Statistical Report on Ultra-Orthodox Society in Israel


IDF or Civilian Service

Chap. 3

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Service in the IDF or in Civilian Service

The IDF: In the beginning of 2020, the director of the IDF Manpower Directorate appointed a commission chaired by General (ret.) Roni Numa to review the data on ultra-Orthodox conscription to the IDF, following media reports on the inflation of figures that had been previously published. The findings presented below are updated, and reflect the commission’s conclusions.

Following a consistent increase in the number of Haredim serving in the IDF between 2008-2014, beginning with 2015, the numbers have not risen—with 2,000 enlisting every year. Many of them are graduates of the Haredi educational system, but at the time of their enlistment—are no longer Haredi in their religious observance and practice.

Civilian Service: In 2018, 530 ultra-Orthodox men –only 5% of the graduates of the ultra-Orthodox education system—joined the Civilian Service. This number is only about a quarter of the target number set at 2,000 and less than half the number of Haredim who enlisted in Civilian Service in 2011. Over the years, Civilian Service has become less attractive to the ultra-Orthodox, and in 2018, the numbers of those who served were less than half of the numbers in 2011.

Haredim Serving in Civilian Service, 2007-2018

** The Statistical Report on Ultra-Orthodox Society in Israel is based on data from the Central Bureau of Statistics, government ministries and authorities, and the National Insurance Institute.