Defense & Society Department


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The Defense and Society Department is dedicated to encouraging Israel's youth to draft to the military and experience a fulfilling service. The department advocates for meaningful military service, and a lov of the land of Israel including its values, history and heritage.


Primary Functions:

1. Leading and coordinating MOD and IDF activities with Israel's youth to increase motivation and readiness for a meaningful military service

2. Carrying out the Defense Minister's  policies regarding military draft and national service

3. Coordinating  activities and operations with the IDF,  youth movements, NGOs, and regional organizations

4. Centralizing and providing the resources necessary to generate an active, strong partnership between the military and Israeli society

5. Facilitating and overseeing the IDF's implementation of MOD policies relating to drafting, special tracks and programs integrating minorities and special populations in the IDF


Preparation for the IDF:  A specialized team works with adolescents between the ages of 16-18 and focuses its efforts on preparing them for the draft process and service in the IDF.  Activities include outdoor activities, seminars and workshops for both the youth and their parents. Workshops are also taylored for immigrant youth, adolescents with disabilities and youth at risk.

Preparatory Military Academies - Mechinot: A variety of religious and secular, Zionist seminaries promote the importance of a meaningful military service, and encourage youth to strive for excellence and serve in leadership positions. Some of the subjects covered throughout the lessons include civic responsibility, Israeli society, and preparation for military service. 

Nahal track:  Young Israelis drafting to the  Nahal unit in the IDF may participate in a preparatory track in which members volunteer and work for an underserved community, or  dedicate their year to a different social cause.  Such a program empowers youth and enables them to integrate community-based activities with their military service.

Christian and Bedouin Sectors: The Defense and Society Department works to strengthen the relationship with youth in Israel's Bedouin and Christian communities by investing in educational, social and value-driven activities that promote serving one's community, society and country.

Druze and Circassian Sectors: The Defense and Society Department works to encourage military service among Israel's Druze and Circassian communities. The department conducts workshops, recruitment seminars, visits to army units and cultural events in their schools to introduce them to the IDF and better prepare them for their military service.

Haredi Sector:  Since the 1990s, the Ministry of Defense has encouraged Israel's ultra-orthodox Haredi community to partake in a meaningful military service. This stemmed from a hope of better integrating them into the army framework and subsequently into Israeli society. To best accommodate this sector, the Ministry of Defense's Defense and Society Department developed the Nahal Haredi track- a framework for a military service suitable for members of the Haredi community and their more religious lifestyle.  Developed in cooperation with Haredi rabbis, recruits are guaranteed Glatt-Kosher food, regular prayer, rabbinical guidance, and a unit comprised only of males soldiers.

In 1999, Nahal's drafted 31 recruits to its first battalion, Netzach Yehuda. The battalion operates within the infantry's Kfir Brigade and is tasked with counter-terrorism. Over the years, the number of recruits has continued to increase.