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Old 08-02-2010, 01:53 PM
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rafi rafi is offline
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One of the most common questions on this board is how to enlist in the IDF. The most comprehensive, non-fee site to do this is:

What do you need to know about the site? Here:

The usage statistics for the year before June 23, 2010 show 198,556 visits and 4,266,940 hits (calculated on basis of the real figures since Jan 1, 2010), Google ranks on June 23, 2010:
IDF Mahal and the other IDF programs listed on this website are the administrative gates for the simplified enlistment of non-Israelis and overseas Israelis. Their actual IDF service is shoulder to shoulder with regular Israeli soldiers, even if the minimum service time is usually shorter than the regular IDF paths. Otherwise there are no major differences.
The programs aim to contribute to Israel's defense and to provide experienced and enthusiastic young leaders for Jewish communities. The following programs enable young Jews from all over the world to volunteer for the IDF.

The web site is broken down into convenient sections as follows:

RegistrationWho Can Volunteer?Your Service in the IDFFree IDF Hebrew StudiesAccommodation in IsraelFrequent QuestionsForumHistoryVolunteering Step-by-Step

Excerpt from the Volunteering Step by Step section:
Quick start:

Register here - By knowing more about you and your preferences we will be able to assist you much better; first we have to check if you are eligible and, if you are, which office will continue handling your enlistment.
Therefore, please register online here as soon as possible and get our eligibility pre-check and further information. Your registration is legally not binding before signing up with the military authorities - in person in Israel.

To do before arriving in Israel
  1. Study this website including the pages Who Can Volunteer?, Your Service in the IDF, Volunteering Step-by-Step, Registration, FAQ and the external links such as the information for Chayalim Bodedim (Lone Soldiers).
  2. Register online - here .
  3. will pre-check your qualification and reply within ten days.
  4. will forward a copy of the reply sent to you to the MoD or the IDF (depending on your personal circimstances); these should handle your case until your enlistment.
  5. Phone or mail the MoD or IDF (the contacts are in our reply to your registration). A dialogue with the MoD and/or the IDF is optimal for clarifying open questions, particularly about enlistment and service options.
  6. There should be no major problems, but if you encounter any, contact by mail and describe your problem. We will check and reply.
  7. Choose your enlistment date.
    If you think your Hebrew language skills are not up to par for IDF service, make sure to choose an enlistment date marked with Free IDF Ulpan - here. Important information regarding the IDF and Hebrew skills - here .
From visas to ulpan to service lengths for various ages, the site has a step by step process to get you to the stage where you are ready to successfully enter the IDF.

Please read the web site, then, if you have additonal quetions, please post them here. There are specific answers to such ssues as age requirements, religious affiliation andthe the leagal documentation accepted by the IDF, medical profiles, unit assignments and other frequently asked questions. This site was createed for both foreign nationals as well as Israelis who are living and/or were raised abroad.

I'm this many years old and I want to serve in the IDF. Can I ?
Another great site for real information:

Questions answered here are most often fielded by me, Rafi. I'm a US born retired IAF officer. I still serve in the IDF as a reservist, having served as recently as June 2010. I do have actual connections within the Lishkat HaGius (draft board) and am authorized to comment on the IDF by the Dover Tsahal office. You can ask questions either publicly or by Private Message.


Last edited by rafi; 08-10-2010 at 02:14 AM..
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