the IDF?

      • You can. But expect to have to fight for it. But it is definitely do-able.

  59. Hi, I’m a 19-year old girl from Denmark, and I have plans to come to Israel soon. I’m don’t know if it’s a good idea to make Aliyah now, because I have to go back to Denmark to study in September or February (I wont know until August, when i start).
    I want to do some kind of army service, and I heard about a 3 months “program”. Have you heard of it? Will I have to make aliyah first to join?

    • The three month program is called shlav bet. It is only for males. There is no three month program for females. Females are only drafted into the army if they make aliyah at or before the age of 17.

  60. I don’t know conversational Hebrew, how difficult will the enlistment process be for me? Any tips?

    • Are you making aliya? If you are there is 5 months of ulpan for new immigrants. Also, how old are you? Are you sure you will be automatically drafted? The time you serve depends on how old you are when you make aliyah. There is also ulpan in the army for people who can’t speak Hebrew.

      • I am moving to Israel, but I am already the son of Israeli parents and thus a citizen, so you can say I’m returning, and I’m going in through the Mahal program’s short path for overseas Israeli citizens. I am 19 years old

        I know about the ulpan, but I am expecting lots of difficulties due to my lack of Hebrew, especially in the interviews in the enlistment process.

      • The Mahal program is different and I am not familiar with it. I don’t know if you can do mahal after you have made aliyah or if you are a katin chozer.

  61. I just turned 18 and have one more year of school after I want to make aliyah and serve in the IDF more then just 2 years. I have set my mind on serving in the IDF and I will do any thing to, but I do not know what to expect or how to prepare. So do you have any advice for me? my grandmother’s father was Jewish so I know getting married is going to be a problem but I am not worried about that.

    • The law of return actually requires that you have one Jewish grandparent. So, I don’t know if you would technically qualify for citizenship under the law of return. I suggest you get in touch with The Jewish Agency or Nefesh B’Nefesh. It is actually quite difficult to join the army as a female if you make aliyah after 17 years old – not impossible but difficult. My biggest recommendation is to start learning Hebrew. Take a trip, a long-term trip to Israel.

  62. thanks

  63. There is a female (28-32 ish years old) in America interested in making Aliyah with her family. She is interested in a career as an IDF officer of some kind. She speaks English and Hebrew (and I believe some Russian and Arabic?!?). She is a very intelligent lady, has never served in the military before (any military for that matter). I and she know she is older then the age a female needs to be to be conscripted for service. She is still interested in serving and hopefully becoming an officer although she does not know what capacity. She does have some things on her medical profile that would likely keep her out of combat positions. She is still very interested in joining the IDF military with hopes to serve as a career officer in some capacity. She would like to know if she can become an officer after making Aliyah if she enlists for a period of time first? And does anyone have any pointers to help her reach this capacity as an officer especially given her age. Are there any skills that if she has she should highlight? She currently works as a secretary and is fully willing to become a citizen and serve. She is willing to have to fight for it if need be but would like any advice she can get as far as what will help her chances…

  64. Aliyah at 24… I’ve been told I would have to serve six months. I’ve also been told that I wouldn’t be serving right away.

    What happens if, before my service begins, I get settled with a job and an apartment (as I hope will happen)

    Presumably, a six month leave of absence would mean that I lose the job. And possibly the apartment. Also, who will feed my cat?



    • You would either have to do 3 or 6 months. Probably shlav bet. You should probably first do 5 months of Ulpan, which is part of your aliyah rights. If your service begins after you get a job, you really don’t have a choice, but to serve. You can try to fight it, but it is highly unlikely that you will. As far as your cat, you will need to find a pet sitter – I wouldn’t suggest sneaking the cat on base. Best of luck.

  65. Hi.
    I am a 21 year old American. I am a girl who wants to serve in combat after I finish college (in a year). I would be able to join Garin Tzabar and am wondering if I would be able to serve in combat. I am worried my Hebrew is not good enough. Any thoughts?

    • It is hard, not impossible, for females to get drafted if they don’t make aliyah before 17 years old. I recommend doing your 5 months of ulpan as soon as you make aliyah. I would time your aliyah based on when ulpan starts – usually July and January I believe. I would start working on your Hebrew now if you can. Take classes, find a tutor, etc.You could possibly serve in combat assuming your physical score is high enough. There are not many combat units for girls.

  66. hi im a 16 yr old girl from UK and will finish school in 2 years., both my parents are israeli and i used to live in israel for 4 -5 yrs, but was born in UK. i am thinking of making aliyah at around 18-19 but dont want to join the army and would rather study at university. Do you know if it is possible to not go to the army?

    • Typically, women don’t get drafted if they make aliyah after the age of 17. However, since you lived there for a few years, then this complicates things. You should definitely check with your shaliach. I do recommend going to the army though – it is a great way to really become acclimated, to improve your Hebrew, and meet people.

  67. I’m a 25 year old israeli citizen currently in medical school in the U.S. Out of principle i want to take a year off from school and do my IDF service (which i think is shorter (~6 months) given my age). I’m jewish through my father and was hoping to go through the army conversion while at it so that i can one day marry in israel (did a conservative one in US although im already SS SK). Is this possible to all squeeze into 1 year? Given my school schedule is it possible to make all the arrangements before coming to israel? I don’t want to waste too much time given that i need to be back in school for the following academic year. (August 2014) I could start as soon as April/ May 2013. Thanks

    • Unfortunately, the army doesn’t really work according to our schedules. And I’ve never really seen the army turn anything around quickly. I don’t even know who you should talk to about this. Maybe you should ask Machal?

  68. I am a young Jew (16), and I plan on making Aliyah when I graduate (17). My mother is Jewish and my father is not, so my mother did not receive a Ketubah. I was told that all I need is a letter from my Rabbi to make Aliyah, yes? (I know I will have to press the Chief Rabbinate twice as hard as it presses me to verify my Jewishness)

    I want to go into the Israeli Air Force after Ulpan. How do I go into the IAF? I’m not worried about difficulty, but what are pre requisites? How much do pilots get paid? I know it is a required 9 years in service after graduating from the Academy, but, how do I ensure I get to fly?

    • Correct, all you will need is a letter from a rabbi. And yes, you will have a very difficult time proving your Jewishness to the Rabbinute. Does your mom have her parents’ ketuba?

      There is no way to ensure anything in the army. Your fate will be in the arms of the bureaucracy. To become a pilot, you will need to meet some of the highest demands – IQ, physical, etc . .

  69. I am a young Jew (16) and I want to make Aliyah when I graduate (17). I want to serve in the Israeli Air Force. What are the prerequisites? And, I know I shouldn’t go into the Air Force for money, but I plan to send money back home, so how much do Israeli pilots make in the Air Force?

    • It is really hard to become an Israeli pilot in the IAF, so I wouldn’t count on this as a stable source of income.

  70. I’m an 18 yr old girl.I made aliyah 5 months ago when i was 17.I requested the army for an early call and got one.I went to the Lishkat Hagius for my first call last month and have got my second call in this month.My Hebrew Ulpan is going on.I don’t know much Hebrew, can I get into Kishrei chutz(foreign policy) or Dovereth zahal(army spokesperson) in the army? I will need to work along with my army service due to some family problems,so when is the best time to request the army for the permission?I don’t want them to not let me do the army because I have some problems,I really want to do the army.Also can I know my profile and my kaba score from the army?Please help.

    • Yes, you will be able to get into kishrei chutz or Deveret Tzahal even if your Hebrew is not that good. However, it is hard to get into these units and you often need protectia. As a lone soldier you will get 1 month each year as a meuchedet. I believe you have to wait at least 3 months (possibly 6) in order to use this though. You should be able to know what your medical profile is. I’m not sure how you find out what your kaba score is.

  71. Sorry,but what is ‘protectia’ that you have mentioned in the above comment?What are my other options as a new immigrant?Also,I am not a lone soldier.I made aliyah with my family last year.So when is the best time to request the army for the permission to work along with my army service?I did not mention about it during my Tzav Rishon.

    • Protectia is knowing someone in high places, it is a connection. A very important word in Israel.

      You want to begin mentioning your family problems as soon as possible so that it documented all the way through.

  72. I’m a college student in the U.S. physically fit, fully capable of combat. However, I’m not Jewish. My great-grand-father was Jewish, but my family does not follow the religion. Is it possible for me to go and serve? based solely off my love and respect for Israel.

    • Hmm, you won’t be considered Jewish by Israel, so you won’t have the right of return. I don’t know if you would qualify for machal or a program like that. I suggest you make an inquiry with machal. Best of luck.

      • You could convert in the US and then make Aliyah. If I understand correctly, Reform, Conservative or Orthodox conversion in the US will qualify you for Aliyah. (But only convert if you feel you want to join the jewish people – which it sounds like you do.)

  73. Hi,
    I was born in israel and am an israeli citizen but emigrated to the US with my parents at 7. I am now 25 but looking to spend a year in israel. Given the length of my visit will I have any military issues or be required to serve?

    I deferred my service due to being in university in the US but am now wondering if that changes if i spend a certain amount of time in israel.


    • There might be issues. But having already deferred it will help your situation. Check with your embassy before you go. It will be easier to deal with before you leave than once you are there.

  74. Hi ! I’m a 24 year old man from Serbia.I will make Aliyah in October of 2013.After ulpan i would like to go in Army.I think i will serve 6 months.Is there any possibility to work in IDF after 6 month? (I’m not married , and i don’t have family and relatives in Israel.)

    • There is a possibility, but don’t count on it. You will make more money outside of the army anyhow.

  75. Hi,
    I was born in Israel and moved to the United States when I was 6. My mom and siblings recently moved back to Israel and my dad is staying here with me while I finish high school. I am planning on moving back to Israel this summer and joining the army, but I am concerned about the preliminary tests, rights, etc. I won’t be considered a lone soldier, of course, and I heard that I would be considered Ola Chadasha because I’ve been living in the States for so long, but I don’t know if that’s true or not. I speak Hebrew fluently and can read and write, though understandably not on the same level as someone my age who went to school in Israel. What can I expect out of the tests, interviews and how can I make sure that I can take them in English? Any information that could be even remotely helpful to my situation would be greatly appreciated. 🙂

    Thanks in advance!

    • You will most likely be considered a katina chozeret. As far as your Hebrew level, I wouldn’t worry about that too much. I barely knew any Hebrew when I took my tests, so I’m sure you will be just fine. I brought a friend with me to help me write an essay in Hebrew, to make sure that I could write full sentences. My best advice is to not be nervous. Do you know what you want to do in the army?

      • I really want to be in Modi’in or to be a pilot, but really I just want to serve my country in any way I can, though preferably with something interesting; I don’t just want to sit behind a desk, it’s not for me.

  76. Hello again. I have heard that during your screening process, you are subjected to an interview, which includes questions on what you’ve been doing the past years, your school history all the way to elementary, etc. Could you give me a rundown of all the personal questions I might have to answer?

    • I answered the questions so long ago that I don’t remember them. Maybe someone else can give you a list of questions. However, I wouldn’t be nervous about those questions – you know those answers.

  77. From what I heard you can expect questions about your relationship with your parents, their salaries, your socioeconomic standing, whether or not your parents are together, any major life events, about your family, etc. A lot of really in depth questions to try to figure out who you are and to try to make sure you’re not a crazy person. You just have to remember to keep your cool, take it seriously, and be honest.

    This is just what other people told me to help me get ready for it, as I have yet to take it too, but I hope it helps. Good luck with your interview! 🙂

  78. Hi! Please help me , my parents are divorced (my father is Israeli) , i am now 18 years old male , i was born in Russia , i currently have Russian Citizenship and Israeli (because i came to israel when i was 14 and got the citizenship , lived in israel with my father’s family for 2 years , then i moved back to Russia for one year and came back to Israel. I already went to “cav rishon” and got my profile and kabba.) i am in hebrew school now , but plan to move back to Russia and graduate school there , by the time i graduate i will be 19 years old.

    My question is how can i shorten my military service in order to keep the citizenship and not serve the long term of three years. (i do not plan on living in israel in the future) Please tell me all the possible procedures i can do including marriage and everything. When i come to the IDF , i want to be “lone soldier” because i cant live with my father’s family.

    • P.S i only wish to serve in the combat unit , not jobs.

  79. During your Tzav Rishon, you should have mentioned your socio-economic situation, i.e. that you can’t live with your family so that you can be considered to be a lone soldier. If you serve in combat, it will be very hard for you to shorten your service, because it costs the army a lot of money to train you, therefore, they will want to keep you in service longer so they can benefit from that cost. Unfortunately, the army doesn’t totally consider our agenda when they decide where to put us and for how long we are going to serve – that is one of the lessons you learn in the army. I wish I had better advice for you.

  80. Hey, I’m a Christian and I have a very strong interest, and heart for Israel. I have a great interest in Israeli culture, and a strong desire to learn Hebrew. Is there anyway I could join the IDF, or are there any programs connected to the IDF that would offer military training, and such?

    I’ve read quite a few of the comments, and replies above. Anyways, apparently Christians can not serve in the IDF? Why is this? Also, is it so that Druze are capable of joining the IDF? If you don’t know, or if possible is there anyone else that I can speak to on this matter that will perhaps be abled to provide more assistance? All is possible in Israel with persistence right? I am truly thankful. May all be well with you, and may God bless you. Thank you.

    • Christians can join the IDF. However, the Christians who I know of that joined the IDF are Israeli citizens. I don’t know if non-Israeli citizens can join the IDF. You chould check with the Machal program that helps volunteers from abroad volunteer for the army. However, if you are not a Jew and you join the IDF – i.e. a foreign army, you are at risk of losing the citizenship of your country. There are other programs that offer a week volunteer in the army, but I doubt it is what you are looking for as there is absolutely no real army training.

      • Is there anyway to join the IDF as a Christian without Israeli citizenship, and become a Israeli citizen? I’ll continue to look around. Losing citizenship isn’t an issue. Perhaps there isn’t an actual program, or really a basis for such, but maybe it could possibly still be done, huh? Thanks for the reply, may all be well with you. Thank you. Inshalla Shalom.

  81. Perhaps you could apply for dual citizenship? If you are American you can join without risking your citizenship, but I don’t know if that’s just for Jewish Americans. I’m not much help 😛

    Thank you for being so eager to join! I hope everything works out for you! 🙂

    • I appreciate it. I am an American. So we’ll see. Thank you. =)

  82. I’m a 19 y/o male with a hearing impairment that requires use of hearing aids who is interested in joining the IDF through Machal. Is there any way to see what my medical profile would be before joining, and what jobs I would be disqualified from?

    • Most people with hearing impairments would not have to do the army, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t. Your actual medical profile would depend on the level of hearing loss. You would definitely be disqualified from any type of fighter position. But on the plus side, if you don’t ever feel like doing an order you can blame not doing it on your hearing loss. 😉

      I had a friend who was completely deaf and she had to fight to get into the army, but the main point is that she got in. So, don’t give up, keep fighting!

  83. I’m 19, American, and converting at my local synagogue. None of my blood relations are Jewish. I plan to serve in mahal by the time I’m 20-21, after finishing my BA. How difficult will it be and what can I expect?

    • Are you asking how hard it will be to get into machal or how hard machal itself will be?

      • Getting into machal itself, sorry forgot to specify

      • Machal is meant to be easier for volunteers from abroad to serve in the IDF (hence the name). However, you might be questioned about your conversion, especially depending on the denomination you converted with. This is an unfortunate fact of Israel, despite what the law of return says.

  84. Hello, I am a female 17 year old Israeli, and live in London (I was born and brought up here).
    1) Due to the university system here, I will have to go to university now and leave when I will be 22. Is it still possible for me to serve as a Kravi? Hopefully, I wish to join Karakal, but due to my age I am wondering if that will be possible.
    2) I also have all my family living in Israel (father, cousins etc), but I do not know them – will I be considered a lone soldier?
    Thank you.

    • 1 – Yes, you can still join a fighting unit, despite your age. I am not sure exactly about karakal
      2 – Yes, you can still be considered a lone soldier. During your interview process during tzav rishon you will need to state and prove that you don’t have any support from that side of the family.

      However, as a female, you might have to fight to join the army at the age of 22.

  85. Hello,
    Im a 21 year old female and really interested in making aliyah! Yet there are a few things that I think would prevent me from being able to join the IDF.

    First off, I was born here in the U.S. (california) but my father and all of his family is/are Israeli. He passed away when i was little and my mom remarried, so i dont have my father’s last name, my stepdad “adopted” me and ever since then I’ve used HIS last name.
    I am in the process of converting because my mom isnt jewish and i know (have been told, rather) that if your mother isnt jewish neither are you. I dont speak much Hebrew though..I just know some of the basics. I do know a bit of Russian, more than i do hebrew.
    Second of all, i have a child. If i made aliyah my child would stay with my mom here in the U.S. so i guess that wouldnt be a problem?

    I guess what my question(s) is/are, if i make/attempt to make aliyah, will they look past me not having an Israeli last name or would they question me? Would i have to wait till after i convert? Do you know they height & weight requirements of the IDF? I also have tattoos, is that bad? Does the fact that i have a child affect my making aliyah? Where would i live if i dont have any immediate family in Israel? SO MANY QUESTIONS!!! Yet i appreciate you answering them.

    • You have the right to make aliyah if one of your grandparents are/were Jewish. Make sure you understand all of the complications regarding converting and what type of conversions that the Rabbinute accepts so that you make a decision on what you want to do. As a 21 year old female, you will not be drafted. Tattoos are not an issue. There are absorption centers in which you could live for the first 5 months.

  86. Hello,i am busy with joining the IDF , i already had my tsav rishon and everything went ok. The only thing is that they told me i have to do the ulpan becouse i had a 5/9 and i needed a 6/9 . Does this mean i will be with people that dont speak a word of hebrew? or do they make me do less than 3 months becouse i can already speak an OK hebrew? . Also do i have to shave my head for the ulpan?

    Thanks !

    • Are you being sent to army ulpan? or are you doing civilian ulpan? You have to shave your head when you get drafted.

      • The army ulpan

      • I would suggest first trying to do civilian ulpan. In the army, you will be on a track and will have to stay on that track. You will not be able to come in and out of the ulpan based on what fits you. It will mainly be Russian immigrants that are in the army ulpan with you.

      • Well as far as i’ve understood from the mahal office, i have no choice but to do the ulpan in august or not do the army …

      • Sounds about right for the army. You might as well get used to it.

  87. The army ulpan …

  88. hi
    I ask a question two months ago and said that my grate grandfather was Jewish but I did not know about my grate grandmother. well I found out that my grate grand mother was Jewish to so that would qualify me right since that would make my grand mother Jewish and mother half

    • Yes, it would qualify you, but you need to make sure you can correctly prove your Jewish heritage to the Jewish Agency to make aliyah, and then when it comes time for marriage, you will have to prove it to the rabbinute – which will be much harder.

  89. I saw in another post you said that “dating and mating habits are different in Israel than US” can u explain how so? I’ve heard similar thoughts would u be able to clarify?

    • I can’t really speak for what it like to date Israeli women .. . sorry . . .

  90. Hello. I am 18 years old and I just graduated high school abroad. I used to live in Israel and I own a Teudat Zehut. (I am not making Aliyah.) My question is, since I’ve lived in another country for some time and I’m not sure about the procedures, how long will it take for me to start the process of the Tsav Rishon and finish it by starting my army service if I was to arrive this summer? And can you please tell me what these procedures are and when I would get to know what unit I’m placed in?

    • There is a chance that you won’t have to do the army since you are over 18. However, I’m not sure your case is clear cut. The army does not work on our schedule, so it could take a short time or a long time. If you want to speed things up, you might want to head to your drafting office. From my tzav rishon to my drafting, it took less than four months. The process includes some army interviews to test your IQ, your Hebrew level, socieconomic situation, etc. You may not know what army unit you will be in until after boot camp.

      • After the Tzav rishon, how long did it take? and do i have to approach the individual units to get the process going once the tzav rishon is over? how can i possibly speed this up?

      • It really depends. Sometimes there is a specific draft that you would be included in for your unit so it could be a quick turn around or you would have to wait. If there is a specific unit that you want to get into, you can certainly try. It worked for me, so it might work for you. But remember if you try to speed something up then you may miss the draft date that you need.

  91. 27, Australian, planning to make aliyah. Im Jewish on fathers side and i don’t speak any Hewbrew, I Want to do my national service so what steps would I be needing to take to join the army? What is the cut off age?

    • When you say national service – do you mean the army or what is actually called national services – the year of service that the religious do to serve the country in other capacities? Are you female or male? The female cut off age is 17 and the male cut off age is somewhere around your current age. I think you would only have to do shlav bet at this point – which is 3 months. You definitely need to learn Hebrew. So sign up for ulpan while you are there. Also, make sure you understand the limitations you will have in Israel since the Rabbinate does not consider you Jewish.

  92. I am Male and I do mean the army. I know the limitations I will have since my mother is not Jewish but i still want to make aliyah and join the IDF.


  93. I’m an American Christian currently serving in the US Army, I’ve Served 7 years so far as Indirect Infantry, Infantry, and finally my current job as a Sniper and am starting training for Army SF as a Weapons SGT (18B). I’m 24 years old, have no parents or grandparents who are Jewish and heard I could NOT join the IDF if i’m 24 years or older, I was wondering if I do complete my SF train and gain that experience will the Israeli Gov make an exception to the age limit because of my special skill set? I do want to gain my Israeli citizenship here in the future and I want to defend Israel and the people of Israel. I don’t even know if I can do any of this because I’m a Christian… I’ve heard of other volunteer programs, but I’m a war fighter not a truck driver… I would most likely if possible stay in the IDF and make it a career.

    • I’m not sure what the rule is about joining the IDF if you are not Jewish and weren’t born as an Israeli citizen. It is important to note also, that just because you decide to make a career out of the army, doesn’t mean that the army will have the same decision. There are laws in the US against joining foreign armies and I believe that this is waived for Jews who move to Israel, so if you were to join the IDF, there is a chance that you would loose your citizenship.

      • Would it be a good or bad idea to get in touch with the MOD about my case? Or is there another Department I should contact?

        If I could join and everything was good to go do you know if I have to become a citizen before you can join the IDF or can I join the IDF to become a citizen?

  94. I am a male currently serving in the US Army. I have served 7 years so far as an Indirect Fire Infantry, Infantry and my current job as a Sniper (Infantry still just have a cool skill set), I’m 24 years old and am beginning training to become a Special Forces Weapon SGT (Army MOS 18B). I am wanting to move to Israel and join the IDF and make a career out of it after my Service here in America but I will be in my late 20 or even early 30 when I do that. I am wondering if the Israeli Gov will make an exception to their age limit policy due to my special skill set? I heard I can’t join after the age of 24. I have heard of other volunteer programs, but I’m a warfighter not a truck driver. I’m a Christian, I do not have any Jewish family members, I am going to stay a Christian, but I love the Jewish people and Israel and want to defend them, after all they are Gods chosen people and Israel is our Holy Land. Do you know any information that would help me out?

    If at all possible for me to join the IDF and go combat arms what are the possibilities of going Israeli Special Forces means at that time I would have served at leas 4 years as a Green Beret here in America (that’s if I even pass my SF training)? I do not speak Hebrew as of now, but I will be getting language training here soon.

    • Do me a favor will you, and let me know what you find out? I’m also, a American Christian and am still trying to figure out whether or not I can join the IDF.

      • haha didn’t mean to leave 2 posts of the same thing, the first post I wrote didn’t post right when i did it so I tried to re do it, my bad… and I have two different names? Awesome!

        Yeah for sure man, it’s going to be a few years, I still have a few contracts to finish, but once i’m done here and work on going over there, I’ll do my best to share my info to help you guys out. God I hope with my SF training here in America the Israeli Gov will make an exception for me and let me join even if i’m an old fart by then… I hope they’ll at least let me train them… do something to help them…

    • Yeah, I’m 19. I would really like to help out Israel too. If there was a way I could join the IDF to become a citizen that would be nice. I would even be willing to make a career out of it if need be. I know it costs a lot to train troops, and I don’t desire to be a bad investment. I appreciate it. Perhaps contacting the Israeli Embassy might be a good next step?

  95. Shalom,
    I am 34 years and planning to make Aliyah. I want to serve in the IDF. What is the age limit to join? Am I too old to serve in active duty and will I be made a reserve soldier?

    • You will not be drafted to serve. The only way that you serve in the reserves is if you were to do shlav bet, which you have passed the age limit.

  96. hello im 17 and im planning to make aliyah and to volunteer for the idf after i graduate highschool. Would I be classified as a lone soldier, i have cousins in israel but my immediate family is in america.(I have dual citizenship). I also have some questions about units. My cousins told me that the idf asks you 3 units or things you would like to be in the idf and they take that into concideration but ultimatley they get the last decision, is that true? Because I am really interested in intelligence/interrogation work,something like chel modi’yin, because i am very good with computers and i know many languages and i would also like to make a career out of it. But i am also very fit and athletic. and i have one more kind of silly question..after bootcamp are you required to keep getting buzzcuts?thanky you

    • You would be considered a lone soldier. The army has the ultimate decision – it is not summer camp. Yes, you have to keep your hair short and face shaved throughout your entire experience.

  97. I’m no subject matter expert on this but I think this info will help answer allot of questions from Americans. About the loosing your US citizenship, from my understanding of the law(s) you can join a foreign military and keep you US citizenship if you are a citizen of that country, if you are not a citizen of that country you can join and keep you US citizenship as long as you are not actively engaged in fighting against the US (I highly doubt the US and Israel will ever go to war with each other), you can loose you US citizenship if you are joining a foreign military with the intent of loosing you US citizenship. Like I said i’m no subject matter expert, here is my source. Do some research of your own as well, I just hope this helps answer some questions.

  98. Hi there! I am going to join the idf, I am 19 years young. In fact I have a husband who I love very much and he was going to join the American army. The thing is he wants to convert for me and still serve. We were thinking if joining together. Is there a possibility we can both receive benefits since we are married? (To make Aliyah together) and then we wanted to come back and join the American army and do school (college) and start a family but its very important for him to convert for me and my family’s sake. And if he can join and get all the benefits with me, will we be able to see each other?

    • First of all, make sure you understand all of the rules and laws around converting. For instance, after converting, you will need to spend a year in the community in which you converted before moving to Israel. Secondly, there are different kind of conversions and they have different standings in Israel. Secondly, if a female makes aliyah after 17 years old, she does not have to join the army, more so, it will be very difficult for her to join the army. It is even more difficult to join the army to serve in mandatory service once you are married.

      If you are both able to get into the army, then you might both be able to get lone soldier benefits. But remember, that you will then be living on about $2000 a month total. And you have no idea how often you will see each other.

      Joining two different countries’ armies is both difficult and I am not even sure it is possible. You have to pledge your allegiance to one country and this means something very different when you are serving in the army versus just saying it at the beginning of the school day.

      • That makes a lot of sense! It’s a lot of work for both of us. It’s been my dream to join but there is one very important detail I left out… I’m doing this through grain tzabar but haven’t told them (representatives at garin tzabar) that i am married yet. I hope it will not ruin my chances. :/

  99. Hello, i’m 18 and planning to enter the idf. If i can i will enter the next year, i live in Argentina. For what i’ve see, my profile would be 72, cause of back and knee problem, but for what the doctors told me, with the necessary amount of exercise they will correct themselves. I born in israel, and when i had 6 months my parent went to Argentina. For what i know they won’t give their consent for my to be in a combat unit (only child), but what i want to know is ¿if going like a lone soldier their consent is still necessary?. I really like to exercise and train (sounds very stupid for someone to go to the army because of that, is really a lot more but this would become a lot more extensive)

    • Have you ever thought of maybe trying to be a fitness trainer in the IDF?

      • not really interested in that, more interested on infiltration on enemy’s territory

  100. Hello, My name is Zach, I am 23 years old, from the U.S., and my father is a dual citizen with the U.S. and Israel (He was born in Israel and moved when he was 6). I will be moving to Israel in September for 10 months to participate in a Masa sponsored program in Tel Aviv.

    After which I am considering staying in Israel longer and potentially joining the IDF. I believe I would be considered a Ben Mehager, and since I would be 23 years old at the time I would only be required to serve for 6 months.

    I guess I have a few questions. If I stay in Israel for longer than a year am I required to serve in the IDF? What is the process of enlisting without becoming a citizen? Do you have any more information about the rules and regulations of those in my position?


  101. You can enlist through Machal without becoming a citizen. However, you are already a citizen, you just aren’t a resident. I’m sorry, I can’t be much more help than that.

  102. Hi, my name is Joshua.
    I’m 18 and currently living in Israel on a 10month program from Australia. My program finishes in December and I would like to stay in Australia for a month or two and come back to do 3 years army service for ideological reasons. I can speak little Hebrew but I don’t mind doing ulpan. I lived here 2 years ago but that was on my dad’s work visa.

    I have a friend who is on the same program with me at the moment and he is considering coming back with me after the month or two break. After our service though we would like to return to Australia, finish university, then later on in life we both plan on moving to Israel for good.

    How would we go about doing all this? I know what I want but I don’t know how to get it. I know all about the tzav rishon tests, but I don’t know when they are or anything. Can I keep my Australian passport?

  103. Yes, you can keep your Australian passport. The best suggestion is to do machal. If you make aliyah, do the army, leave, and then come back, many of your rights will have run out by the time you return.

  104. Hi,I’m an 18 year old girl from India.I made aliyah 8 months ago with my family and I’m going to start my basic training in the army on 10th December this year.I can read and write Hebrew but I don’t talk and understand Hebrew much as we are having a hard time regarding absorption here and the Ulpan classes are really very boring as there are no kids there of my age and I feel bored in the class.I don’t go to Ulpan presently.I know that at this time learning Hebrew is the most important thing as I’m going to the army in 4 months but I’m in no mood to learn Hebrew as it is torturing me.I just cant understand how I can make myself learn Hebrew as I really want to go to the army and know that it is already hard but it will be harder for me as I wouldn’t be able to understand the instructions.I don’t want the army experience to be like hell,especially the basic training.I want to enjoy it.Any ideas or tips as to what I can do about this problem?Please don’t ask me to watch Hebrew cartoons as they are boring as well.Also,I know English,Hindi and Marathi (Indian languages).Will I get to be in Kishrei chutz (foreign relations) or Dovereth zahal (army spokesperson) in the army as I don’t think there would be many who know these languages?Thanks.

    • Unfortunately, learning a new language is not easy and can be boring. It helps to try to speak to Israelis on a daily basis. I read a newspaper called sha’ar l’matchil. Maybe try finding teen magazines that you can work on translating?

      You will have to do ulpan in the army also.

      There is a small chance you would go to one of these units, but I wouldn’t count on it – they are in high demand and hard to get into.

  105. Is it true that Jewish girls who make aliyah to Israel at 17 years of age do not have to do the army service at all?

    • Girls that make aliyah after 17 typically do not get drafted.

  106. Hi, I’m planning on making aliyah, but it would only be me, not my parents. My father is encouraging me to do it if it’s really what I want to do (or maybe to get me out of the house?) I’m currently fifteen, living in the US, and wanted to know the earliest age I could apply for citizenship?

    • Yeah, that is the age that dads usually get sick of their daughters. 😉 However, you could make aliyah already. There are programs for students your age that you could sign up with. Try contacting your shaliach to see what the exact programs are. There are programs called nalah, selah, and garanim. Best of luck.

  107. How to make the army known that I have changed my address.Earlier I used to live in Raanana when I got the letter from the army that I am to start my service in December.But after that when I shifted to Petah Tikwa,I sent them a fax in English stating them about my address change.I have not got a letter since from the army.I have even checked in Raanana and there seems to be no letters that the army could have sent.What do you think? has the army been notified about my change of address?

    • If you change it on your teudat zehut the army will also be updated.

  108. Hi,
    I’ve a got some questions and I hope that you reply 🙂
    I’m not Jew, I mean my parents are not Jew either!. I’m Iranian and I would like to make Aliyah in future and as far as I’m concerned, I have to be a Jew in order to be able to serve in IDF. So is there any way that I change my religion and become a Jew? Another question is about my age, I’ll be more than 25 years old by the time I arrive at Israel so will IDF let me join? (because I heard they only accept to the age of 24). And the last questions is, Will Israeli government let me join its army and become a citizen? (I’m an Iranian and you know what that means…) I’m really tired of living as a Muslim and also living in Iran. I really like to change my path and become an Israeli citizen as well as serving in IDF if possible (I do love serving in IDF cause I do believe that it gives me lots of experience)

    • That is a good question. You could try to convert to Judaism. However, I have to be honest, I think it will be difficult. Both converting and getting accepted into the IDF with your past. I think you already know this and the reason. In any case, I highly recommend Buddhism as a religion or at the very least a way of life. Wish I could be of more help. Best of luck. Hope that things get better over in Iran. 🙂

  109. Shalom, I’m jewish and I currently live in the U.S and I am 15 and when I’m 16 I’m going to be done with highschool and I wanna make Aliyah my parents said its fine if I really want to. Can I make Aliyah this early like now or do I have to wait. Also I when I become 18 I want to serve for the IDF would they let me? If yes how long? I read hebrew fluently and speak a little hebrew.

  110. Hey, I’m pretty sure I can’t volunteer anyway, but I thought I would post the question as there seems to be a lot of informative feedback. I’m a 25-year-old Australian male citizen. I have absolutely no Jewish blood in me and I’m non-religious. I served in the Australian Army for 6 years full-time and have substantial experience. Because of my age, religion (or lack of) and the fact that I have no Israeli citizenship in my family, am I completely barred from volunteering in the IDF? It just seems slightly unfair, particularly since I have military experience and the overwhelming majority of Jews/Israelis who enlist have zero. Thanks for considering my question.

  111. Hello my name is Dallas, just wanted ask some questions!? (1) I’ve just recently found out that my great-grandfather served in the African theater during WW2, soon after the war was over I’ve discover that he was one of the very few Americans to go to Israel and help out the IDF, ruffly around (1947-52) I believe not quite sure what year exactly but I do know he was over there helping with the Mahal Corps/volunteers, even though he was wasn’t jewish!! (2) And my second question would IDF honor that and allow me to serve also just like my G-Grandfather, or would I have to convert which in any case I won’t mind doing, my ultimate goal is to defend the Israeli people hopefully in a combat position!! And my final Q is that how long would the whole process be in regards to me finally converting and actually going into IDF basic training? ——- Additional info I’m from NY,USA and I’m 18/5 male and I’m Christian-catholic .

    • That is a good question. You might want to contact Machal. However, make sure that you wouldn’t lose your American citizenship if you volunteer as a non-Jew for the IDF. Conversion takes different lengths of time depending on the stream that you are converting with. Additionally, you have to live in the community in which you convert for a year. Make sure you understand what the different types of conversions mean in terms of Israel. There are a lot of different idiosyncrasies in Judaism. You can also convert in Israel.

  112. Hi,
    I’m 27, Jewish, French and Israeli. I was born in Israel and left to France when I was 9 months. Both my parents are Israeli.
    I’m considering doing my Alya (probably at age 28), and was wondering how long I should stay in the army, and who should I contact to do it?
    Thanks a lot (and sorry if the question was asked in a different way earlier, I guess each case is specific?)

    • The army will probably draft you from 3-6 months.

  113. At age 18 I want to visit Israel for around 5 weeks. Would they make me join the army?

    • No. But if you are an Israeli citizen, make sure to clear it with the Israel embassy before you go visit.

  114. Whats a jobnick?

    • I think it is called a desk jockey in American army lingo

  115. im leaving the us army soon and would like to join the israeli army… i was infantry here, but this system is very beurocratic w a very corporate feel… i wanted to look into special forces over there, im ranger qualified here… i giess what im asking is does any of that get concidered or will they put me where they want.. and what to expect…?

    • How old are you? Are you Jewish?

  116. im 28 and not jewish just very passionate about my profession. i love what i do, and am good at it. i pick up languages pretty easily so learning hebrew wouldn’t be a problem. would i have to convert religion?

    • So, here is the thing. The IDF does not really except non-citizens except for a program called Machal, which I’ve only heard of Jews doing. In addition, if you serve for a foreign army, you take the risk of losing your American citizenship.

  117. Hi there,

    I am a 22 year old South African male, my Grandfather ( on my Dad’s side ) was a Jewish refugee from Germany during the second world war – would that make me a Zakai Aliya? proving he was Jewish may be difficult as he passed away while my father was very young and my father has no paper trails with regards to my grandfather. I was brought up Christian as i was living with my mother but was never baptized or confirmed and did not accept Christianity. I am looking at converting to Judaism and Serving the IDF. would it be possible to do my conversion through the IDF?


    • Yes, you have the right of return. You will need to try to find a paper trail to prove your Jewish background. You should definitely convert through the IDF – it will be much easier than through the Rabbinute directly or through other Rabbis who the Rabbinute will scrutinize.

  118. Hello
    I am a 23yr old male from south Africa I have a year until I am 24. I am not jewish, but my father is jewish. I wish to join the mahal idf program with optional ulplan. Will I be accepted ?


    • In terms of your Jewish heritage, you are eligible for Mahal and for Aliyah. I’m not sure what the age limit is for Mahal though.

  119. I want to do full service 18 months is that possible as I would be older than 24 by end of it ?

    • Full service is 3 years. You wouldn’t do that. But, to find it if you are eligible for machal at that age, then you should be in touch with machal.

  120. i m 19(hindu) in india and I want to join idf and higher education in Israel

  121. I am a 24 years old Afghan Citizen my ancestors were Jew…I have been a contractor for the US army in Afghanistan for over 4 years now I have a lot of experience in kinetic operations against insurgents…I want to join IDF Mahal is it possible?

    • What is your Jewish ancestry? Do you have one Jewish grandparent – either grandmother or grandfather?

    • The dad of my grandfather used to be Jewish…I dont have jewish grand parents or parents…..what if one converts to Judaism can he serve in the IDF then? or be an Israeli Citizen? thanks a lot for the reply.

      • yes, if you can convert then you could become an Israeli citizen and serve in the IDF.

  122. I served in the IDF many years ago. Back in 1981-1982. I’m in very good health. I’m 56. I do not currently live in Israel. I’ve since past the age of reserve duty but I would very much like to perform some level of service in the IDF. I read about the Sar-El program but I’d prefer something that wasn’t for ‘tourists’ .. no disrespect it is a noble and worthy effort these volunteers put in. What options might I consider?

    • I don’t know of any other options. Wish I could be of more help.

  123. I was in the IDF in 81-82. I’m now 56. I currently live in Australia. I was hoping to volunteer for reserve duty although I realise I’m past the age of reserve duty. I’m very healthy and fit and look more like 45 than 56 … Is there a volunteer IDF option?

  124. Hi, I’m planning on going to Israel and declaring Aliyah. I’m a Messianic Jew (Jewish, but believes Christ was the Messiah.) Would that cause any issues? I consider myself to be Jewish,(also, I’m from Jewish lineage through my fathers side of the family) and a follower of Christ.

    • Israel does not consider “Messianic Jews” as Jewish. “Messianic Jews” are not eligible for citizenship in Israel under the Right of Return Law.

  125. What about my Jewish Father and Grandmother?

    • You need one Jewish grandparent for qualify for the right of return. However, I need to be honest with you, you will most likely be discriminated against in Israel.

  126. Oh, Believe me. I kind of thought that would be the case. It’s ok.

  127. Shalom lekulam, a question, I consider making Sar-El in 2014, I know we get uniforms but no shoes/boots, so pls tell me which Boots the IDF is using and where to get. (if the IDF boots are not that, erm, good, pls an advise too), toda raba!

  128. Shalom! I have one question, I have been in Israel and I checked all my documents, except they told me that I have to bring letter from my rabbi! Because I am from Bosnia we dont have any rabbis left, so the only document I have now is my birthcertificate which says that I am Jewish. Is that enough or I need to talk to someone before my departure for December class! Thank you in advance!

    • Is there a Jewish elder in the community? Do your parents have a ketuba? What about gravestones that show your parents or grandparents were Jewish?

  129. I am a Nigerian interested in serving in Isreali army… I have filled the Idf recruitment form online and now awaiting response. I want to know if I will be the person incharge of my travel fares or the Idf if eventually I receive a call. since I don’t have any jewish ancestor what are my chances of being accepted into the idf?

    • To join the IDF, you either need to be Jewish or a citizen of Israel.

  130. hi im 20 ill be 21 when i move to israel and will be finish my conversion and what are the steps to join the idf

    • If you are a male, then you will be drafted. It might take a few months or a year. If you are female, then you will not be drafted.

      • Hi how are u?
        I m 22 years old jewish made aliyah at age of 21..
        I got army letter but my physician told me to get some letter from doctors
        I have a polystetic kidney.(in which kidney malfunction and grows and has balls on it ). have a blood pressure i have a flat feet hypertension .. and even tried to sucide almost three times…

        I dont want to serve as if i get too much presdure it can lead me different way..

        My doctor told me that i have profile 64 but it can go more down plus a letter from doctor can bring my profile more down..

        So can i get exempt????

      • The more proof that you have, the more likely you are to be able to get an exemption.Bring in your files and your records from all your doctors, hospital visits, etc.

      • I m in process..
        But can only kidney reason high blood pressure which is almost 150/100 nd my both kidney are efected left has alot.. Nd the letter of highest flat feet is enough..

        Do they exempt if i say i m not willing to do as i have this problems which is not a lie and it can cause my life in hell if its not taken care.
        PKD is exempt from almost all US. UK and russia but dont know ablout Israel.. i can bring the letter of nephrologist but i have sonography report i submitted done in Israel

  131. no im a female so is there a time frame from when after i finish my conversion that i can start or what are the steps .

    • You will not be drafted. Females are only drafted into the IDF if they move to Israel before the age of 17. You can try to join if you want. But it will be a fight, it will not be an automatic process.

      • I m in process..
        But can only kidney reason high blood pressure which is almost 150/100 nd my both kidney are efected left has alot.. Nd the letter of highest flat feet is enough..

        Do they exempt if i say i m not willing to do as i have this problems which is not a lie and it can cause my life in hell if its not taken care.
        PKD is exempt from almost all US. UK and russia but dont know ablout Israel.. i can bring the letter of nephrologist but i have sonography report i submitted done in Israel
        I m male 22.7 years but came to israel at 21

      • Just stay strong about your medical message and bring as much proof as you can.

  132. Hi I am a 22 year old female I was born in Israel and emigrated to Canada when I was 10 with my parents. I have dual citizenship. I am thinking about returning to Israel and making Aliyah. I am also considering applying to university in Israel for my second degree. I am wondering what I should expect in terms of my obligations to the Army? Could I still serve at this age and what are my options?

    • Your parents should have sent in a form when you around 17 to the Israeli consulate in Canada to exempt you from the army. If they didn’t you might be drafted when you make aliyah, you might not though. If you aren’t drafted, then you will have to fight a serve if you want to.

  133. Jessica, thanks for this excellent website and your story. You were 22 when you made Aliyah and you mentioned that females are not drafted unless they make Aliyah before 17. How did you enlist in the IDF ?

    • The same way anyone gets anything done in Israel. With a lot of fighting and a connection.

  134. do you think i should just come to israel and work in the nursing field instead i have my c.n.a certificate and im a plebotomist ?

    • I don’t know, That is really a question that you need to decide for yourself after you weight the pros and cons and based on what you are looking for in life.

  135. well that is what i would like to but i wanted to go throught the army as well but i dont wanna fight i know that can be hard

    • Fighting to get into the army could be good experience for fighting for everything else in Israel.

  136. Hey.i would like to join the mahal program next year and i have a question about Kishrei Chutz. I have read that it is better if you have a degree politics, international realtions, law etc. Is it enough for the IDF if i studied law for one or two semesters . Cause, hounestly i dont want to be too old for the army Service. And i also can speak three languages fluently. Another question is : what type of job are you doing in Kishrei Chutz , how are you working. Do you also get a gun and participating at practices at your base, deserts etc , or is it (“just”) a bureau job ?

    • If you have a high enough profile to be in a kravi unit, that is where you will be. The army will put you wherever it feels you can best serve it, and this can be based on a lot of different things, including timing, what positions are open, etc. It may not always match up with your skills or what you think would best fit you. Males are recruited up until a much older age than females for mandatory service. I’m not sure what the limit is on machal. For the most part, kishrei ha’chutz will just be a desk job. You will for the most part not have a gun or anything like that – maybe just for guard duty, but along with guard duty, you will also have kitchen duty, and cleaning duty, and all of that other not so fun stuff.

  137. Hi. I rely want to join the oketz unit and I was wondering what steps I need to take to get in and how hard of a unit it is. I was also wondering what are the roles on dating someone in oketz and some of the benifets of joining this unit as a lone solder.

  138. I made aliyah with my family when I was 14 and stayed in Israel for a year before we went back. I’ve returned to Israel now as an 18 year old 2 months ago without my family. What am I considered (katin chozer, oleh chadash)?And how does that relate to my army service and benefits I receive (reduced service etc..)?

    • You will be a katin chozer. If you are a male, you will be drafted for a full 3 years. If you are a female, you most likely won’t be drafted – although, there is a small chance that you will be.

  139. I am 25 years old, female, and married with one 4 year old daughter. I am learning Hebrew and Krav Maga currently. I want to move to Israel and join the Israeli Army. I am a professional (well-paid) and published photographer. Are there “photographer” positions in the IDF? And can my husband and daughter live with me after I get out of basic training?

    • There is a photography unit in the IDF. You would not be well paid – maybe around $1000/month – maybe less. You would be in the same position as 18-21 year old kids. You would not really be in any place where you would need krav maga. But either way, as a 25 year old married female with kids, it would be very difficult to be drafted into the army. Women are only drafted into the army if the make aliyah before the age of 17.

  140. hi, i was born in israel and have dual citzinship(from parents) to us also. i turn 18 during 12th grade. would the army let me stay and finish 12th grade and then go to the army?

    • Yes, definitely. Talk to your consulate.

  141. Hi i am 22 yrs old guy i made aliya wen i was 21 yr old i got tsav rishon nd i am suffering from pkd i guess early stage is der any chance to get in d army or ll i get exemption

    • I’m sorry, but I don’t know what pkd is. It will depend on how much it will impact your profile. You can always volunteer if you still want to serve in the event that you get an exemption.

      • Its polystic kidneys it can go on a very bad situation nd can go thru kidney failiur

    • I mean ll de still take me in army ? I am suffering through a lot doctors r giving me letters saying m fit but i am not plz tell me if i can get a xemption from army

      • They are going to rely on the doctor notes.

  142. Ok I m 22 did aliyah at 21.
    So I have appointment with psychologist today in idf i went after i completed tzav rishon last month as I m insted to go to treatment..
    I explained about my financial unstablity and problems in family and my sucide attempt. ..
    e the person told me to wait called me in and said that due to some problems and non adjustment I dont need to serve in army I dont need to come now within 2-3 month I ll get my exemption letter at home.
    And told me to go to sign outside and same thing the another person told.. and said you will get official letter of exemption in2-3 months.. now you dont neec to come.
    What it mean? ?
    I m exempt ?? Or they will call me again?
    And it ll take 3 months to get letter

    • It sounds like you will be exempt.

  143. In a few answers you said that if a woman made aliyah after the age of 17 she wouldn’t have to serve in the army. I just made aliyah at the age of 19 does that mean I won’t have to do military service?
    Also i’m doing a 5 month long ulpan program. Are there any repercussions if I decide to move back home after the ulpan is over?

    • If you make aliyah after 17, you do not have to serve in the army. Don’t think there will be repercussions.

  144. But if you arrive in Israel at the age of 19 you need to serve correct?

    • Not as a female.

  145. Then how come the nefesh b’nefesh oleh website says women who arrive to israel between the ages of 18-20 must serve 2 years in the idf?

    • Then they much have changed the laws since I made aliyah and served. Nefesh B’nefesh has the most up to date information.

  146. Okay, thank you

  147. Hi,

    My name is Jeremy, I am French and 23 years old. my academic year at the University will end on June 2014. Then, my studies will be finished.
    I would like to enlist in a combat unit for 14 months. Mahal used to propose it few months ago but today, if I want to enlist in July/August 2014, I will have to serve for 18 months …
    Is there a possibility to enlist for 12months/ 14 months maximum in a combat unit from July/ August 2014? I will be 24 years old in August 2014….

    Thank you for your help

    • I would just like to add that I am jewish, that I don’t want to enlist in order to make my Alya ( I just want to serve for my country), and that, as my studies will end on june 2014, I won’t be able to come to Israel before June 2014. So is it possible to enlist in July/August if I arrive in Israel in June? And is it possible to serve for 14 months?
      Thank you so much 🙂

    • I understand what you want to do, but that is the thing about the army, it doesn’t adjust its rules for individual soldiers. You are going to have either do what is available or else not do it at all. Part of the reasons are financial for the army. Best of luck!

  148. Shalom,

    I’m a 20 yr old female planning I make Aliyah in December of 2013. I know That I am no longer required to serve in the Israeli military, but I would like to. I will be taking kibbutz Ulpan first and petitioning to volunteer after I finish the Ulpan program. Is volunteering the same thing as being in Tzahal?

    • Yes, if you are volunteering for mandatory service, it is the same thing.

  149. Is Krav Maga taught to girls during their basic training in the IDF?What are the requirements to be a Krav Maga instructor?

    • Yes, it can be. Many instructors in the army are actually female.

      • But actually I am a new immigrant and I don’t know much Hebrew.Can I still become a Krav Maga instructor?

      • Not knowing Hebrew might impact your ability to instruct, so it might impact your ability to get into this position. You will probably end up needing to do ulpan in the army.

  150. My parents lived in Israel in the 1960s
    And I was born. We are Jewish

    They returned to South Africa 6 years later

    I lived my entire life outside of Israel

    When I was 21 I went to Israel on
    Holiday and was given a hard time at
    The airport as they wanted to know
    Why I lived overseas and whether I had done the army

    In fact I had Just finished the south Af army

    Eventually they let me on that plane back to south adrica

    I am now 50.

    If I go on
    A holiday to Israel will they

    1. Want to put me in the army
    2. Charge me for evasion
    3. Do you think I need a letter from my
    Embassy before going to Israel


    • I doubt you will have problems now. The army will not want to draft you at this age. However, as a teenager, you should have filed with the Israeli embassy in SA for your exemption. It is worth checking with the embassy now just to make sure there is no paperwork that you need.

  151. Well as a teenager no one told me to
    File for an exemption: I was a teenager
    So how would I know? My parents didn’t tell me.

    If one didn’t apply for exemption what are the consequences, can I be charged as an adult by the IDF? How does one know?

    • Check with the Israeli embassy in SA.

  152. Will I still be receiving the sal klita during the time I am volunteering in the IDF, which is six months after kibbutz Ulpan.

    • As far as I know, your sal klita is paused while you are in the army.

  153. What experiences can I expect to gain from the army as a girl.I am starting in December.

    • In what regard? Are you talking about professional experience? Are you talking about personal experience? Are you talking about learning Hebrew or gaining a skill or meeting people or having to do kitchen/guard duty?

      • I am talking about life experiences.That which will help me lead my life in a better and more confident way.I’m talking more about personal experiences.

      • It depends on where you end up in the army – you could be learning how to make coffee and make copies or you could learn another more useful skill. You will learn Hebrew, meet lots of people, learn how to deal with bureaucracy.

  154. I am working on a play about twins (one male, one female) both born in the US but their parents were both born in Israel and then became US citizens. Are either of the twins required to go back to Israel and serve? If the girl wants to, can she? I appreciate your expertise and response.

    • No, they will only have to send a form into their local embassy requesting an exemption.

  155. I have a question too! Just curious, I’m graduating from college with a Bachelors degree and will be 22. I’m planning on doing the Garin Tzabar program, but maybe you know what I could do with my degree there rather than just be put to a position that’s non related to my degree? I’m studying Health care management and Business Administration and want to join the Army before going to Graduate School. I know I will be there for 2 years minimum but I read on the website for the IDF that they “might” be able to use me with my degree?


    • What about being a medic?

      • Yes! I was looking into the Medical Unit, but just wanted to see what you thought too (you have great advice). Do you think I would be able to apply or hopefully get

      • You should definitely request it and keep pushing for it. Start looking for connections to see if anyone you know was in it, etc.

  156. Yes! I was looking into the Medical Unit Heil HaRfu’a, but just wanted to see what you thought too (you have great advice). Do you think I would be able to apply or hopefully get recognized as a candidate for that unit?

  157. Hey.I am a girl and I’m starting my army really very soon.I don’t know hebrew very well as I am a new immigrant.What types of jobs can I expect in the army to be given to me or to people like me.I just want to know their hebrew names and their meanings so that if I am asked for the type of job I would like to do,I could atleast say about something that will teach me a thing or two in the 2 years that I am going to spent there.I really need your help.Thankyou.

    • You will probably go to army ulpan first which will help you learn Hebrew and specifically the military lingo.The type of job will partially depend on your skills, IQ, personality, etc. The Hebrew words you need to know will largely depend on the position you end up in. The best advice I can give you is to realize that as much as this is an opportunity for the IDF to use you, it is an opportunity for you to use the IDF. Stay persistent and keep demanding what you want.

  158. I’m 31 years old, I was born in Israel and recently returned. I have already signed the exemption papers but I’m considering trying to enlist. I read that I might meet a lot of resistance. Do you mean that they will just say no? Also, what sort of tests do they administer in terms of IQ, etc? Are they academic in nature?


    • The IDF most likely will not accept you at 31. There are numerous reasons for this, some just boil down to a cost -benefit analysis for the army. You can always try, but expect to be turned down. The tests vary. They are typical IQ tests, not academic in nature.

      • Well that’s rather disappointing. You’d think they would want an able bodied person to enlist. I think I’m still going to try. Thanks for the response.

    • Shalom Tal!

      This might be of interest to you.
      There is a program called Sar-El that allows people over the age of possible enlistment to volunteer. You should really look into it, don’t give up!

      All the Best,

      • Thanks for the replay, I’ll look into that. 🙂 I’m going to the enlistment office sometime this week, we’ll see what happens.

      • I’ll looked at the Sar-El website and its not something I think I’d be interested in. I don’t want to volunteer but actually enlist – go through basic training, etc.

  159. Hi. I am twenty-four years old (female) and have been living in Israel for six years on a student visa (I did my undergrad here). If I make aliyah will I be required to do army service? I have been in the country for more or less the entire six years from the age of eighteen until now. Thanks!

    • It is very unlikely. There have been instances with men who live here, without making aliyah at age 16, 17, 18, etc… and then make aliyah at an older age. If they lived here without leaving at all, then there sometimes they have to do the full 3 years. I don’t know for sure if this is how it works with females.

  160. Hi, I’m an 18 year old American and I’m not Jewish. I strongly believe in the defense of Israel and I’m not afraid to die for what I believe in whatsoever. I have quite a bit more experience with combat of any kind than most people my age due to a bit more what would be considered odd/rough life than most people in my country. I believe only the most intellectually and physically strong survive. Not only would this be one of the greatest tests in my life, it would be the greatest experience. I would like to know the qualifications that are required to join the Israeli Army and eventually join a special operations unit.

    • Jerry – The IDF only drafts Israeli citizens. Some Jewish volunteers from abroad also join. However, there is no opportunity for non-Jews who are not Israeli citizens to join.

  161. Hi,

    I lived in Israel until the age of 7. I am now 23, female and back to live here as a returning resident. I want to serve in the IDF and was just wondering how hard of a fight can I expect? Any tips on persuading them to let me join! Thanks!

    • You will not get automatically drafted. You will need to start the process by yourself. You will need to be very persistent. Do you know where you want to serve?

  162. Thanks for replying! I would like to go into combat or intelligence. I know they’re really hard to get into but I’m determined to try!

  163. Hi,

    I am about to turn 21 years old in the beginning of January and about to start the Aliyah process now from America. It is my dream to go into the IDF for at least a little amount of time, although I read that 21 is the cut off year for females to volunteer. Is there any way I can fight to get in and if so how can I do this?

    • It will be a fight. You can go to the drafting office. However, you will probably have to do the full 2 years, so be prepared for that. Have an idea of what you want to do to try to convince them that you can benefit the army. But, it will be an uphill battle.

  164. Thank you for your helpful reply!! I would be thrilled to serve two years in the army I would just love to have any advice on how I can convince them of this. I am more than prepared for this battle, and confident I can get in I would just like some tips if you know of any!? Thank you! And also would I be able to talk to this recruiter you are speaking of in Miami or would I first need to come to Israel?

    • Figure out what you want to do and explain why you would be an asset. You would need to go to the actual recruiting office here in Israel in whichever city you are living. Also, maybe you could try through garin machal.

  165. Hey there,

    First of all, I really appreciate your effort running this blog which contains tons of very useful information – thank you! I would be very thankful for you opinion about my case:

    I am almost 27 years old Polish citizen, who visited Israel last year during Taglit Birthright program (one of my Grandparents was Jewish). 3 years ago I have graduated Univeristy of Technology, obtaining Masters of Science in Environmental Protection and Occupational Health and Safety Management studies. I always wanted to join the army, even Polish forces, however I was pressed by my parents to take a university path.

    Right now I am intensively considering fulfilling my dream and apply for Aliyah, settle down in Israel and start my career in IDF. Could you share with me your opinion if it is worth thinking about that opportunity at my age, and if someone like me would be an attractive candidate for IDF?

    Thank you in advance!
    All the best,

    • Janek,

      First of all, make sure you understand your legal standing under the law. You have the right of return as a Jew, however, you will not have the right to get married in Israel – because the ultra-Orthodox Rabbinate controls marriage in Israel and won’t consider you Jewish. Make sure you understand this fact before making any decision. It can be a hard realization after the fact.

      Secondly, it is very difficult for a woman after the age of 18 to be drafted into the army. It is mainly because of financial reasons for the IDF. This is not to say that it is not impossible.

      However, we need more people in Israel that know about Environmental Protection, that is for sure!!!! But, not sure how well those jobs pay or what the demand is like. Sadly, Israel is quite a few years behind on these issues.

  166. Hey. Im about to participate in the mahal program. Im not the only child of my mother, but her only son thou. Do the idf need my mothers permission and am i allowed to join a combat unit ?

    • I honestly can’t remember… I’m sorry. But be in touch with the Machal coordinators, they should know.

  167. Hi I am a US citizen and i was born in Iran but my religion is Baha’i and I was in us army last year i would like to enlist but i am not sure if i can or not. Can someone please give me some information. I am very interested in joining as soon as i can!thank u

    • Israelis and Jews from abroad are able to join the IDF. Please note that when you are a citizen of America, volunteering to join a foreign army can be considered an act of treason.

  168. Hi! I’ve already used this blog once and your information is greatly appreciated! Just curious. As I’m planning on enlisting in the IDF with a tzofim program and will be a 22 year old (male), I would sign up for a certain period of time and then get selected for a unit/job, not the other way around correct? I will be coming in with a Bachelors degree with health care management and hope to push for the medic unit

    • That is typically how it goes. Unless, you are being drafted into a certain area, you might know ahead of time. For instance, if you need to go in with a certain gibush.

  169. Shalom,

    How is the first day of joining the IDF when you are conscripted? What is the process and how do you sign up for things like the Special Forces or Air Forces? Also, I read that you are allowed up to 1 inch of hair (I am a male). Do they shave you completely upon the first day, and how strict is this? Not that it matters.

    • The first day is mainly bureaucracy, fingerprints, pictures, shots, uniform, etc… sort of like getting put in federal prison. You may get sent home or get sent to your base. To sign up for special forces or air force you will have to qualify during your exams. I don’t know hair restrictions for men, but if you are a female, you must wear your hair in a pony tail.

  170. I am an American I converted to Judaism not to long ago. Recently I was accepted to start my Masters in June at Tel Aviv University. Currently I am contemplating making Aliyah. Being in Israel I felt more at peace than anywhere else I had ever been but my reluctance to this big step is that I wish to work in Intelligence thus why I am pursuing my Masters. Any thoughts on the probability of a former American working in Intelligence in Israel?

    I am not sure on the requirements for service in the IDF when someone makes Aliyah if you could tell me those that would be of great help. As for me I am 27, male and in very good shape I actually would like to be in the IDF as I see that will definitely help in my endeavor. Could you also explain how one gets into the different units i.e. Intelligence or Sayeret? I know you are assigned to units based on needs but is there any way to chose to go to one of these units?

    One final question as I will be a Lone Soldier do I get any aid to pay for room and board?

    • I think at the age of 27, you will not be drafted into the army. If you will, it will only be for three months. So, the likelihood of you being in intelligence is small. This has nothing to do with conversion, and everything to do with your age – it is basically a financial decision for the IDF. When I was in the army, lone soldiers made around 4000 NIS a month, which included money for an apartment. There are soldier houses that you can stay at also or see if you can get an adoptive family. Make sure you understand all of the internal intricacies in Israel about the who is a Jew question. There are some very primitive and injustice laws in this country unfortunately – I just don’t want you to be surprised by it after the fact.

      • I am not sure I understand what you mean by who’s a Jew and the primitive injustice laws. Could you perhaps elaborate on these things a bit more? Thank you for all your help.

    • As far as the laws of Israel, there are two different “standards”. There is the Law of Immigration standard which says that if you have one grand parent that is/was Jewish, then you are considered Jewish and can make Aliyah. This standard was created as a reaction to the Holocaust because this is how the Nazis defined a Jew. If this is the case, then you can make Aliyah.

      Then there is the Rabinut standard. This means that you have to have a Jewish mother or Orthodox approved conversion. The Rabinut standard affects marriages, births, burial – basically any Jewish life cycle. For instance, if you meet the aliyah standard but not the Rabinut standard then you can become a citizen of Israel, but you can not marry in Israel – unless you “convert” by an Rabinut approved rabbi.

  171. I am thinking of making aliyah possibly at the end of this year. I will be 29 and wondering if I will have to do IDF service which i want to do anyway. I am also considering a kibbutz program as well. any info would be greatly appreciated

    • You will probably have to do 3 months and then be a part of the reserve pool

  172. Hey.I just wanted to know what is kishrei chutz and what do people typically do in it. Can you also tell me how long can be its training and whether its for the normal 2 years or do we need to sign an additional 1 year if we get into it? Thanks in advance.

    • Kishrei chutz is foreign relations with other armies, not to be confused with dover tzahal, which is the media relations. You have basic training, might be as little as 3 weeks. The course itslef,might be around a month or two, possibly three. But you might also not have a course. It depends on when you are drafted and how you get drafted. You will have the typical army service time based on your age and gender.

  173. I’m 25 year old male looking to make aliyah was wondering if its possible to expidite service or must you wait 6 to 12 month before entering. I have no family there and mainly want to go to Israel and protect the people and fight for them. Can I stay in the military or do they kick u out after your required service time. I want to do more than just 6 months or so. But that doesn’t neccicary mean I only want combat there are many things to do but if needed I would fight. Must I just non stop continue to try for more time or is it not possible to do longer terms or even make it my career? Does it make a difference if iam a us citizen making aliyah and wanting to be military for career as apposed to being born in israel?

    • You can try to get it expedited. People have been able to do it before, but if you don’t know Hebrew, you should definitely take advantage of the ulpan beforehand. You can try to sign for more. It will depend on where you are, what they need, budget, etc…It does not make a difference where you are born regarding signing on for more time.

  174. Also i was raised a jew had my barmitzvah and my entire family is jewish going as far back as possible. I donno if all this makes a difference as far as how i would b looked at. Does it? Being that it would b absolutly no problem to prove my backround of family history is this looked upon more highly if tring to serve more time in the army or does it make no difference?

    • Proving that you are Jewish only becomes difficult for when you want to get married. All you really need is a letter from your rabbi for aliyah.

  175. Hi my name is charlotte and i am 19 years old i was just wondering i am Jewish i was born in England but i lived in Israel when i was 9 for nearly a year so i am an Israeli citizen i am thinking of going back to Israel to either live or just for a holiday but because im Jewish and i am an Israeli citizen i was just wondering if i would be required to do the army??

    • If you move to Israel at 19, yes you would have to. I believe the cut off age for females is now 20. But, keep in mind there are some pluses to serve.

  176. Hey.I just wanted to know what are the job options available in kishrei chutz and which are the best ones.

  177. How much per month is the pay for a lone soldier? Thanks

    • About 4000 NIS a month. More for fighters.

  178. Hi, I am a 17 year old modern orthodox Jewish American male. I am planning on making aliyah in the summer of next year. I think I will do a mechina program before drafting. My goal is to join a good infantry unit such as golani or paratroopers and join the sayeret of that unit. My hebrew skills are ok, I’m physically in decent but not fantastic shape, and I wear contacts. I am also highly intelligent and motivated. What should I do to maximize my chances of achieving my goal? I’m willing to devote a lot of time to physically and mentally prepare myself for whatever is required. Should I consider getting laser eye surgery? Thanks.

    • I don’t know what the eyesight requirements are, but the best thing you can do is be determined to never settle for anything that you don’t want and be willing to fight the bureaucratic system.

  179. Thanks for the quick responses. Also I’m in Israel now and going through the mahal process to volunteer. I wanna do golani or tzachanim but I heard that mahal volunteers almost never get in and that they are usually put in nahal. Some sites say that you gotta make aliyah to boost your chances at getting in your preferred brigade. My question is if I’m persistent enough could I get into golani? Do you know any mahal volunteers that were let into golani? Btw My Hebrew is sorta decent I guess. I can say lots and I got s big vocabulary but I can’t understand very well if people speak to quickly. Would I be required to take an ulpan? What’s the level of Hebrew one must know to avoid ulpan for 3 months. And is Hebrew a major factor in getting into golsni? Thanks for taking the time to help me out with these questions.

    • To put someone in an elite unit, the army is going to want a soldier that will be in the army for a full three years at least – because it costs a lot to train the soldiers. Comprehension is a big part of the army so that you can understand orders in a life and death situation. Keep using your Hebrew and working hard and you should probably be able to skip it based on what you said. If you can hold down a conversation, then you will be fine.

  180. Thanks. I’ll keep working on my Hebrew. If I agree to sign on more time would that work to get me into golani? Golani has been on my mind recently cause I heard their training is more vigorous than nahal or givati.

  181. My whole life I’ve been wanting to join the israeli army. Now that my friends, as well as I got accepted to college the decision is becoming extremely hard. First of all I’d like to say that im a little scared of it. What if I dont like it and its not a place for me? Is there any possible way to go to school instead? Or maybe is there a possibility that. CAn serve just one year? Another thing is I have a boyfriend were madly in love its been 5 years, and im scared of losing him which is making the decision so much harder. What should I do???

    • So, just like Israelis who get drafted, if you don’t like it, you don’t have much of a choice. You could go to school after. You might be able to check out the Machal program to see if you could sever just one year or even the garin program where you serve a year and then do more educational stuff for the second year. As far as the boyfriend, I can’t advise you on that. You have to decide that for yourself.

  182. thanks for taking the time to answer all these questions. i’m a 28 year old male, and already an Israeli citizen. Unlike the rest of the people i above i really have no aspiration to join a military at this age. I wont be making aliya per say, but i will be repatriating to join my girlfriend (an Israeli woman) since she does not want to live here. I’d like to seek exemption when I’m there but am not willing to perjure myself to obtain it. A few of my friends over there, including one that has worked in consulates abroad claim that sometimes the army can have a “hard on” for people in my situation an will seek to push the longest conscription possible on us ( I have actually experienced something similar first hand from customs and the ministry of interior). what are my options? how should i go about this?

    • Yeah, I’ve heard that too. Did you fill out your paperwork with the embassy when you were supposed to?

  183. I have all the necessary paperwork (passport/exemption papers for 120 days) However, I had been sent for work to the persian gulf and decided carrying any Israeli documentation would be to great a risk. I explained this at customs and they referred me to the the ministry of interior which even threatened to bar my exit.
    Anyway, how much time can I expect to be necessary upon establishing residence? are exemption requests ever granted? I was a small child when I left with my parents if that makes a difference.

    • I mean the paperwork when you turning 18 years old. Did you fill that out then?

      • I’m really not sure what paperwork you are referring too. the only form I have ever applied for or received is “אזרחים ישראלים השוהים בחו”ל משכי ביקור לבני מהגרים”.
        In any case, if I am entered into 3 month service and the reserve pool, does that include annual reserve duty? or am i just part of the pool in the event of necessity?

      • Yes, it would include annual reserve duty – as long as you are in the country.

  184. Hi again! I think I may have posted this somewhere else but got lost in the transition of signing up. My question is that I am going to be 22 this summer and had hopes of doing Garin Tzabar before i learned that there was a 2 year commitment. I wanted to see if you had any advice as to shorter types of programs. I have Israeli Citizenship with a lot of family in Israel and my family has an apartment there under my stepmom’s name. I liked the idea of Garin Tzabar because of the familial situation, but I wish to go to Grad School in the US after and want to do a shorter program if possible! Still thinking about the 2 years tho…

    • The only other shorter program I can think of is if you make aliyah after the age of 22, then you would be drafted for only six months.

  185. I am a new immigrant and just finished my basic training and course Ivrit in the army which lasted for about 3 months.Recently I got to know that my Tafkeed is ‘khel avir klale’ and I have another meeting with the katzin miyun on sunday to determine what exact job I will be doing in the army. I wanted to be in kishrei chutz but didn’t get it and instead was put into air force. What are the best non-combat jobs in the airforce and can I ask for kishrei chutz in the air force as I think I deserve it.

    • I’m not sure, but there may be a section of Kishrei Ha’Chutz in the air force. Good luck!

  186. Hey, I’m a new immigrant and finished my basic training and course ivrit in the army recently. I wanted kishrei chutz but have sadly ended up in kheder okel(cooking department)because my hebrew level is not good enough according to them.I’ve never felt so insulted in my life and have decided to fight this system and eventually get kishrei chutz. How do you think I should go about this.Moreover, I have to be 1 week on the base and 1 week home and it will go on like this . What should I do about the time at home so that I can increase my hebrew level as I won’t be able to stay in this job for more than 2 months. What should I do to change my job and that also fast. Hoping for your reply.Thank you.

    • This happens to many. The IDF does not often take into account what we want, but more focuses on what it needs. Keep practicing your Hebrew, try to learn new words everyday, and use them in conversation. Watch Israeli TV, listen to the Radio, read… etc. For the army, keep being stubborn. Tell them you can do more elsewhere, refuse to do your job, speak to commanders, talk to your mashakitash, but also realize there are consequences, i.e. military jail, etc.

  187. Hey, I’m a new immigrant and finished my basic training and course ivrit in the army recently. I wanted kishrei chutz but have sadly ended up in kheder okel(cooking department)because my hebrew level is not good enough according to them.I’ve never felt so insulted in my life and have decided to fight this system and eventually get kishrei chutz. How do you think I should go about this.Moreover, I have to be 1 week on the base and 1 week home and it will go on like this . What should I do about the time at home so that I can increase my hebrew level as I won’t be able to stay in this job for more than 2 months. What should I do to change my job and that also fast. Hoping for your early reply as I really need it.Thank you.

  188. My daughter is 15 and is considering Aliyah right after high school. However she would only want to make Aliyah if she could 1) serve in the IDF and 2) undergo the conversion course (her mother was not jewish when my daughter was born). Is there a way to make aliyah contingent on admission to the IDF and to the conversion course? Thanks

    • No, but if she makes Aliyah right after high school, then she will be drafted and will have the opportunity to do the IDF conversion. But, it is important to note that Aliyah is not forever. She can always changer her mind. It is not a pact with the devil.

  189. I’m a 17 year old female, I am going to Israel for seminary next year but I am only going for my parents. I want to make aliyah and join the IDF. I don’t speak a lot of hebrew. My main issue is that i don’t even know where to start the process. So my question is, how do I start going about this? Also if I am going to be doing this on my own without parental consent how old do I have to be?

    • I don’t want to get involved in your relationship with you parents, but do you think there is any way they would accept and even support your decisions and what you want to do? If not, I think you should wait until you are 18. I don’t know what the laws are regarding moving without your parents consent. But if you move to Israel at 18 then you will be drafted. Any chance you can wait a year till your birthday?

      • That’s what I’m doing. I turn 18 in July and I will be in Israel for my gap year so I want to arrange it then. I just don’t know how to get started. Like where to go to make aliyah and sign up for the army.

      • Get in touch with nefesh b’nefesh and they will start the process with you. Good luck!

  190. Hi.I am a new immigrant to israel and started my army 4 months ago.I had made aliyah with my family but now we all have decided due to many reasons combined that we all are shifting to canada.Will I be able to leave the army and how long will the process be? What process should I start to leave the army? Really need your help.Thanks in advance.

    • Talk to your mashakitash

  191. I am 20 years old, and planning on making aliyah… What is the cutoff age for females being drafted into the IDF?

    • 20 is the cut off age for being drafted, but it is possible with a lot of fighting and stubbornness to still get in.

  192. Hi Aliyah Survival,

    I recently made Aliyah and will be 24 by the time I will be drafted.
    However, I no longer have interest in doing the army. What options do I have?


    • Do you have a low medical profile? Are you married? Have kids?

      • I shall soon enlist in the IDF as a lone soldier but I have a weird situation… I was born in Israel as a Jewish Israeli citizen but I moved to the UK when I was 1.

        As an Israeli citizen abroad I’m encouraged but not forced to serve. However I still plan to enlist when I’m 18.

        I’m pretty much fluent in Hebrew but I have a British accent. I have absolutely no health problems. I have wider family in Israel but my parents live in the UK.

        So when I enlist I want to volunteer for prestigious combat units. As a lone soldier with a foreign accent and foreign upbringing will I be less preferred for top units?

        I have great ambitions for the IDF and I depending on what happens in my national service I may choose to stay as a soldier in the IDF.

        What are my realistic oppertunities? In theory I could join any unit but in reality what is likely to happen?


      • Your motivation is important, but ultimately it is going up to the IDF – what they need at the time you enlist, what your profile is, what the army thinks you will fit back for, etc… but stay determined and keep fighting for what you want.

      • Hi Aliyah Survival,

        I have a good medical profile, am not married and do not have children, I moved here when I was 23 and am now 24, my hebrew is poor and I no longer desire to do the army. Do you know of any options I have?


      • Maybe you should re-think moving to Israel if you don’t want to do your part.

    • Hi Aliyah Survival,

      As I am a duel citizen, I plan to go back to my country of origin for some time, make some money, and then decide. So you could be right.
      What are my options?


      • Best of luck. What do you mean what are your options?

      • Hi Aliyah Survival,

        I asked you earlier regarding no longer having an interest to do the army. I would like to know what my options are?


      • The army isn’t a fraternity. It isn’t something you choose to be in.

      • Hi Aliyah Survival,

        Thanks for your help so far. Regarding my lack of choice, are you suggesting its impossible for me to move away and not to do the army?


      • My comment was that if the law says you are to be drafted, you feeling as if you don’t want to do it anymore, isn’t very relevant.

  193. Im a 19 yr old American. I dont speak any hebrew(quite a bit of german…a little russian). Im currently in college but would love to serve Israel is it possible for me to join.

    • Yes, you have a chance. Are you planning on making Aliyah?

  194. Hello , I am 38 married and having 6 year old son . We are jewish . Want to know job opportunites in israel. I am interested in joining IDF whether I may fit . Working in bank for 15 years and know to read hebrew as i conduct prayers for community in india.

    • You will not be drafted into the IDF at your age and marital status. You should look for jobs in your field at israemploy and on facebook groups about jobs in Israel

  195. Hi,

    I’m a 21 y/o american. and considering making aliyah when i’m 22. I am a cohen & an only son. I was wondering if the army would allow someone in my position to serve in a non-combat role?

  196. Hi,

    I’m a 21 y/o american. and considering making aliyah when i’m 22. I am a cohen & an only son. I was wondering if the army would allow someone in my position to serve in a non-combat role? Or would it be up to chance once I am there?

    • Being a Cohen has nothing to do with the army. As an only son, your parents would have to give approval for you to serve in a combat role.

  197. Hi, I am 39 and I am planning on moving to Israel in the next few months. I’ve read most of your posts they were very funny btw. Looking back on the experience do you have any regret in having made Aliyah. Would you change your mind if you could go back?
    I have heard making a living can be difficult, looking for an apartment and the cost of rent coupled with the idea of a smaller salary or income is frightening. would you say that it is not as hard as it may seem.
    Also where in Israel is it easiest to live in the north or south Jerusalem or Tel-Avivi.
    Thanks for the input!

    • The main thing that you need to know about living in Israel is that you can’t survive on Zionism here. It is a hard life and eventually your ideology and naivete will not be enough. Israel today is not the country that we were taught about in Jewish day school. Be ready for life to be hard. I don’t know if there is an easier place, each area comes with its own pluses and minuses and it really depends on what you are looking for.

      • i’am a girl 17 years old from algeria i wish i can join the pre military iseral but i’ have any relation whith jwish i’am not jwish is ther any possibility that i can join the isreal army

  198. i speek arb french english i’am 17 years old i want to make aliyah but i’am not jwish

    • If you are not Jewish, then you can not make Aliyah.

  199. i need answer please hury up !!!:)

  200. so is not meant to be

  201. Hello, I am an American citizen and about to turn 23 this summer. I have been studying Judaism and taught myself a significant amount of Hebrew within the past year. I am about to graduate from an American university this fall, and I am studying at an intensive Hebrew Ulpan in Tel Aviv over the summer. I would like to make Aliyah, and as I have always had an attachment and love for Israel and the Hebrew language, I feel a spark in my soul that is finally awakened.

    However, as far as I am aware, I don’t know of any Jewish lineage on either side of my family (Although I only know my mother’s ancestry a few generations back). After studying Torah, I have left xtianity and plan to complete a conversion process no matter what the future holds. However, I have an overwhelming desire to be among Klal Yisrael, and also to serve and protect my brothers and sisters in eretz Yisrael. But after studying website it seems that those over the age of 24 cannot volunteer? If I end up doing a masters or secondary bachelors of science at a university in Israel, is there a conversion process that is recognized by the rabbinute that can be completed before the middle of next year? I greatly appreciate your writing and also helpful responses. Best regards.

    • I wish I had a better answer for you, but unfortunately, the Rabbinate is very strict about its conversion process. However, you could convert through a different stream of Judaism that is accepted by the Government of Israel. You need to understand the repercussions of this – both the pros and cons – and the logistics involved. I believe that after a conversion, you need to live in the same community for a year.

      Hope that helps.

  202. Hello I am a dual citizen of the United States and of Israel (I was born in Israel and moved to the U.S. when I was a few months old. If I choose to join the IDF after college, would I lose my American citizenship? Also, if I were to join at age 22 or 23, would I be too old to qualify for a combat position? Special Forces? Does having a degree before you join raise your pay, or give you a boost in ranking up or chance of getting a better position (of course fitness matters, and all of the prior screening/tests). Thanks!

    • No, you won’t loose your American citizenship. You will not be too old to qualify for a combat position, but when you are drafted at an older age, then this means that you will be spending less time in the army. When that happens, the army is less likely to invest in your training, because you won’t be able to serve for as long and they won’t be able to recoup their investment. Having a degree will not impact your pay rate or position.

      • Will the IDF force me to leave? I really plan to make a career out of the IDF and wish to become an officer. If i could extend my contract i would do so in a heartbeat. Six months or whatever is a joke to me, i want to be serving my country for twenty years!! Not a joke. I have gone through usa Marine officer candidate school but never joined the marines because i want to join the IDF instead. Will the recruiters see this as a sign of loyalty to israel or not? By the way i am Jewish. Thank you so much!!

      • Also, if you could please give me an honest personal opinion of what i should do i would really appreciate it. What is likely to happen? I am mentally and physically strong, with no health problems. Great attitude. Are the IDF robotic about enlistment or is it really a case by case process in which they take the time to figure you out to decide where you would be the most valuable asset? Thank you!!

      • Also, would Garin Tsabar be a good fit for me, or is there a better program for someone who is serious about combat in the IDF? My hebrew is good speaking and listening wise but can hardly read and write. How do i sign up for civilian ulpan while in college? Since i saw u recommend that over army ulpan. Again thank you so much!

      • If the IDF does not want to renew your contract, i.e. send you to officers course or sign you up for keva, then yes, you would be released from the army.

      • The thing is that how you think you are valuable, may not be the same as how the IDF thinks you are. It is a big bureaucratic institution and not always reasonable. That being said, you can argue and fight your way into things – you just have to not give up. Are Hebrew classes offered at your college? You can simply sign up for Ulpan once you get here. If it is something you want to do, then you should certainly go for it. Just make sure to be realistic about it.

      • I’ve had a number of friends that have had very positive experiences with garin tzabar.

  203. Somehow I got here when googling about the military service requirements/age limits and I see that it’s still a live topic, so I’m posting here the relevant links I found (after leaving this page): and . Mens page contains a table towards the bottom that answers who serves how long.

  204. Hi I am 17 in the US I want to move to Israel and join IDF as a lone soldier but I want to join the US military ROTC through collage and I will possibly have to put in around 2-4 years with the US military so I would be around 25-26 when my contract ends, but I was wondering would it be better to join IDF and do a year of service at 18 or wait till after collage because I want to go to collage in the US, also would IDF pay for collage in the US or only in Israel, or will IDF take me when I am 26 and how long dose it take to gain Israeli citizenship? (note: I have to go to collage in the US because I want to study politics and international relations so I can work for the US State Department and become a diplomat)
    PS I do not qualify under the law of return because I have no Israeli family nor am I Jewish.

  205. I want to joint the idf I am 19 healthy boy and I want to move to isreal I don’t care where thay put me I just want to serve for my country

  206. i am american and have spent 20 years in the us army reserve. I saw action in iraqi and some other parts of the world. Reserves in the usa is one weekend a month and 2 weeks in the summer. How do the israelis train especially if the job is very techincal. They have to keep up there skills. How is the accomplished espceically when they can be called up . could you give some feedback thx

  207. Hi just wondering how long is IDF basic training? because I want to return to the US for collage

    • It depends on what unit you are going to. But either way, you wouldn’t be able to just do basic training without actually serving.

  208. Hi, I’m 42 years old and plan to Aliyah next year. Would I still be eligible for Military Service?

    • No, you will not be eligible or drafted.

  209. Shalom.

    do you know anything about joining the IDF for a combat unit or as a media specialists. I studied film/videography (media) so I was wondering If there would be use for me in the IDF despite the fact that I will be 28 when I make Aliyah.

    I am going on a MASA programme first so I expect my hebrew to be decent by the time I could join.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Yes, there is a unit called ha’srata that focuses on videography in the spokesperson unit. It is quite difficult to get into.

  210. You wrote in several responses that Americans lose their American citizenship by serving in a foreign army, but I know many guys who have served in the IDF and their American citizenship was not affected. Can you please check on this?

    • You are correct, I should have said volunteer. If you volunteer for a foreign army you might loose your American citizenship.

  211. Hello. My boyfriend wants to join the IDF. We are Jewish USA Citizens. What is the means for him to accomplish enrollment please. He is 36 with great skills/trades – FAA licensed airplane mechanic and certified welder of speciality alloys. He can fabricate anything! he is rugged and outdoors and is a great shot. He knows how to handle guns and safety. Please help. This is important to us. We took some lessons in conversational Hebrew. He is great. He is a fast learner and picks up languages quickly.

    Thank you for your time. Nikki – Texas, USA.

    • Israel does not draft men at 36 years old. He can try to go to the drafting office to volunteer, but the likelihood of success is slim. Sorry.

  212. I am turning 32 and looking to make aliyah and even serving in the army. Im in top shape and pretty sure I have profile 97. I am fluent in hebrew but moved to the US at 4 years old. I dont have any immediate family in Israel. Am I too old to serve? Would I be considered chayal boded? And if so, what programs do they have for one in my situation (length of service? pay? etc…)

    • At 32 you will not be drafted. Like I mentioned before, you can try to volunteer, but it is very unlikely. Please take into account, that if you were drafted, you would be serving with 18 year olds and your commanders would be 20 years old.

  213. My name is Cody Lee I’m a 25 year old Christian from Texas and New Mexico, I was turned down from joining the US Army for asthma. With the stuff going on in Israel now. Was wondering what it would take for someone like myself to join the IDF and if my asthma would be a problem

    • The IDF does draft people with asthma, but not for combat positions. However, since you are not Jewish or a citizen of Israel, you can not be drafted. There is a week-long volunteer program called sarel, but I don’t think it is what you are looking for.

  214. I’m am a 21 year old American male with no Jewish blood. I am also a Christian. I am physically fit and have no medical problems apart from weak vision. I have a clean record as a model citizen. I am planning to study abroad in about 6 months in Israel, for 6 months to a year. I speak basic Hebrew and my heart bleeds for the situation and the Jewish people. I can and will do anything, argue against any official, and make any sacrifice short of converting to join the IDF in any capacity. What can/should I do? My citizenship is expendable. Please just tell me the best (or most likely way to go). God bless.

    • The IDF only drafts Israeli citizens and Jews that volunteer from abroad.

  215. Hi ill be 29 very soon i am Jewish from my fathers side and have Israeli, British and Canadian citizenship i have been eager to join the IDF for a long time is there any chance that i would be accepted or i am considered too old? Ive read a lot of the responses here and it seems that i’m in the buffer zone of maybe in your experience do you think i have a shot?

    • You might be able to, but it would probably be a shlav bet. Where you do 3 months and then are part of the reserve duty. However, keep in mind, that at 29, you will be 11 years older than the average recruit. Also, shlav bet, is not going to put you into any type of fighting unit. You could end up being a truck driver or in kitchen duty.

  216. I am looking to join the United states army but I feel joining the IDF protecting the Holy Land. I am however Christian. Would that hold me back from joining the IDF?

    • The IDF only drafts Israeli citizens (including Jews, Christians, Druze, etc) and Jews that volunteer from abroad.

  217. I grew up as a religious Zionist, and have always considered making Aaliyah. I just turned 25 and spent two weeks visiting friends in Israel. I recognize how much harder it is to integrate into Israeli society and make Aaliyah successfully if you did not serve in the IDF. If I were to make Aaliyah now, at 25, would I be able to serve and would I be able to join a combat unit, and not just be a jobnik?

    • You would be drafted for 6 months. Where you end up depends on your profile and your skills and what the army needs. You could be a medic or a truck driver. Combat soldiers usually train for around 6 months, so it would not necessarily make financial sense for the army to put you in a combat unit.

      • Thanks for your response! Would it be possible to volunteer for longer term or is the amount of time completely defendant on your age?

      • Yes, it is possible.

  218. Hi, my name is David and im from NYC. Im currently in the process of joining the U.S. Marines but with all the fighting going in in Gaza znd seeing my brothers dying day after day.. well it really started to hit me. I want to know are there any really though units in the IDF that can compare to the Marines? Also, what is the minimum time a person can volunteer for? (not including ulpan time). Where would i live? On a base or kibbutz or share an apartment? I know alot about how the U.S. treats their military members but not realy the IDF. How often can i visit home ? How long is training from start to finish for Golani? Any other info u think a lone soldier would need would be awesome! Thanks in advance!

    • Yes, the IDF has many elite units. If you are Jewish, you can volunteer through Machal without becoming a citizen. If you are not Jewish nor an Israeli citizen, you can not join the IDF. The minimum amount of time depends on your age. Where you would live would depend on the type of service you do and your decision. No one lives fully on base like in the American army. Lone soldiers get a lot of vacation. 5 days every 1 day per month, 5 days every 3 months, and 1 month per year to see family. Training depends what your position is in Golani and what unit you are a part of. Check out this site:

  219. Hello Im from El.Salvador im 32yrs is it.possible for me to volunteer in the army? it may sound ridiculous but im asking amyways thank you im advance.

    • You could do a 1-week volunteer program called sarel.

  220. Hi!

    First thanks for taking the time to answer all these questions, that’s very kind 🙂

    I explain my situation :

    When I was 17, I spent 4 months in Israel to study at the IDC in Herzlyia (without making aliyah).

    Today, I’m 22 and I just finished my Bachelor’s degree in engineering. I want now to make my aliyah and to serve in the army. First, the army told me that, since I’m 22, I will have to serve 6 months. But now, they told me that my “date of arrival” is the one when I was 17yo and therefore I need to serve for 3 years… Seems weird to me, ever heard this before?

    Thanks a lot.

    • Yes, this is very normal and not surprising at all. You could fight it though.

  221. Is there a way to get evaluated and find out your IDF profile in the United States?

  222. If I do garin tzabar and then join the IDF, do I still get the package that lone soldiers get upon returning to america?

    • You only get the package while you are living in Israel.

  223. Hello. I am currently 15 and plan to convert to Judaism soon and make Aliyah right after high school when I am 18. I am from Canada. I was wondering if I would be required to serve in the IDF once I move? If so, for how long. Also, do you know if most Israelis just tend to attend University in Israel right after service?

  224. I would like to serve the IDF but am not a train solder and am a Nigeria. Is this possible if so where do I start? I want the history of Israelis of today to be writing among with me!

    • The IDF only drafts Israeli citizens (including Jews, Christians, Druze, etc) and Jews that volunteer from abroad.

  225. No ma’am if I was going to go through the paces to become an Israeli citizen so I could join the IDF it wouldn’t be to be a truck driver or a cook I was born with a rifle in my hand. If I was I go to protect Gods people I’d want to keep my rifle in my hand

    • Cody. I think you have a misconception about Israel and the IDF. Israel is not a gun-totting nation. Unlike in the US, there is no such thing as the right to bare arms. The IDF treats its weapons very differently than the US army – in fact we even reuse our magazines. We have very specific rules about handling weapons and opening fire. We have respect for our weapons and know that they can cause harm and/or death. We do not parade around with our guns, but understand that they are a necessity.

  226. Hi, I am a 21 year old American Christian male. I am wondering if I can join the IDF at any level without compromising my faith and my citizenship. I completely stand with Israel and want to come and fight to defend God’s chosen holy land, but I am as American as Apple pie playing baseball and I will not convert religions. Is there a way I could come to volunteer? I also would only want an actual combat position.

    • Reid, Many things to respond to…First of all, volunteering for a foreign army can impact your American citizenship. Second of all, the IDF only drafts Israeli citizens (including Jews, Christians, Druze, etc) and Jews that volunteer from abroad. Third of all, being American is not synonymous with being Christian, just as being Israeli is not synonymous with being Jewish. Fourth, being in a combat position would depend on many things – term of service, medical, intellectual, psychological profile, IDF need, etc. You could possibly come and volunteer for a program called sarel – a one-week volunteer program on an army base.

  227. hi I just turned 18, I am a canadian jewish male, I want to join the IDF. I want to know how long im required to serve if I move there. Also i am not in the best shape so I was wondering what division i can possibly be placed in. What type of non-combat positions are there? Also, if i want to serve after the minimum time, how can I do so and what is the pay like?

    • It depends on your age when you make aliyah. If you move now, you would be required to serve 3 years. There are multiple non-combat positions and units.

  228. Hello, I am a 49 year old American, Jewish by both parents. I am in excellent health and would like to serve in the IDF as a lone soldier. Physically I am as fit as any 21 year. Is this possible?

    • No. There is not an option. At 49, most Israelis are not even in reserve duty anymore.

      • Well there must be something that men and women older than 36 can do to help with the military. My husband is 37 and with so many skills and ability to help but because of his age?

      • Check with Friends of the IDF.

  229. Hi,
    I’m making Aliyah soon, and asked the army to shorten my “year of adaptation” since I dont necessary need it.

    My question is, do you know how much time it takes between the moment I go for the first time at Lishkat Hagiyus (like right after the airport) and the moment where you are drafted and that all the paperwork and test are done?

    I’m planning on arriving early December and wondering if I’ll be able to join for the 19th April ?


    • It depends. If you are slotted for a certain course, then it will depend o when that course is going to happen next. Also, I don’t know if you can go right after the airport – there are a bunch of other logistics that you need to take care of first.

  230. Hi it’s me again I know that I have to have a jewish Grandparent to join IDF (Mahal) but how do you go proving that, because I don’t know much of my grandparents (they all died before I was born)

    • There are multiple ways – their ketuba, gravestone, letter from a rabbi, etc.

  231. Hello
    I Dont know if this is the right place to ask my questions but i was just searching around and hope i get the answers Because i am very Confused
    i Am Israeli Christian Arab 18 Years old
    i have recently graduated from high school,and i am thinking to enter as israel border police,i dont really know anything about it i would like to know
    What is the requirements to Enter?
    Can I Enter it when i am 20 Years old or later or they will only accept as 18 years old ?
    What Is The Routine?Sleeping/Eating/Wake Up/Training i Would Like to Know Everything Before Going i hope you can help me and also i dont know how to speak a lot of hebrew

    • Israeli Christian Arabs can and do join the IDF. I unfortunately do not know the process. If you want to join, I suggest going to the drafting office. You may be able to defer for studies. I believe many Christian Arabs choose to do sherut leumi instead of the army. As far as the routine in the border control, I have no idea, since I did not serve in this unit.

      • Okay Thank You I Will Ask About Everything and hope all will be good 🙂

  232. Just wondering how does the IDF know if your grandparents are Jewish (mine might be) and my half brother definitely has Jewish grandparents dose this count (my mom devoted his dad before I was born) but like I said all I have is what my mom said I don’t have any documents or pictures (besides of them just doing random stuff) so can I still join I really want to

    • See my answer above.

      • Thanks for your answer so if I get a letter from a Rabbi then that counts, right? And what about my half brother, his Jewish grandparents are on his dad’s side and I have no blood relationship with them, and my mom devoted his dad before I was born, could I also use that?

      • Sorry I meant divorced

      • Yes, a letter from a Rabbi is one thing that you will need. Your half brother has no impact.

  233. Hi,

    I am 26 years old Hindu (non-Jew) Indian citizen, is there any chance or means by which I can join IDF. I really would be glad to kick some terrorist’s ass. no knowledge of Hebru as well.

    • Unfortunately there is not. But thank you for your support.

  234. I am a 26 year old half israeli from my fathers side. He served in two wars. I am considering serving in the IDF for 3-6 months because I am the only male on my father’s side of the family that never served. I am fully jewish and live in America and am a recent law grad but cant stand whats going on over there and feel that i may owe it to my father and democracy to serve. I dont speak hebrew and a part of the reason I would want to serve is not only to defend our country but to learn herbrew so I can communicate with some of my family over there. I have been to Israel several times. I want to know if it is possible to do my 3-6 months and then be done with it. Will I still be in the reserves, will i be required to stay, will i be able to return to america once i am finished? I am a very athletic and fit person as I am also a personal trainer as well and have played sports my entire life. Im just trying to find out ore information before i make a decision

    • If you made aliyah at 26, you would be drafted for three months to be a part of the reserve pool. There is no assurances for what you would be trained for. You would not have to stay. Learning Hebrew takes awhile, more than just three months in the army, but it is certainly a good start.

  235. Hello,

    My name is David, just got a few questions.
    I’m 18 right now, and thinking weather to join IDF next year.

    Another idea was that I first do 4 years of university, then Canadian Forces, and then IDF after.

    Also, I’m Jewish on my dads side, so I’m assuming that I could get an Israeli citizenship/passport at the embassy which is necessary to get into IDF?

    Another thing, any advice on geting converted into orthodox jiudaism and learning Hebrew?

    Sorry for this many questions, it’s just that I’m at the age where I want to figure out what to do along my life.


    • I’m not sure who serving in another army will impact your service in the IDF. One way it will definitely impact it is your age – the older you are, the less time you will serve:

      Having one Jewish grandparent means that you have the right of return.

      As far as converting, I would recommend doing it through the IDF. Shorter and less humiliating of a process.

      You can learn Hebrew in Ulpan.

  236. Hi im 16, Australian and am racially Jewish on my fathers side. I want to move to Israel under the Law of Return and join the IDF as a career soldier (Active service at least 5 years, but probably more) i wish to eventually join the Sayeret Matkal, ive seen you say you dont generally get what you want but im wondering if it would be difficult to get this sorted out. I am in great physical condition (fit, healthy), i am above average in most academic areas and i dont see anything about myself that would prevent me from doing the things i want to do. Thank you in advance.

    • Just to clarify, Judaism is a religion, not a race. As far as making Sayert Matkal, it really depends. If you can make the gibbush, meet all the requirements, of course there is a chance. In regards to doing 5 years, again this would depend on the army also…if there is a need for you to sign for longer or if you become an officer.

  237. if i have tattoo’s that cover up my whole back, whole chest and whole forearm, does that disqualify me from joining?

    • Many Israelis have tattoos. Tattoos do not exempt you.

  238. i am american, and served in the United states military for almost two years, i was discharged with a General Discharge(which is below honorable, but above dishonorable). i was going through a rough divorce and was kicked out because of bad behavioral issues. i just wasn’t myself emotionally or mentally so i made bad decisions. since then i’ve matured greatly, i’ve gotten my life back on track and am eager to serve once again. i have the opportunity to go back in the United states military but have really been wanting to help the cause over there. will this past prevent me from joining the IDF once i’m open and honest with them about it?

    • Your age and religion will be the most relevant.

  239. Hello there! My daughter is currently completing her college degree in medical technology here in the Philippines, she is highly interested to join the IDF after college and plans to pursue a medical degree later on in service. does the IDF accept christian foreigners? We have jewish ancestry from my grandmother side.

    • As mentioned above, the IDF drafts Israeli citizens only. Jews from abroad are allowed to volunteer.

  240. Hi I am a Canadian Anglican non religious though I have only been to church 5 times in my life. I have one part of my family that is Jewish. I have served a couple years in the Canadian Forces as an Armoured Crewman in a reconnaissance squadron and am interested in the IDF mainly because I want to feel like I am making a difference somewhere and I have always wanted to see Israel. Does the fact that I am not actually Jewish and a foriegner make it a problem to join? I looked on the info site and my questions where not fully answered some people say no I have to convert and others say yes you can. I don’t mind converting as I have a part of my family that is Jewish and I understand the religion and the history of it but I been told the process can be long?

    • If you have one grandparent who is Jewish, then you have the right of return to Israel – i.e. to be an Israeli citizen. Assuming that you do have this right, your age is going to be a defining factor on your service length and placement. Non Jews can not volunteer for the IDF from abroad, even though non-Jewish Israeli citizens due serve in the IDF. Each stream of Judaism has different types and lengths of conversions. You will need to decide for yourself what the pluses and minuses are of the different streams.

  241. I thinking of joining the IDF and wanted to know what the policy is on visible tattoos and is being a veteran of the United States play any roll in signing up with Israel?

    • Tattoos are not an issue at all. Age, religion, and citizenship will be an issue. Not sure what types of agreement the IDF and the US army about drafting its soldiers.

  242. hey question, if my moms an Israeli citizen but living in the U.S. and me being born here would I have to serve the full term or less

    • You need to defer with the Israeli embassy. I’m not sure, but it might also depend on your age. If you were to move to Israel at 18, then you would be drafted for a full term.

  243. I also suffer from psoriasis will I still be drafted or would I get an exemption

    • It would lower your profile, but I don’t believe it would give you an exemption.

  244. good evening,
    do know who i need to contact directly to get info and get the process started?

    • Which process? Making aliyah? Joining the army?

      • Joining the army.

      • How old are you? Do you live in Israel? Are you an Israeli citizen? Are you Jewish? Please provide some more information?

  245. I’m Christian.. Can I join the IDF? I mean Iv seen and known of Christians in the IDF and the Govt are sending recruiting mail to Arabic Christians. What I don’t understand is. Why can I not join? I mean, I’m willing to serve.
    I do remember Benjamin Netanyahu speaking about Christians and Jews in the IDF. Why would they discriminate, if they even do? And why can’t I be a citizen when Arabs, Palestinians, Muslims, and even atheist live in Israel???? And I saw a comment about losing American citizenship if you fight for a foreign country?????? That is 1000% false!!! I have friends with American citizenship who are in the BRA and IDF and even The Argentinian army. So that is false., but I do believe you can be Christian and be a citizen of Israel.. Aswell as serve in the IDF

  246. Israeli Christians can and some do serve in the IDF. Christians that are not citizens of Israel can not join the IDF, nor can they become citizens of Israel. Israel is a Jewish Democracy. It is the one country in the world that is Jewish, while there are many Christian and Muslim countries. In order to protect its Jewish Democratic identity, there are these types of immigration laws. As far as loosing your citizenship, you are incorrect. There is a possibility and I think it is appropriate to share such knowledge so people can make informed decisions: In addition, other countries have different rules. For instance, in Germany, you can not hold dual citizenship – however there is an exemption for Israelis who also hold a German passport.

  247. Then how are these people who are Christians, and non Jews migrate to Israel and gain citizenship??? I have 2 friends who have done so.

    • I don’t know the particulars of your friends. Maybe they have one Jewish grandparent, which would entitle them to the right of return.

  248. I’m 36 In the Spanish Marines, Is there a age limit? Im willing to convert to Jew. I have no kids wife or family so Im willing to go in the frontline.

  249. Im 36, I’m in the Spanish Marines, Im also willing to convert from Christian to Jew. I have no Kids.

    • You will not be drafted at this age.

  250. Hi i just turned 19, im jewish, not born in israel though both parents were
    i was looking for the lone soldier benefits in the IDF online but cant find any could you please tell me the basic benefits of a lone soldier in the IDF ?
    and also how long does he have to serve also how is it possible to get a house , and/or course or some sort of future after the army on the army’s account

    • Are you an Israeli citizen? If you are, you needed to cancel your service with your Israeli ambassador. You can find lone soldier benefits here:

      • I was born in south africa, and so i was told i owe the country not even the service of the army, although my father was in the six day war , yom kipur war and the following wars i was inspired and became very interested in serving, we went to the embassy of israel in Pretoria here in south africa, the lady there has the most disgusting attitude i have ever seen in my life, her attitude stunk so much all three people there were about to throw those israeli passports at her face, this terrible attitude of her and rudeness to people discouraged me to not even think of going to israel ever again, But i have a girlfriend there and soon my parents want to buy a house there and live there and so i am back again to thinking of joining the army, are lone soldiers given a flight home once in a while? and can they enlist to anything they want in the army or is it just one specific unit or something like that?

        Now i only know of Lone soldier, is there any other way or type of soldier i can go as, and their benefits please ?

        And on a separate note , i wanted to know if you could please tell me, till when or what age do i have time to make up my mind about this?

        (thanks for answering so quickly and giving great info 🙂

  251. Hello,

    I am a 22 year old Jewish-American considering aliyah. I am about to start a masters program in Israel this October.

    I had open heart surgery when I was 3, but I have never had any medical problems relating to this, or otherwise since. I am in good physical shape, but I do not want to waste time doing a meaningless job because someone might be overly concerned about this surgery. I can do anything anyone else can do with the same amount of training. Will this surgery be a barrier to doing something meaningful?

    • I’m not sure how it will impact your profile, but there area also many meaningful jobs that do not need a high profile – i.e. intelligence, electronic warfare, etc.

  252. Im seriously thinking about joining, im a united states marine and feel this is what I should do. Where do I go, what do I do?

  253. i am 21 a industrial electrician college grad and want to join the idf
    i am a non religous american
    any info on how to do so would be greatly appreciated.

  254. Please Reply u skipped me lol :

    I was born in south africa, and so i was told i owe the country not even the service of the army, although my father was in the six day war , yom kipur war and the following wars i was inspired and became very interested in serving, we went to the embassy of israel in Pretoria here in south africa, the lady there has the most disgusting attitude i have ever seen in my life, her attitude stunk so much all three people there were about to throw those israeli passports at her face, this terrible attitude of her and rudeness to people discouraged me to not even think of going to israel ever again, But i have a girlfriend there and soon my parents want to buy a house there and live there and so i am back again to thinking of joining the army, are lone soldiers given a flight home once in a while? and can they enlist to anything they want in the army or is it just one specific unit or something like that?

    Now i only know of Lone soldier, is there any other way or type of soldier i can go as, and their benefits please ?

    And on a separate note , i wanted to know if you could please tell me, till when or what age do i have time to make up my mind about this?

    (thanks for answering so quickly and giving great info 🙂

    • You will run into many people that are hard to deal with in Israel, so get used to it. Your service depends on how old you are. If you already have Israeli citizenship and didn’t cancel it with the embassy, then you may already owe 3 years. In terms of lone soldiers, you are not given a flight back, but you do get a month off once a year to visit your family. You have to pay for it yourself. The army will decide your location based on your profile, your skills, and what the army needs. Besides lone soldiers, there are just your typcial everyday soldiers – there are obviously officers too. For ages, you should check out this link:

  255. I cannot join the IDF as an American and still take place in a combat role to defend Israel and its people?

    • I dont know why are you replying to me? i am asking her for help but she isnt replying

  256. I cannot join the IDF as an American ?

    • If you fall under the right of return laws then you can join the IDF. The right of return laws is anyone that has one Jewish grandparent.

  257. A few questions. I am a 40 yr old american jew who is also a 100% disabled american veteran. I have been wanting to move to israel so bad. I would love to serve in the idf but my health situation would surely disqualify me also the laws under my specific disability rating forbid me from working or going to school, its very frustrating but I cannot afford to lose my medical care and also it was absolutely their fault what happened to me and could have been 100% prevented so I feel the US owes me my compensation. I make a usd converted 16.5 to 18.2k shekels a month. Can I survive comfortably in israel on this kind of income. Are there places about to help you learn hebrew and become acclimated quickly to the new culture? My absolute dream is to live the rest of my life in israel.

    • David, at your age you will not be drafted into the IDF. That is considered a high salary, but you will have to check regarding taxes in Israel. You should also check how living abroad impacts you receiving compensation. There are Ulpans around the country that teach Hebrew to new immigrants – it is a 5 month program that the government pays for.

      • I have been looking into it and and as far as I can tell because of my service connected rating and because I would be a dual citizen I would be able to keep my pension. As far as taxes yes I am not sure because my income is 100% tax free since it is a disability pension here in the US but I dont know how that would work in Israel. Its quite sad for me really that I am unable to serve the idf as upon looking at me you would not know I had any issue as they are internal and im usually mistaken for a man half my age based on appearence. I must constantly stay in shape in order to fight the good fight of my health issues and with exception to that I am in better shape than the majority of active military members…quite frustrating indeed. I appreciate your reply as I feel it brings me one step closer to going home. On another note I am a single man…should I do move there I know Israel has strict marriage laws…would a dual citizen qualify for that should that ever arise an issue for me?

      • Dual citizenship does not impact your ability to marry in Israel. It can often be difficult for American Jews to prove their Jewish identity to the very strict requirements of the Israeli rabbinate.

  258. Hi Im really commited into joining the IDF has a lone soldier, but but have a few questions in mind, Just to make more sence let me clarify my background: I was born and raised jewish(But was never registered) Im jewish from both parents(even tough my mother’s side has more physical caracteristics), lived in Mexico half my childhood(0-6yrs old), and In the Unided States the other half of my child hood(6-12yrs old).My family moved back to Mexico do to economical reasons, and been living here ever since. Im now 19 years old just finished highschool, did one semester of engeneering school but quit, now Im just a few months away from entering Arquitecture school (february 14). Right now I’ve been going through rough times with my family in other words times have changed, people change etc… and do to all this I haved really investigated about posibilities in other places, and truth is I have no place to go I have no future in USA nor in Mexico, all I have is me and my career that’s waiting for me in February. Do to all that has happened in my family we have really been drifted away from our religion and are focused more on Business, debts, money etc…This has happened ever since we move4d back to Mexico, and Im willing to take that back! My religion my beliefs and my future, but the area were I live (Ensenada, BC) we have no synagogue, no jewish comunity, no nothing just jews escatered around trying to make a living like we are, most have no time to care for their religion (money and eating is more important to them) even tough they are legitimate jews. I’ve been looking at the military programs the IDF has to offer but have very especific questions prior to all my background:

    1.-Can I enlist in the IDF before next year? 2.-Can I join the IDF even tough I’m not a registered jew? 3.-Since I have a career in arquitecture, Is there a program that allows me to keep my career and study it, while living in israel and serving in the IDF. 4.- I have seen the aliyah programs but to be honest I dont want to wait 6 months to a year before being able to emigrate and enlist in the army in israel, what options do I have then? 5.- In my case what would you recommend for a non-registered Jewish-Mexican young adult like me,who wants all this and does not want to wait any longer (I have already wasted enought time and dont want to waste any more)

    Thank you, Hope you can clarify all my questions…

    (also forgot to mention both my parents are also not registered jews, actually nobody in my family, we are the first generation to rescue our religion that was once lost due to jewish extermination that haunted us from Europe (Spain my mothers side, Italy my fathers side) all the way to America (Mexico) Imigrants jews had to keep shut about their religion other wise they would get burned and stoned to death by local people, they did this and tought it was enough outside they said they were christians and inside they practices regular jewish traditions. When people got awared of this they caried on their will, so my ancestors decided that even the slightest suspicion of the locals of them being jews would put their lifes at risk, so little by little traditions got lost, believes, ideas, everything was dangerous so they simply forgot all that)

    • I’m not sure what you are referring to regarding being a registered Jew. A letter from a Rabbi is usually enough to prove that you are Jewish, sometimes your parents ketubah also. Regarding the IDF, it will greatly help you to wait 6 months to join because this will allow you to learn Hebrew. It can be very difficult to serve in a foreign army without knowing the language. Your army service length will depend on when you make aliyah, probably around 3 years. Your service and unit will depend on what the army needs, your skills, and your profile. There are some programs that allow you to study first and then join the army as an officer, but I’m not sure if this is relevant to you. I don’t know of any programs for general service that allow you to both study and serve.

  259. Hi, i am an Indian Jew(mom’s side). Recently had been to Israel under the Taglit-birthright programme. fell in love with the country. I am 24 years old and i want to join IDF and am hoping to make a career in it. what should i expect from IDF, if that’s what i want to do in Israel? I want to join the IDF ulpan. Also i aim to become an officer in the IDF. Please let me know if at all is it possible and what should i expect from my journey ahead.

    • At 24 years old, you will only be required to serve 6 months. The likelihood that you would stay on longer is slim to none. I suggest doing a civilian ulpan also, as you will need Hebrew for your civilian life just as much.

  260. I know a girl who want to go in Isreal for a few weeks to support troops.
    I eared that these kind of girl are only there for being the sex slave of the soldiers …
    Is that true ?

    P.S. : i hope you will excuse my bad english

    • Haha! No, that does not exist! Maybe you are confusing the IDF with ISIS. Although they both start with an I, they are VERY different! The IDF is a very moral army with Jewish, Christian, Druze, Bedouin, and male and female soldiers! ISIS is a bunch of barbarians using the koran to excuse genocide.

  261. shalom!

    i wish to join the IDF because i have nothing to do with my life. i want to offer my life, and die for the glory of GOD.

    im a male, Filipino, single, 28yrs. old

    hope i get the chance to serve the IDF.

    to GOD be the glory

    • The IDF is not looking for martyrs.

  262. Shalom! I’m a 20 year old male from America I’m Jewish on my mothers side and would say some what religious. Currently learning Hebrew and have been wanting to Make Aliyah for a good wile now but do not know where to start. I do want to serve in the IDF and I know I would be considered a Lone Soldier. Just wondering how long the process would take and just what i would be expecting exactly in terms of compensation, and how long could I possibly serve.

  263. I have a female friend who was born to Greek Orthodox Christian parents in Jaffa, but moved to the United States with her family when she was 10. She went to college and has been honorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force having served in Iraq. She is still moderately fluent in Hebrew and a strong supporter of Israel. She has mentioned that she sometimes wishes that she could return to live in Israel and wouldn’t be opposed to serving in the IDF. But as she is not Jewish and doesn’t intend to convert, she doesn’t think that would be possible, even though she was born there. Is she right?

    • She would not need to serve in the IDF. If she has Israeli citizenship, then she can live in Israel.

      • I’m not sure she has dual citizenship. My understanding (though I will have to ask her to confirm) is that she had to choose between Israeli and U.S. citizenship when she turned 18. Also, I’m not sure if she actually wants to give up her U.S. citizenship (another thing I will have to confirm with her). But like I said, she has talked about wanting to move to Israel and said she wouldn’t be opposed to serving in the IDF if that was required.

      • When you say confirm, do you mean convert? I’m not sure what the laws are in this circumstance. If she is an Israeli citizen, then she has the right no live in Israel. I don’t know why she would have to give up US citizenship. Where are you getting this from?

  264. I am thinking about making Aliyah, joining the IDF, getting my school done in Israel, etc. I have heard that if you do the IDF, they will pay for your education. Do you know how that works? I am having trouble getting in contact with anyone. I heard it is only certain schools they will pay for, maybe even only hebrew speaking schools. How does this all work? Thank you!

    • The IDF will not pay for your school as a typical soldier. There are some officers that sign a contract and go to school as part their IDF framework, but it is not like the US army.

  265. Im from india plzz tell me how to join idf im service in indian air force an also teel me how to conver to hindu to jews

    • You will need to speak to a local Rabbi regarding conversion. However, depending on age, you may not be eligible to be drafted.

  266. I am 22years old. I am an Indian Christian and wish convert to Judaism. And I want to serve in IDF as long as possible. Can I eligible to Israeli citizenship?

    • You will need to speak to a local Rabbi regarding conversion. However, depending on age, you may not be eligible to be drafted.

  267. hello to all in richmond and can i ask am i qualified in jioning the israeli defence force??? im from the phillipines abd i dont care what benefits do i have and the important is can get recruited and jion the army please help me i realy need much info i can im currently working here in saudi arabia and im
    not happy … thank you

  268. Do you maybe know what kind of unit or group in the IDF does work such as the FBI/ CSI / Sort of thing?

    • Yes, it does.

      • But what Unit/ group should enlist to for this kind of work field ?

      • Sorry, Israel does have these types of units, but they are not part of the IDF. For instance, there is the Shabak in Israel. But again, just like the FBI isn’t part of the army, the Shabak is not under the IDF.

  269. I was born in Israel and I am 16 right now. My parents are threatening to send me back to israel. I moved to the states when I was 8 and I forgot hebrew but I know russian. What does this mean for me? I’m really stressing out. please help.

    • If your question is regarding the army, then the answer is that you would be drafted.

  270. Hi,
    My question is the following: is there a limit ago to start to serve the IDF?
    I am 27. Do not have the israeli passport anymore. (I have any israeli identfication number). My father was israeli (he passed away). He served in the army. I work in zurich. Plan to leave next year and spend some time in a yeshiva. Then go to idf. My jewish status has to be clarified by a Beth Din.
    Next year i will be 28.

  271. I’m an American living in New York with an Israeli citizenship and I have been training for the Israeli military for five years my only concern is that I have tattoos will that matter?

    • It won’t matter.

  272. HI i am 25 years old. I arrived in Israel when I was 24 and am planning on making Aaliyah in the next few weeks.

    I would Ideally like to enter into the IDF (i imagine I will do 6 months) in March or the Summer.

    I have a Bachelors degree in Marketing and am in very good shape and I am currently in ג Ulpan, but my hebrew is still not too good.

    1. Is there any jobs that I should be trying to request for or something that you have heard of that is more rewarding than say something else.

    2. how does reserves work in for someone who was in the army for only 6 months. Will they have to serve 1 month every year till 55?

    Is there any other options for better jobs up to 1 year service? I would not mind requesting for more but no more than a year.

    • Best of luck.
      1. It really depends on what you are looking for and what you like to do. Maybe find something that will help you career wise in the future. But the army may just put you wherever they need you.
      2. Your reserve duty will be just like everyone else’s.

      Positions that require extensive training require longer service – i.e. top combat positions.

  273. Hi i get 18 in march and i want to move to Israel we’re do i my papers in Israel or in canada .

    • I don’t understand your question.

  274. Hi i live right now in canada but I’m a german citizen what do i need for the IDF ?? i never bin in Israel but will visit in April .I don’t have any papers for Israel should i get there and start my citizenship or do i need to do it in canada ? I don’t know any Hebrew but understand Russian.I do not no anybody in Israel we’re can i go too ??

    • You need to talk to the Jewish Agency and Nefesh B’Nefesh to make aliyah. In the beginning you will go to ulpan (Hebrew class) and you can live in an absorption center.

      • Hi I strongly believe that my mom is jews but I don’t have any prof. I’m German citizen and like to know what if I’m not jews and i don’t have citizenship for israel can I still make citizenship for israel I like to join the IDF.

      • You will need to find proof that you have one Jewish grandparent who is Jewish. It could be through a grave stone or other documents. The Jewish Agency could walk you through this process. Ask your mother what proof she has.

  275. I am 21 years old female. still an Israeli citizen, left Israel for the US at age 7. I would like to join the Israeli army. what steps do I need to take and where would I be put and for how long? I speak Hebrew fluently and can read a little bit. My English is perfect off course. how much would they also be paying me, and are there any schooling benefits?

    • Sorry. For some reason, I only saw your comment now. First of all, did you cancel your army service from abroad through the embassy? To join the army, you can make aliyah and go to the drafting office and request to be drafted. It might make more sense to try to go through the garanim program, or if you don’t want to make aliyah through Machal. You would receive a lone soldier salary, about 4k NIS a month. At the end of your service, you receive 10K NIS that can be used specifically toward schooling.

  276. Hi
    I’m studieng now i in a College in Germany. I want make Aliyah after the College, my age will be mid 25. I`ve the German citizenship. But I`m fully jew.
    Both of my parents a jews.I`m not really relegious. My hebrew is very bad but I`m learning it now.

    my Question is about the Army service. I want serv.

    I`ve saw here that i have only 6 months of servicetime ? Can i serv longer and maybe i a combat unit ? or is this the only one solution ?

    Ps. I´ve already served i the German Bundsewehr.

    • You can volunteer to serve longer. It will be up to the army regarding if they decide to extend your service.

  277. Hay I’m 17 and making aliyah at what age can
    I join?

    • If you don’t know Hebrew, you should first do civilian ulpan. Depending upon your Hebrew level when you finish, you may also have to do army ulpan. Your actual draft date will depend on where you will be serving.

  278. HI,
    I am 31 years old, American, Jewish, and a professional athlete. I am in the process of making Aliyah, however I am being told that due to my age I am not eligible to serve in the IDF. This is very troubling, as one of the MAIN reasons I want to move to Israel is so I can follow my dream of serving in the IDF and contributing as an Israeli. Are there any routes I can take to accomplish this? Or because I am older, will I just be denied even though I am in elite shape…. Please let me know thank you

    • You can try to volunteer, but it is very unlikely that you will end up being drafted. Being in the army is not only about physical shape. It is important to note that officers are usually 20 – 23 years old. This can create issues for a soldier who is much older than his/her officer. More importantly, you will also need to learn a basic level of Hebrew.

  279. Hi there,

    I am a 21 year old American who is planning on doing aliyah in a few months.

    First question is do I absolutely have to do the army?? Not that I dont want to I am just seeing my options for when I arrive. Also, would I have to cut my hair? I know this is an extremely silly question…

    Also, is there any good websites that will give me useful information as to making aliyah?


    Cheers, Zach xx

    • Check out: And at your age, unless you have a medical profile that exempts you or you are married, then yes you will be drafted. Yes, we will have to cut your hair to fit army protocol.

  280. hi,
    i am a 23 year old indian citizen.what do i need for idf.

    • If you are Jewish, then you can either make Aliyah and be drafted or you can join a program called Machal.

  281. What are the requirements to join גלי צה״ל
    to be a music producer or engineer or even radio dj?
    and How long is the service for something like that ?

    Also where can i sign up for it, Is there some website for signing up for that?

    • The army doesn’t work that way. You would need to be drafted and then the army would decide where you would serve based on your skill sets and its needs. You might be drafted into גלי צה”ל or you might be drafted into another unit entirely. You can request something, but that does not mean you will receive it. Typical service is 2 years for women and 3 years for men. Service time will depend upon your age when making aliyah.

  282. Hello im christopher friend formor marine wanting to go idf. So what are the steps do I have to fly to israel to join or is there some way I can get help on going sence my perse is empty? Also what can I expect?

    • If you are Jewish, you can make Aliyah and if you are within the right age you will be drafted. Otherwise for Jews abroad there is a program called Machal.

  283. Hi,

    I am a 40 year old Australian male Christian with a small family. I am a veteran of the Australian Army that has previously served as an officer in the 2 theatres of War. I have no Jewish heritage but feel compelled to fight for Jerusalem in these end of times. Would I have a chance of being accepted and if so could would I be able to bring my family?

    • Unfortunately, there is no such opportunity. There is a program called FIDF – Friends of the IDF and maybe you could volunteer or donate through them.

  284. Hello,
    I’ve read a lot of the comments, and the replies that you offer are so helpful! I am 23 years old, about to turn 24 in the next couple of weeks. I grew up in a very zionist home and am thinking about making Aliyah. My understanding is that I am too old at this point to volunteer with Mahal but as an Israeli Citizen I could serve 6 months (maybe more if I so choose). Is this correct? Also, how difficult is it to get an earlier Tzav Rishon? Thanks so much!

    • You could go to the drafting office and ask for your tzav rishon to be moved up.

  285. Hi I am 17 I would like to become a lone soldier. I would ultimately want to be in the Air Force, is this possible ?

    • It is possible, but the chances are slim. The air force is very selective about its soldiers. Also, if you are looking to be a pilot, then chances are even less slim.

  286. Hey im 18 years old im from mexico.
    And im jewish, but not religious.
    Am I allowed to have tattoos now that I am volunteering for the mahal program as a lonely soldier?.

    • I don’t know why people always ask this. yes Tattoos are fine. Plenty of Israelis have tattoos.

  287. Hi I am a 18 year old female from South African and would like to join! How do I go about it?

  288. Hi my name is Aaloyah zion yocheved Bawari my nationality is afghani pashtun and I am jewish ashkenazi and sephardi I know it’s not usual but I am for some reason and my future plan was music and acting I am working on it but I have a number b plan which I am really interested im i am 15 and I would like to support israel (army ) as much as I can do yeah I am 15 what can I expect where can I start what will Happen what should I do will i end up as a fighter because that’s what I want I want to fight for israel

    • I spelled my name wrong I mean aaliyah I accidentaly did aalioha or something

    • I suggest that you reach out to the Jewish Agency if you want to move to Israel. It is unclear to me where you are currently living. If you are currently in Afghanistan then the move could be quite difficult logistically for you.

  289. Hi just wanted to thank you for all the info you gave me and how you help everyone here thank you for being here

    i wanted to ask, i would be going as a volunteer to the IDF and i checked online and it shows that there are so many programs to go to the IDF as a volunteer there are 3 weeks programs, 2 months, 8,12 months and even up to 2 year programs

    I just wanted to know where can i sign up for the volunteering and which is best suitable i know garin tzabar and garin mahal, i am from South africa and i am 19 (my parents were born in israel) i was born in south africa

    and i would like to volunteer in the IDF but have some cool job there not picking up and placing box’s for 12 months or is that all the volunteers do there?

    • Hopefully you sent in the form to cancel your service since you are living abroad, otherwise you might be required to do typical service. As far as a cool job, the thing about the army is you never know where you are going to end up. It will be based on your skills and what the army needs. i think both Garin Tzabar and Machal try to get you in more “meaningful” positions. Either way, the think to know about the army and Israel in general is that you need to keep fighting to get your way.

  290. My partner lived in Israel until he was 17, but now lives in Ireland with an Irish passport. We both really wanted to go to Israel this summer on a 2 week holiday but I am worried he will have to join the IDF. He is 24 now and wants to do the army and move back to Israel permanently but not for a few years due to a masters course here at the moment. The Israeli embassy over here have told me he will be drafted immediately upon entry into the country. Is this true? Is it too big of a risk for us to try and holiday there?

    • Yes, this is possible. He could try to get his service deferred through the embassy.

  291. Hi I’m 18 and I want to move sometime after college to join the IDF.
    -I’m a Jew
    -I’m eligible to get Israeli citizenship
    -half of my family lives in Israel
    ! But I do not speak Hebrew… Any tips or recommendations to do before moving and joining the IDF?
    Thx for your time

    • Take Hebrew in college, come spend a semester abroad in Israel during college, and then once you make aliyah, you will take Ulpan.

  292. Hello. I am an Israeli living in America. I moved to America when I was 8. I am a dual citizen. I speak fluent Russian and Hebrew but my reading and writing for Hebrew is a bit rusty but can improve. I am 18 years old and seriously stuck in the middle of a tough decision. I want to go serve in the IDF in a combat unit but my problem is that I don’t know whether I want to go now or after college. If I finish college and get my bachelor degree (which will be in finance/accounting), will it help me in the army? I will be 22 when I get my bachelor degree and I will want to be in a combat unit. Will my age make things more difficult? Will the degree be viewed in a positive light? What’s a better route to take, to join sooner (at age 18) or later (at age 22)? Is 22 too old? I will be considered a lone soldier if I go. Thank you.

  293. I doubt your degree will help you in the army. At 22, depending on your profile, you are likely to serve 6 months. ( So it is unlikely that you would be in a combat unit. There are pluses and minuses to doing one before the other. If you do the army first, you will be the age as the other soldiers – same thing for college. Yes, you will be considered a lone soldier if you have no family to support you.

    • Hi there,

      My question is the following: can i go to the IDF for a voluntary service? My case: 27 years old Male Had the israeli citizenship in the past (through father). Have only a israeli identification number now. My father: jewish My mother: not sure (her father: yes; mother: not sure) I forwarded my case regarding my jewish status to a Beth Din. I am waiting for a reply. I probably will have to go through a giur or giur lechumra.

      Best Regards,


      • Having one Jewish grandparent is enough to make aliyah to Israel. You do not need to go under a conversion to serve in the IDF. However, please note that there are some horrible double standards – i.e. if you were killed while serving, you wouldn’t be allowed to be buried in an IDF cemetery. (Yes, it is a disgusting law.)

        As far as serving, you could volunteer, but it will be hard to be drafted.

      • Could you please replace my full name next to my questions on your blog and by Adrian.

        Regarding the volunteering: where can I apply for the service (of a couple of months)?

        Best Regards,


      • You can just go to a drafting office or see if Machal could help.

  294. I am a 21 yr old Jewish US female, I wear glasses but never where them in training here (Krav Maga) so I guess I don’t need them, my Hebrew is far from perfect but I can get by. I want to make aliya this summer and join the IDF. I know that I do not have a mandatory service because of my age but if i am ready to serve for any amount of time do I have a chance of getting into a combat unit

    • Glasses are not an issue. You can serve with glasses. As far as age – no, you won’t be drafted, but you can try to go to the drafting office to volunteer for mandatory service. You will need to be stubborn. However, if you don’t have any Hebrew, you really need to spend time in Ulpan. It is important to focus on learning he language in the beginning. You have a chance of joining a combat unit, but it will depend on a variety of factors – i.e. your physical and mental profile. It will also depend on if the IDF thinks they can use you in a different position. The key is to stay determined and keep fighting for what you want.

  295. Hey! Thanks for making this site,really useful information . I Was born in Israel but moved to the usa when I was 6 month old I never returned . I would like to serve as a combat solider for 18-24 month . I will be turning 23 soon. I wear glasses /contacts. All my relatives are in Israel . Is their any chance of me becoming a combat solider and what path is best for me and who do I speek to? Thank you

    • You could try the machal or the garanim program. Or else, just move to Israel and go to the drafting office to try to get drafted. If you never officially deferred, then you might automatically get drafted.

  296. Hey, I’m an American Christian with no Jewish ancestry in my bloodline. How do I enlist in the lone soilder program?

    • Sorry, but the IDF drafts Israelis (Christians, Jews, Druze, etc) or Jews from abroad are allowed to volunteer.

  297. I want to ask question if im not jewish and not speaking hebrew and i dont have israeli ID just tourist i can join to IDF ?

    • Sorry, but the IDF drafts Israelis (Christians, Jews, Druze, etc) or Jews from abroad are allowed to volunteer.

  298. I am a 26 year old male, I want to join the IDF and possibly army, I wanted to serve for a minimum of 4 years but I have been thinking career if it’s enjoyable. I’m a reform jew and I have been observant my whole life. I am going to be refreshing my Hebrew in classes here. And I wanted to know what’s the best way of enlisting and getting over there from America.

    • The IDF is the army, so I’m unclear what you meant. It is very difficult for a 26-year old to join the IDF ( as you will not be required to or be drafted. More importantly without a high level of Hebrew, it is very difficult to make a career out of the army. You can try making aliyah and then going to the drafting office. But it is important to remember, even if you can get drafted, you would be drafted with regular 18 year olds and you could end up serving as a cook or a driver or something, unless you have some advanced degree, like a medical doctor.

  299. Hello,
    I am 23 and about to turn 24 (in 6 months), I am a jewish French (both parents are) and I want to enroll the IDF for 18 months as a commando.
    Would it be possible to do so at my age knowing that I will be 24 soon?

    • At your age, you would be required to do 6 months. There is a possibility for you to extend it if you demand to. However, be prepared, that you may not necessarily end up in a commando unit. The only way to possibly get into a commando unit would be to extend your army service anyhow.

    • Hi, Could you pls tell me if there are private companies in israel who educate one as in the idf. If so, pls provide names. Thx!

      • I do not understand your question.

      • Please do NOT use my full name on your website as already mentioned in one of my previous post. Use Adrian or invent a name.

        Explaining my question: I am looking for a PRIVATE COMPANY that is providing the service of training regular civilians in basic martial arts techniques (self defense), how to use guns (shoot, carry weaponsetc…), survive in harsh environments and other things as in the IDF or french foreign legion –> private military (basic) education.

        Are there any companies like this in Israel?

      • Adiran, you are responsible for writing your name. Either you are entering your full name into the form or your wordpress settings have your full name.

      • I am writing you via email (not from your website). It is taking my full name automatically from gmail. (That’s the reason.) Sorry for that. Could you please change the name (as you already did once before). Thanks!

  300. So can I ask for it when they will give me the three different possibilities of units? Can I tell them that I want to belong to a commando core?
    Thanks for the really fast reply.

    • You can tell them at every stage of the process where you want to be. There will be a stage when there ask.

  301. Hello!
    Im 17 years old,born in israel and I was living in spain 14 years,from age 2.Return in israel with my mom and my brother 7 month a go.Now we study hebrew and go to the class yud alef,we have 6 hours of hebrew every week but its not enough to learn hebrew ,it will be hard for me and for my brother to pass de exam degree at age 18.In my class they told me that its possible to do this in the army.We dont have rights like the olim hadashim so we dont have points like question is:is possible to do the exam in the army?I have different rights if I have a little brother and my mother is divorced?
    My profile it was 97,is theat matter?thanks for you help!

    • I’m sorry, but I don’t know. Wish I could be of better help. Maybe you should ask Nefesh B’Nefesh.

  302. Hi, I am a 17 year old American Jew. I’m looking into making Aliyah, and joining the IDF. I am considering doing one of the Seminary tracks, but it says that I would need to be fluent in Hebrew. How fluent would I have to be ( I do have 12 years of Hebrew background, but only in limited school environments)? In terms of other questions, I’m wondering how does one go about picking a service option? How long before I plan to make Aliyah should I begin the immigration process? Do I count as a lone soldier if I have an estranged uncle that lives in Israel?

    • I’m not familiar with the seminary track, so I can’t offer much insight into this. As far as picking a service option, the army will most likely pick on for you based on its needs and your capabilities, but if there is something you would like to do, you can certainly request it. You might wan to check out the garanim program. The immigration process can take awhile, so I suggest you already get in touch with Nefesh B’Nefesh at this stage. And yes, you would still be considered a lone soldier.

  303. I am 24 years old and an interested in making aliyah as well as serving in the idf. Will I be able to go into a combat unit? What are the age requirements? Am I too old? Should I be in a hurry to finish making aliyah before I am 25?

    • At 25, assuming you have a profile over 65, you would be required to serve 6 months. This is the same at 24.

  304. Hey
    I am currently 17 years old. I have a dual citizenship (Israel and u.s) both parents were born in Israel and all family lives there. I speak and understand Hebrew fluently and can read/write just at a slower pace than kids my age in Israel. I train in Krav Maga and am a competitive swimmer at my high school level. After much deliberation it seems I will be going to college before my Aliyah, I have a burning passion to join the idf and go to Shayetet13 (naval commando unit). I would like to know if I would even be elidgable for it, if not I at least want to be in a combat unit and serve more than the minimum, if shayetet is a possibility I will serve the minimum of 4 and a half years for that unit and then look to possibly extend my service

    • Yes, you would be eligible.

  305. I am a 21 year old female,Messianic Jew,born in Canada.Would I make Aliyah?

    • Messianics are not eligible for Aliyah.

      • Yeah, I kinda figured. Just thought I’d ask, what if one of your great grandparents were Jewish?
        And would I be eligible to become a lone soldier?

      • It needs to be one Jewish grandparent, not great grandparent.

  306. Am a cameroonian passport holder living in South Africa really interested to serve in ur army so please contact me

    • If you are Jewish then yes. If not, then there really isn’t an option.

  307. I would like to be a search and rescue fighter in the IDF Home Front Command, but i am a religious female. would i be able to wear a skirt while still doing search and rescue?

    • This is a good question. I am not sure, but I doubt it. You could always try to fight for it though.

      • Thank you for your help.

  308. I would like to serve as a physician in the military. I have prior service in the US Military. Am over 36 years old. Does the IDF need physicians? I have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    • At your age you might be drafted only to serve as part of reserve duty. But that would mean you would need to make aliyah and live in Israel.

  309. Hi, I am from the USA and will be 19 by the time I would like to enlist in this coming March. I studied this past year in a hesder yeshiva in Gush Etzion. I will be in a university in the sates for this coming fall semester and I was wondering how long I should be in Israel in order to complete everything necessary in order to properly enlist in Machal with no issues. Also How early should I start to fill out paperwork(even in the States)?

    • Sorry, I’m not familiar with exactly how the machal program works. I believe that the best thing is to talk to people managing that specific program

  310. Hi im 15 and im an american i want to know if i can join the idf or not and will the teach you hebrew.

    • If you are Jewish, then yes, you can join the IDF. Drafting age is 18. There are Hebrew classes in the army, but you should learn also in a civilian program beforehand. I recommend checking out a garanim program.

  311. I am a 23 year old American. My grandmother was Jewish and I would like to join the IDF. I have recent infantry and combat experience in the US army as well as what in the US is considered advanced medical training. I would like to enlist for three or more years. However I understand my age may make that difficult. I have already spoken to the state department in the US and I will not loose my citizenship. Also worth noting my Hebrew is decent. I have done extensive research on the implications of making aliyah and joining the IDF. I still feel it is the choice I’d like to make. My question for you is how hard would I have to fight in order to enlist given my age? Also in your opinion do i have a good chance of being in a combat or medical unit?

    • If you make aliyah at 23 (up to 25) and assuming you are male with a high medical profile, then you would be drafted for 6 months. You can of course request (i.e. demand) to be drafted for longer. I knew soldiers in your situation who were able to get their service extended.

  312. hey aliyahsurvival im an american x veteran infantry millitary operation iraqi freedom ..looking for answers ..??…will i be able to join the frontlines under the volinteer program for outsiders… if im married is it a problem??? if not how does the pay check work how much a month..and is there a bonus to enlist

    • If you are Jewish, you can make aliyah and depending on your age you will be drafted. Being married would mean that you would not be drafted. You could also do a program called machal which would mean you wouldn’t need to make aliyah. Soldiers make around 400 NIS a month ($100) and lone soldiers make about 4000 NIS ($1000 USD). This is not much to live on and even less to send back to the family. Yes you would need to do boot camp. You would also need to learn Hebrew.

  313. also if i am not married but have a bby moma and h a month will i recieve??to send bck home to my family who do i contact ro join???

  314. n do i have to do boot camp if im already trained in the army

  315. My son made aliyah a couple of years ago and has one more year in the Air Force. Since his mother also made aliyah at the same time he’s not a lone soldier. He’s a jobnik working one week on base then the other week he lives at home with his mother and sister. His army paycheck is a paltry $75 per month. How common is it for jobniks to live at home and be financially supported by their parents? How do most jobniks with tiny paychecks surviveif not living with family? Do they cram 10 soldiers into an apartment and share expenses!? He did get approval to work while at home but infrequent catering jobs are all he can find because of his odd duty schedule.

    • It is more than very common. This is what is done in Israel.

  316. Hi I’m an American non-religious Jew moving to Israel in august, I’m going to be 26 when I move there. First of all will I be able to volunteer for the IDF at my age? I want to join. Second I have some tattoos, but none on my face neck or hands, and none of them are obscene , how will this affect my eligibility to serve in the IDF. Third How likely is it that I will be able to get into a combat unit considering my age, Physically I’m in great condition so the physical exam wont be an issue. Fourth how will joining the IDF affect my status as an American citizen ?

    • At 26, it will be difficult to be drafted. I don’t know why, but a lot of people ask the question about tattoos. Man Israelis have tattoos and this is not a problem for the IDF. As far as a combat unit, it depends on a number of things. Someone serving 3 years is more likely to be in combat that someone that ends up serving 3 months as part of shlav bet. This is because of cost of training. It will also depend on need, etc.

      • How difficult ? Is it at least possible? I have heard that you can write a letter personally requesting to serve even if you are exempt from the draft .

      • Anything is possible with enough fighting, screaming, stubbornness, and connections.

  317. I’m 28 and I am moving to Israel in October. I looked at a chart on the idf website that said at my age I would be in a “reserve pool”. Exactly what does that mean? In a reserve pool would I still go through some military training ,and does reserve pool mean I am in a reserve unit that may get called into action during war time?

    • It means exactly that. You will be called up for reserve duty. It could be for any need, i.e. for guard duty on an average day or during war or simply for a drill or training. It will depend on what your position is of course. You might be a driver or a cook or any other of the many positions in the army. You would still go through basic training.

  318. Hey, I’m drafting to the army via Mahal this coming year, through Michve Alon. Do you by any chance know what I might expect as a female, and not a citizen? I’ve also scored a 97 on my profile. What are my chances of getting into a combat unit? I’m 17.

    • I’m not very familiar with Machal and specifically with Michve Alon. There are many duties that you could be called up for – it will depend on your skills and the army needs. If you want to be in combat, you would really have to push for it. Best of luck!

  319. Hello, I’m 33, can’t understand, speak or read Hebrew. I’m a licenced automotive mechanic in Canada, i was wanting to join the IDF and hopefully move to Israel and learn Hebrew.

    Is there any possibility of getting in? i’m in pretty good shape, play soccer and work out on a regular.

    • At 33 it is fairly unlikely. Please remember that you would be serving with a bunch of 18 year old kids and your officers would be 20 years old. But if you apply for the law of return, you can still move to Israel and learn Hebrew.

  320. I’m 15, and want to join the idf. I’m fully jewish and american. I want to join the air force, but I understand that it’s unlikely I’ll get in. I do want to have a combat position, preferably paratroopers if I can’t get into the iaf. I have adhd and bad vision, although both are not automatic dq.,,

    What’s my likelihood of getting into the iaf?

    • I am in good shape and have a reasonably high iq, btw.

    • Part of this will depend on what the IDF and the IAF need at the time you are being drafted. If you match their criteria. It is very difficult to get into the IAF in general.

      • Thank you.

  321. hi. Aliyah. I’m Ravi. I live in the Caribbean and I would like to become a idf soldier.. is this possible? I’m 30 yrs old. I have no Jewish background. but I love them. can you help me?

    • There is Sar El, which is a short volunteer program that you could try.

  322. hey this feed was extremely helpful thank you.
    i was wondering if i would be able to serve before i make aliyah for a lesser amount of time than the regular three years. i have been in israel for the better part of two years on a student visa does that affect my circumstances?

    • You might want to check out Machal.

  323. I’m a religious Jew that has been in Israel since I was 17 on a student visa in a Yeshiva; I’m now turning 25 and considering making aliyah. Would the army take me for 3 years or less? Will I be with soldiers that just graduated high school or are there units for 25 year old men? Would I be able to get housing with people my age? I am not fluent in Hebrew — how will that effect anything? Thank you for any information that you can give me.

    • Yes, there is a chance you will be drafted for 3 years. There are not units that are specifically for older people. You could go through Hebrew Ulpan in the army.

  324. Hi I want to know I want to go visit Israel for vacation 2 weeks my parents live in Canada I live in Canada my child live in Canada, I used to live in isrAel when I left I was 19 now 22 will I have problems with customs because the last time I left they told me I’d go to jail because I was considered ” runaway soldier” …,. Please let me know I don’t want any problems I am not interested in doing any kind of army duties

    • Sorry. I don’t have any advice.

  325. Hi, I’m James, born in the usa, I’m 23 and serving in the army national guard, I’m not Jewish, I am a Christian, I still have a few years left, and was wondering at some point if I could join the IDF? and if so, how do I go about it?

    • You would’t be able to join unless you convert to Judaism. You could volunteer for sarel, but think that this will be the type of service you are looking for. It often includes logistic work, such as packing field rations, kitchen duty, etc.

  326. Hi. I am an israeli citizen.I am 19 years old male. I left israel in a very early age. So i am a katin hozer (my family lives in hungary and wont move home for a few more years). My friends from israel are telling me, that in those conditions i have to serve only 1,5 years. I want to go to med school, but i was thinking if i could serve in the army as a medic, which would be usefull in the university. Also, I dont know hebrew at all. Do you know how much i have to serve there?
    Zhank you for your response.

    • Sorry, I’m not how long you would have to serve. I would guess that it would still be three years, only because if a new immigrant aliyah at that age, he would be required to serve three years.

  327. Hi. Im 24 years old and just finishing the army. I was a combat soldier for a 1.5 yrs. Im an oley chaddash but not a chayal boded as my parents and younger siblings are also here. Im trying to start working get set up for school and get my 13 year old brother ready for high school next year. Because I’ve been in the army and my parents dont have a good handle on the israeli school system his education has been lacking since they moved here 3 yrs ago. I was just at a seminar far soldiers who are about to finish the army. My hebrew is good in person but I had no idea what they were saying about how the money works or anything. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks

  328. I live in leeds england, I have no jewish connections but I love israel. At the moment I am not in physical shape at all but would be 100% get myself into combat shape if I knew I could join the mahal forces? How do I go about getting info?

    • As a person who is not Jewish, you could join a program called Sar El, however you would not not to be in good physical shape for this.

  329. I live in America and I’m not of Jewish decent would I enable to join the IDF

    • As a non-Jew, you would only be able to sign up for a program called sarel. This is a short army volunteer program, you would not actually be joining the IDF.

      • Could you give me more information on the program. I’d be much abliged.

  330. I am also only 16 is there any thing That I could to get ready for the IDF

  331. I just turned 21 two months ago and I am preparing for aaliyah ( I am just about complete with my nefesh b’nefesh application) . I want to be in a combat unit and I will old rather not just be in the army for less than a year, what is the amount of time I would serve at my age?

  332. hello my name is alex, this year I will make aliyah and I would like to enlist in idf..i already have spoken with the meitav in this year and they told me even if I’m 28 I’ll can serve .. But i worry for the low salary and the high cost of living..I will make aliyah with my girlfriend so I’ll have to pay rent, I need advice on how I can serve idf, and be able to live with dignity in israel .. have you any advice for me?

    • When you are interviewed during your drafting process and when you meet your mashakit tash, you can ask for special permission to work in addition to your army service.

  333. I am 24 years old, 25 in January 2016..I live in Holland. I have been offered a job in Herzelya for plus/minus two years. I have Israeli citizenship. I have a disclaimer document for visits. I am not planning alyah yet. What about the army service?

    • At your age an as a female, you wouldn’t be drafted even if you made aliyah. Anyhow, just coming to Israel for work without becoming a citizen, you would not be drafted.

  334. I’m a high school senior right now who wants to do garin tzibor right after I graduate, the issue is that I have never been to isreal before in my life (but my mother was born there and is an Israeli citizen). I speak minimal Hebrew and was wondering if it’s possible to go to seminary first and then do the program? I will be 19 when seminary ends. And if I do how should it be done?

    • I’m less familiar with garin tzibar, but I know that the people who do it find a really great support system. I’m not sure of the age constraints with garin tzibar, so I can’t help you out with this and I am even less familiar with seminary. What about trying birthright trip first?

  335. I am 39 years old with no wife or kids. Am I qualified for a term of service with the IDF at my age?

    • You would not be drafted into the IDF and it would be very difficult for you to volunteer for subscription

  336. שלום!
    I’d like to become a hellicopter pilot in the IDF and was woundring if I needed to study for it now and then go into the IDF or would I get all my training in the IDF?
    I’m planning to make Ayliah in a few years. I’ll be 17 in a few days.


    • It would not hurt to have information beforehand, but you will receive all the necessary training in the army. However, please note that it is very difficult to be accepted into the pilot training gibush, and even harder to pass the gibush. It is very competitive and they take the top of the top – best mental, physical health and with very high IQ.

    • BTW – Good luck! We need more females in these position!

  337. I am from Nepal.I am studying medicine.I want to become doctor in idf. Are there any chances that I can become medical officer in idf

    • If you are Jewish and make aliyah at the age where you would still be drafted as a medical professional, then yes, there is a chance.

      • I am not Jewish I am there any chance?

  338. Is it possible if you convert to Judaism to join the idf. My step dad is jewish and I have really grown to respect the religion and the people and I want to help defend them, but I have no direct jewish blood that I know of…

    • This would depend on the rabbi. Most likely no rabbi would consider joining the IDF a reason to convert. That being said, if you do convert, you can join the IDF.

  339. Good evening, Aliyah. I need an important information speaking about 6 months with IDF. I am not Jew and I am not Israelian, but, I attend an important Israeli Community here in Rome, My dream is one day I join with your people. One of them (speaking about IDF) told me I can enjoy for 6 month training also. Is it true? If yes how can i enjoy? I asked to you because i know you knows many things, maybe on the IDF MAIL RECRUITMENT I can’t ask many things. Just recruitment…

    Thank you for your patiently.

    Laila Tov. Andy

    • I replied to your previous comment.

      • Ok , I get it , thanks a lot !
        So can I convert to a synagogue here in Rome ? I heard about Jews not registered with IDF , right? Do you think it’s best to go to the consulate and ask for information ?

        Can you tell me something about Garin Mahal ? Aliyah would study and live for at least nine months before being recruited ?

        thanks a lot!

      • xcuse me if I make a thousand questions but , through the net I find it a little difficult to understand some concepts . There are many possibilities on several occasions and tasks , as Garin Mahal , Kravi , etc … I’m 27 … What are the chances ?

        P , S : I also heard that co are training to use with less time .

      • I ask this , reading the request for Harel where you answered the previous comment at the top. I’m wondering the same things Harel .

      • Andy, I’m sorry, but I really don’t understand your questions. Yes, you can convert in Rome. I don’t know what you mean Jews not registered with the IDF. You could talk with both Nefesh B’Nefesh and the consulate. It might help if you also read up regarding conversion, possibly on ITIMs website. Please note that after converting, you usually need to stay in your community for a year before making aliyah. I don’t know much about Garin Machal, I suggest you google it. Kravi means a fighting unit. You are 27 now, by the time you make aliyah you would be at least 29 (1 year of conversion, 1 year of staying in the community). You would then need to go to ulpan, to learn Hebrew, which is a half a year. At any case, at 27, you would not be drafted, at 29 your chances of volunteering are even lower. Please note that at 30, even if you get in, you would be serving under officers 10 years younger than you.

      • Ok , I get it and I thank you infinitely more ! I will go to the consulate for information . I also heard of Beni Tal , a private company that provides training with the IDF . My question was in fact about your response to Mr. Harel about 6 months of training . He wondered if he could make just six months .

        Thank you again !

      • Depending on age, some people will only be drafted by six months. But the idf us an army, not a vacation you are signing up for. Meaning, you don’t get to do what you want, when you want, and how you want.

      • As for non-Jews , I know there are people from other cultures and countries and religions who claim IDF as volunteers . For example, with Kravi .

        Beyond that I ‘m looking for some company also recognized for safety , as Beni Tal … To work as a private matter .

        Best regards Andy

      • I’m not familiar with this. Non-jews who are israeli can join. For instance, many druze joun the idf.

  340. Well after reading most of the queries and your replies, it seems my chances to serve for a good cause might not be considered at all. I’m 37,single and have two surgeries (one hand and a leg against fractures) 5’6″ ft. so would be considered as short too lol. But have incredible enthusiasm and will to serve like minded people against muslim jihadists. Indeed, I understand that it’s a late adventure, that came to my mind to convert to Judaism and serve righteous people but it seems a Herculean task to prove myself at all these different levels.

  341. Shalom! Originally my mom and I immigrated to Israel from Russia when I was 3. Then I moved to America when I was 15.5 years young. Im an Israeli citizen and currently 25 year young. I am finishing my bachelors in a year. I really want to serve my home land (Israel Duhhh). When is the cut off age? and what are my choices regarding unit wise at my age (ill be ready to join at 26). Would I be considered as lone soldier or a “toshav hozer”?

    Toda raba al ha ezra 🙂

    • You are getting a few terms confused. You would be considered a toshav chozer versus a oleh chadash. However, both can be considered a lone soldier. At 26, you would not be required to join the IDF, and it will also be fairly difficult to volunteer for subscription service. If by some chance you did not cancel your service through the ministry, then there might be some loophole that requires you to join. They would most likely cancel this, but it could be something that would help you to volunteer. Best of luck.

  342. I am 33 year old single and a Christian guy. I would love to go and help Israel defence force against her enemies. I am ready to make a career as a defence force and fight and defend the nation Israel. I’m from Swaziland.

    • You could volunteer for Sarel, but it would not be in a fighting unit.

  343. I have some compulsory service to do and want to be put in a combat unit but apparently that means signing for 3 years. I’ve got school a little before the end date of those three years. Do you think they’d let me leave about 3 months early? I’m also thinking about coming back on reserve duty and serving again frequently during time off from school. I’m 18 btw.

  344. I’m a female planning on making Aaliyah when I graduate college (I will be 22). My plan is to go to medical school after my service to one of the English speaking med schools like technion or sackler. I understand I’m not moving to israel to get rich but do you know how doctors are payed/treated in Israel? Will I make enough to support a family and live a comfortable life? I ask because med school is expensive and so is living in Israel so I need to prepare myself for financial struggle. Also if I wanted to get into the army as a medic do you have any recommendations? Lastly how much does a lone soldier get paid during service?

    • I don’t know doctor salaries in Israel, but my understanding is that it is not very high. It could help to come with some knowledge, past training as a medic. Lone soldiers receive approximately 4000 NIS a month.

  345. Hello,

    I am curious about your thoughts on making in mandatory to convert to Judaism in order to serve. I find that absurd, as a Christian, but also a citizen of Israel’s most important ally, America.

    Ultimately, Israel is making quite a large error in regulating enlistment in this foolish manner, and missing out on a lot of outstanding candidates, I’m sure.

    Thanks! God bless.

    • This is inaccurate. There are Israeli Arabs, Druze and Christian, who serve in the IDF.

  346. I am 24, I am from new york, wishing to join the aliyah. I took 7 years of hebrew school but not very good with the hebrew language, a friend of mine told me I mainly need to understand the basic commands but from what I’m reading and watching I’ll need to learn the language in genera?. If so I know I’ll take 3 months of the school and 3 training. I wish to join as long as possible. If I don’t do well with learning hebrew how do I go about that. Will I have to retake course until I do. Or is it not mandatory to speak fluent hebrew. I am willing to learn as much as possible but I kno from experience I have a hard time. I’m also curious if I will be able to be put into combat training as much as I want to serve my people I rather not drive trucks or stand guard my entire enlistment. I do not mind conflict and would be eager to be part of it. Thank you I am a newbie when it comes to joining and need to know if I’ll be happy wit what I must go thru and if I’ll get what I want which would mainly be infantry.

    • Knowing Hebrew is very helpful and can significantly impact the meaningfulness and type of service. You should first take civilian ulpan and then if necessary you will take an ulpan in the army.

  347. I am 24 years old and have already made Aliyah and made all of the arrangements to expedite my service so I didn’t get stuck in a situation where I have a job and then get called up. I did everything I needed to do, took the tzav rishon and even got a draft date for mikveh alon for August 11. One week before I was supposed to draft I got a call from Tel Hashomer asking me how old I was when I came to Israel so I said 24. The guy told me “So you don’t have to go”. He said I just needed to come to Tel Hashomer again to take a Hebrew test (I don’t know why) and then meet with someone about canceling my draft. I did this and after they told me that a letter would be sent to me stating this. I still haven’t received the letter and their number doesn’t work for me. I’m not trying to avoid serving, I would be happy to but I’m also not jumping at. I just want to know if I will be called in a few months or if I’m exempt.I am aware that olim have a year to assimilate so could it be that they just cancelled this draft for me and will send me a letter once my year is up?

    Any info helps. Thanks.

  348. Can you be a combat soldier in the idf if you have asthma?

    • I don’t think so, but I’m not 100% sure.

  349. Hi
    Please answer these questions if you can, i keep asking the IDF fb page and the email addresses but they do not really answer correctly and to the point ,

    1. I am in south africa im jewish (both parents are ) but we all live in South africa, i am 20 years of age and soon finishing a course here and want to go to the IDF through a program i do not want to make aliya
    so what programs are there ? i only know of garin tzabar

    2. If i go with Garin tzabar to the IDF i believe its a lot of jews from all over the world with Garin tzabar joining the IDF so if i join with Garin tzabar can i have a good military service meaning can i get ranks and move up instead of have restrictions ?

    3. I know Garin tzabar gives once a year a flight back home for its soldiers in the IDF to visit home and their family , this is on their account but is it possible to fly back home to visit more than once a year ?

    4. Can soldiers from programs like Garin tzabar be in all kinds of units ? like airforce , medical force and navy and so on ?

    5. what i really want to do in the IDF is to be a UAV pilot to fly the unmanned aireal vehicals do you have any information on this ? As i cant find any on google

    I thank you for your help in advance

    • 1. There is also a program called machal
      2. Ranks are often restricted by how much time you are meant to serve. So age can be a limiting factor. I’m not sure about garin tzabar itself.
      3. As a lone soldier you get one day off, 5 days off every 3 months, and a meuchedet – the one month off once a year. If I remember correctly, for the first six months or year, you are restricted from going abroad, except on your meuchedet. Other than that, you can use these 5 days however you want, obviously on your on dime, or shekel that is.
      4. I’m not sure.
      5. No. The army does not let you pick on choose. It will put you where it sees fit. You can try to fight and demand, but ultimately the IDF will have final say.

      • Thank you for the quick reply ,
        But do you have any info on UAV course or some info on it ? that was what i asked at no5

      • No, I don’t.

  350. Hi, I came across this website and thought that it would be the right place to ask this question.

    I am a 14 year old Male living in Australia, I am Jewish and are planning on making Aliyah ASAP. I intend to join the IAF upon arrival with the dream of becoming a fighter pilot. Do you know of any of the processes, requirements or just who to talk to about the subject in general.

    Thank You

    • Wont happen , get a different dream before the IDF makes you cry

    • Benjy, I kind of have to agree with Melinda here. The chances of becoming an IAF fighter pilot for an Israeli who speaks fluent Hebrew is pretty slim, there is even less chances as a new immigrant who doesn’t speak Hebrew. It is very hard to get into an IAF fighter pilot gibbush, much less to pass it. That does not mean you should give up, but maybe have more realistic expectations and a plan b and c.

  351. Hello, I am a 21 year old male in the USA, I want to join IDF in the next year or as soon as possible. I am not Jewish, but I am willing to convert. I was adopted by a jewish family, and I also work at my local JCC where I took an interest in the IDF. Will the military conduct the conversion so I can join or what can I do? I really want to join.

    • If you can’t prove that you have one Jewish grandparent and you want to do a longer service than a one-week sarel program, then you would need to converter through one of the Jewish streams before joining. Once you convert, you would have a few options for joining, you could make aliyah or do a program such as machal or garin tzabar. Please note the age limitations to joining the IDF and for these programs.

  352. Hi. I’m an 18 year old girl who made Aliya a year ago. I’m enrolling on April 12th. I was told that since only one of my parents is living in Israel I was considered as a lone soldier. Can you confirm that? Also, could I visit my father regularly knowing that he lives in an Arab country? For how long ? What are the benefits of being a lone soldier? Thanks

    • You might be able to receive some or all of the benefits of a lone soldier; you will need to tell the social worker of the IDF. If your father is located in one of the countries that is considered an enemy country, you would not be able to visit your father.

  353. I made Aliyah a few months ago and I will start my IDF service on December, o have orthopedic problem so my profile is 45, what are my options on the IDF? I speak prefect Spanish, fluent English and basic Hebrew? I want to know all but all my options and if I choose IDF spokesman section what jobs can I develop there?

    • Choosing where you will serve in the IDF is not like selecting your college classes. In the end, it isn’t going to be up to you. The army will decide. There are lots of different positions in the IDF Spokesperson unit from taking press requests to working in the war room and also from reviewing the media to be a secretary.

  354. Hello, I’m a 21 year old woman who just recently converted to Judaism. I would like to become a duel citizen of both Israel and the United states. Is military service required?

    • As a 21 year old female, you would not be required to serve in the IDF

  355. I was interested I joining the idf i just turned 18 and finish high school In couple months but i have a tattoo on my arm wondering if that was ok. I also have a US Army recruiter waiting to get me into the Rangers but i must wait a couple years do to a felony i got when i was younger but I want to know if I could join the IDF I am a born jew my mother and everyone on her side is jewish my father isn’t but ive been raised in a temple please get back to me when you can thank you.

    • A tattoo is not a problem. It is not a religious army. If you have one Jewish grandparent from either side, then you are eligible for aliyah. You may also be interested in the machal program.

  356. Hi…. Can i enjoy IDF non limited time i am 34 y 12 y experience in logistics with contractor company with US military i am not jew but my roots is according to history any way how can i be plz.

    • It is unlikely that you will be drafted.

  357. Woww so.many questions and so many answers. Im already in israel and I made aliya. I want to do the army. I have a girlfriend in my country and she is going to make aliya later after she finish her studies, so she will be an.oleh jadash too, I always knew she was the love of my life but being apart just show me how much i need her by my side so would like to propose and marry her 🙂 in my next visit to my country. Now i qualify as a lone soldier but you knows what happens when i get married? Even thinking she will be completely lost at.the begining with the ulpan and use to life here, she can validate her university diploma after she learned enought hebrew so at.first she will be depending on me. How thats afects my lone soldier.status? In my head it says nothing change cause.she will be so lost at the beggining and with either, do you know something?

    • If you are married, you will not be drafted into the IDF.

      • there is a new regulation from june 1, thats why i hace that doubt now

        Age of Arrival Single Men Married Men Women*
        18-19 32 months 24 months 24 months
        20-21 24 months 18 months 12 months
        22-27 Exempt/Eligible to
        volunteer for a minimum of 18 months

      • resume, it says married man could be exempt (thing i dont want) or 18 months minimum service

      • Sorry, I’m not sure.

  358. Hello, I am 17 and a Canadian and female. It is my desire to serve in the IDF. I want to go into combat and am willing to serve as long as possible in the IDF. I read on the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs that I can become a Israeli citizen through naturalization. If I move to Israel when I turn 18, then become a citizen through naturalization would I be able to join the IDf?

    • If you are Jewish, then yes

  359. I’m over 30 years old, and I’m thinking about going to Israelí. The thing is: I understand I won’t be calles forma military training unless the State requiere me to do so. However… If that’s the case, is there any way I could ver that training? If I’m planning on moving there, at least I’d like to take the básicamente training, so if anything happens I’ll be ready. Besides, I don’t like much the idea of younger guys and gals protecting me without me doing a single thing

    • Highly unlikely because it does not make financial sense for the military to train you. That is unless you have some type of medical profession, or something similar.

  360. I am joining the army within the next year and I want to prepare-what type of physical activity should I be starting in order to succeed in the arm (basic training). I am fairly out of shape too-would that lower my profile?

    • It will depend on your army service. If your Hebrew is not very good, then the best thing to do is work on improving your Hebrew.

  361. Hi,
    I’m not sure if this blog is still being updated, but I’m seeking advice about potentially making aliyah and enlisting in the IDF. I am a 19 year old male currently attending a university in the US. I have been very unhappy at the college I am attending, and feel a lack of belonging and purpose there. I’ve been seriously considering joining the IDF, as I want to take part in an experience that will be more self-fulfilling and that will build my character. I was raised in an Israeli home and am extremely Zionistic. I can speak, read, and write fluently in Hebrew, and I am very familiar with the Israeli culture. I love Israel and plan to make aliyah at some point in my life, however I’m not sure if I’m ready to take the leap just yet. Though I have many distant relatives there, I do not have any immediate family and would be considered a lone soldier. My greatest concern though is whether or not it’s okay for me to leave behind the university I’m in and put my life on hold for the army. All in all, is it worth it? Any solid advice would be greatly appreciated!

    • It sounds like there are some deeper issues that you might want to work out first. The army is a hard place and can emphasize any other issues you are having in your life. That being said, you wouldn’t be putting your life on hold. You would be getting a different experience. Many Americans have a bit of the fantasy about the army and the reality often doesn’t live up to that dream. There are many good things that you get out of the army, but also many difficult times also.

  362. Could I start longer than 2 years in the military if I wanted?

    • No. Once you are in you can do longer either by going to officers’ course or by extending your service. But these are all assuming that the army approves this.

  363. Hello, I am 19 and I made Aliyah two months ago. I suppose the IDF will call me in ten months.What can I do if I do not want to serve in the army but I would rather serve in Sherut Leumi dealing with children, for example. I would actually love to serve the State of Israel working anywhere else (in the Army as well) with children. I am sure that this way I would give much more to the State of Israel than doing any other job. I am very afraid to be put somewhere where I can’t be useful and where I can’t get anything myself for two years. Can I do something? Thank you

    • You can try to request this. Specifically ask for the education corps.

  364. Hi. I’m an 18 yo female enrolling in April in the IDF. My parents are divorced and my mom lives in Israel too. Is there any chance the IDF would let me travel to see my father for about a week every 4/5 months?

    • You might be able to. Mention this during your interview on social conditions.

  365. Hi my name is austin clague and i have allready finished all the medical, psychological and whatever other examinations i need i have a profile of 97 my test scores were 56 on kaba and 90 on dapar but i have one problem i have celiac disease so i have to eat a gluten free diet. Where in the idf can i get into a combat unit and can i get into any special units like shayetet or be a combat pilot?

    • My understanding is that anyone with celiac has a low physical profile and is exempt from serving. However there is a possibility of volunteering, but I don’t think in a combat unit.

  366. I am 23 years old and plan on going to Israel under the right of return.. I do not know if I would be restricted to join combat because of my age.. Also do they check your U.S. health records.. I was in a mental hospital for a week but I’m not crazy and don’t take meds… Could this prevent me from getting in a combat unit and is there any way to go around it… I should have never been there and would hate for that to limit me from doing what I want to do…

    • At your age, you will be exempt, but you will be eligible to volunteer for a minimum of 18 months. I am not sure how spending time in a mental hospital would impact your profile, but it probably will.

  367. I am an 18 year old non Jewish South African male. Could I serve in the IDF as a volunteer?

    • You could volunteer in a week-long program called sar el.

  368. Hello, I am 17 Male non Jewish, but I was wondering if I could some how become an Israeli citizen. I would be ready to give up my status as a US citizen. I would also like to join the IDF and to know what my opportunities are in the IDF? thanks in advance.

    • You could volunteer for a week-long program called sar el, but you could not join the army. As a non Jew, you are not eligible to make aliyah.

  369. is there any way I could possibly become an Israeli citizen?

    • Convert.

  370. Yes convert.

  371. Hi. How are kosher dietary requirements handled in the IDF? Is it ever possible that during combat operations proper food is not available? -what happens then? I know that during training great care is given to this issue. But what if in order to maintain (combat) effectiveness the proper meal is not available? Does this ever happen? And if so, what is the solution? Thank you.

    • Proper food is never available in the IDF, but it is kosher.

  372. I want to join the IDF but I have no job here in England to be able to move to Israel or anywhere to stay in Israel as I can’t afford it. If I went to Israel and enlisted in the idf…could I stay on base?

    • Hi , i wanted to ask regarding a program for israelis outside israel its called Garin Mahal and there is also Garin Tzabar , what i wanted to ask is if its possible to join the Air force or the navy through one of these programs as i was told most soldiers in these programs are in kfir, givati, magav and paratroopers

  373. Hi , i wanted to ask regarding a program for israelis outside israel its called Garin Mahal and there is also Garin Tzabar , what i wanted to ask is if its possible to join the Air force or the navy through one of these programs as i was told most soldiers in these programs are in kfir, givati, magav and paratroopers

    • I don’t know if it is possible. I do know that what you heard was correct regarding tendencies. This may because of time served. If the time served under Garin Tzabar or Machal is shorter than needed for the navy or air force, then this might be the reason.

      • May i ask you what is the minimum time service for Navy service or airfoce ? because in garin mahal it is 14/18 months in garin tzabar it is 2years
        and i have heard the service of navy is 2.5years in israel so can i sign for extra time of service to be able to join it ?

      • I don’t know, but would guess it is the standard 3 years. I don’t know the specific rules for machal or garin tzabar, but I’m sure they could answer this question for you.

  374. Thank you for your help

  375. Hello, I’m 31 yes old married with children. I was in the U.S. Marines. I really want to serve the Israeli army but I want citizenship. Is there hope for me??

    • If you are Jewish, you can move to Israel and get citizenship. The likelihood that you will be drafted is very, very unlikely.

  376. Hi!
    My father is a jew, mother is not. I’m going to make alliah this year. I’m 25 years old (october 1990) and married. I have a strong desire to join one of the combat idf units. It is possible?! Someone told me that I can ask for 1.5 year serving. Is it true? I’m totally healthy, have a university degree in informational technologies and computer science, but have a bad Hebrew skills. Thanks!

    • Being 25 and married, you will not be drafted into the army. You can try to volunteer, but keep in mind the salary is less than minimum wage.

  377. Hi, I am a female in high school in America but I was born in Israel and speak fluent Hebrew. I’m debating if i should to go to Israel and join the IDF, but I’m not sure what experience I’ll retain from it. I’m hoping for a life changing one, or at least one that helps me understand myself more and helps my future. Therefore I don’t want to join only to be placed behind some desk in an office. Is there a way I can train prior to evaluation so that I can receive good scores and be placed in higher and more interesting rankings? I’d like to go into intelligence or combat, possibly Air Force? What do you think, should I do this experience and enlist and hope for the best, or could it just be a waste of two years that I could be studying in a university?

    • It could be either. You can fight to get something more meaningful, but you will have to be ready for a hard, long fight potentially. But in the end the service is what you make of it.

  378. Amazing blog, beyond thankful. I’m 26 and making Aliyah soon. However I want to go through ortho conversion in the army. If I ask to do that, will they automatically say I can do the conversion or do they tell people they can’t convert though they are already in the army? Also, how much “free time” do I have in the army – can I continue to study Judaism and write my blog? And is volunteering for non-combat the same length of time as combat?

    • This is my personal feeling, but I honestly have no idea why you would ever want to go through an ortho conversion. It only gives more legitimacy to a bunch of backwards, primitive, and corrupt system that is run by aging white men who are trying to hold on to their power and stature by leveraging religion.

      As far as free time, it depends on what position you have in the army.

  379. Question, I live in Canada, and how often will i get the opportunity to go back and visit my parents?

    • Part of it will depend on your finances, but each year you will receive something called a meuchedet, which is one month off to visit your family.

  380. Can you have tattoos and serve?

    • Yes, why do people always ask this

      • Because in US tattoos most of the time today disqualify the person from service.

      • Oh, I thought people kept asking because religiously it is forbidden. In either case, it is stupid to not let someone serve because they have a tattoo.

  381. I am 20 years old and female, I will be 21 soon. I wont finish college until next May when I will nearly be 22. I want to make aliya and serve in the IDF – is this possible? Will I be too old? I dont want to go now because I am halfway through my degree :/

    • Already at your current age you would not be required to serve in the army. You can request to be drafted. It will be up to the army as to whether or not they decide to draft you in the end.

  382. Hello
    i am 21 male jewish
    i am going to israel next month for a program for Marva and then a hotel program and MDA program this would total be 10 months +- and i have a form that says i dont have to do army if i chose not to but i just wanted to ask how do i make sure of it that i wont have any problems whilst doing my programs ?

    • It sounds like that is what the form is for

      • but this form i have says if i stay longer than 120 days i must do army and if i am 21 or older i shouldnt but still 120 days over that and i must do army, i dont understand how other jews from all around the world go to israel on this program and most of them do 10 months without having to do army, IDF is not responding to my emails , the embassy does not know how to answer me any suggestions who to contact/contact details ???

      • But i was told on the form i can only stay for 120 days if more then i must do army, how do all the other jews from all over the world do the program up to 10months without having to do army ?

      • No all other Jews are Israeli citizens. Is the program able to help you?

  383. Hi I’m 17 yrs old I’ve been studying for the past year in israel,I don’t have much of a secular education,I would like to join the israeli army, could I make aliya and join as a lone soldiar or what would be the best approach?

  384. Hi I’m 21 currently studying in Isreal I want to join the IDF for this summer am my to late

    • Are you a citizen? If not, then you would need to see if you can do something through machal.

  385. Hello I am a Jewish young man that will be graduating high school next year. U have qualified for the Navy SEALs prep school and BUD/S (basic underwater demolition and SEALs school) and for the 18x Special Forces contract here in the United States. I am wondering if it is all possible for me as a Jewish American to tryout for any special operations units in Israel

    • Yes, it is possible. It would help if you were a citizen. Hebrew will also be very useful.

  386. Hello,
    Both of my parents are Jewish and my dad is Israeli. I am a 18 year old female and was thinking about claiming my Israeli citizenship and going to the idf before collage. I have bad eyes, am very clumsy, unathletic, and have pretty bad anxiety problems; however, I speak English, Hebrew, Japanese, and a bit of Chinese and was a honor roll student in high school. I would like to be of some help to the idf and Israel but must admit am a little scared. Do you think it would be better for me to go to collage first and claim my citizenship after at age 22 and not be drafted to the idf? Or will I be of some help to the idf and be a good experience for me? Please let me know what you think.
    Thank you.


    • You probably won’t be placed in any type of a fighting unit with your medical problems, so you don’t need to be scared of that. In terms of what to do first is up to you. The IDF can be a great way to meet people and e acclimated into Israeli society. If you try to do it after college, then keep in mind that you will be much older than everyone else and your officers may be younger than you. It is less about what you have to give to the army, versus what you can get out of it.

  387. Are you allowed to wear makeup in the idf?

    • haha. Yes. Otherwise the amount of arsiot draft dodgers would be as much as the datiot draft dodgers.

  388. I really want join the idf but my parents don’t want I should join any military but all my Freind tell me I’ll do great if I do go but if I go my parents would stop supporting me financially does anyone know if I’ll b able to mange there financially I don’t mind being in different units if that’s the case

    • It is hard to support yourself on an army salary, but it is possible. Kinda sucks that your parents are supporting you in the choices that you want to make with your life.

  389. I’m making Aliyah currently. Age 22, male, single. I hear there is an age restriction on becoming apart of the Garin Tzabar. If that’s case, what’s the age restriction? I’m hearing 24 years of age. Will be turning 23 years old June 26th (tomorrow).

    Plan on making the military my career path. What type of salary should I expect and with enough persistence is the salary negotiable? (as a lone soldier).

    Finally, I will have a bit of money saved up before my transition into Israel, but will Israel assist me with housing? I know I will have access to certain benefits as an Olim, but I am primarily concerned about a place to stay while on an ulpan until I join the military.

    Kind regards,


    • I don’t know about the age limit for the Garin Tzabar. Have you checked their website?

      In terms of salary, it is about 4000 NIS as a NCO, which is about $1000/month. It is non-negotiable, just like everything in the army. It is nice that you have decided to make it your career, but the army may have a different opinion, so I wouldn’t count on this.

      During ulpan, you can stay in the dorms of the merkaz klita. These are bare minimum, less then college dorms. During the army, there is beit ha’haychal, but I don’t know what these are like inside. Not many people actually stay there.

  390. I was born in Ukraine, I’m 17 and I speak ukrainian and russian and English. I am a citizen of United States of America.I would love to serve in the IDF, as far as I know we had great grandpa that was part Jewish. So how could I join the IDF.

    • For aliyah, you need to have one grandparent who was Jewish. Also, what is your age?

      • I am 17

      • If you qualify as being Jewish under the law of return, then you could make aliyah and be drafted. However, based on what you wrote, it does not seem as if you do.

  391. Hi im currently in the US army but have always what to join in with my brothers the idf i have jewish history from my mom but my dad is a non jew and since my parents seperated and i lived with my dad i don’t know Hebrew can you please tell me my options?

    • If you are in the US army, you will obviously need to finish your service there. If you have one Jewish grandparent then you could make aliyah to Israel. Depending on your age, you might be drafted. As part of aliyah and even training, you would be taught very basic Hebrew.

  392. Hello, I’m a 24 year old male. I’m a American citizen gentile. I want to move to Israel and serve in the idf what do I need to do

    • Convert.

  393. Hi I’m a 21 year old American male considering enlisting the IDF. I was wondering if my wife, who is also American and is 20 years old, would be required to serve as well? Or would she be exempt?

    • No. And if you are married, you won’t be enlisted either.

  394. Hi im a 22 year old male and my grandmother was jewish, can i join the idf not knowing any hebrew

    • You are eligible to make aliyah and at your age you would be drafted for a shortened service. It is better to have some Hebrew. You could go to civilian ulpan and also some IDF ulpan.

  395. Hello im a 20 year old male from america married and have a child and wanted to know if i make aliyah would i be drafted to the army? and if so how much time?

    • No

  396. Hi there,

    I am 25 years old, born in Israel and left for Canada at age 13. I have since returned to Israel this summer and interested in drafting. At my age would I be able to draft into combat and approximately what would the length of my service time be? Can it also be extended. I am also under probation in Canada, will thisb effect my application?