- Sherut Leumi
Sherut Leumi ( _he. שירות לאומי, lit. "National Service") is an alternative voluntary
national servicein Israelfor those that cannot or do not wish to serve in the Israel Defense Forces. The majority are Jewish females who receive an exemption from the obligatory army service by declaring religious observance, but there are also a small number of males who serve in Sherut Leumi. Volunteers are between the ages of 18 and 21. Sherut Leumi gives young women (and occasionally young men) exposure to a number of environments in Israeli society. Service typically requires working 30-40 hours/week over 12 to 24 months. Volunteers have the option of doing either one or two years of the National Service. Not all volunteers are Israeli citizens. It can be done on a tourist visa, and the volunteer will later receive a special volunteer visa that lasts as long as the person will be doing their service.
As of 2007, youths in other sectors of Israeli society who receive exemptions from the army, mainly
Haredimales as well as most Arab Israel youth, do not have the option of performing a national service. Attempts to obligate, while at the same time providing a suitable system for them to serve, have received more attention in the late 2000s. Some Israeli conscientious objectors who refuse to serve in the army and are not eligible for an exemption, have voiced a wish to do an alternate national service instead.
Youths work in various programs. The majority work in schools but can also work in places such as special education, administration, hospitals, law, geriatrics, nursing homes, health clinics, teens at risk, internal security, disadvantaged communities, immigrant assistance, and many other organizations. Acceptance is based on an interview via a placement organizations that try to find the youth appropriate skills, interests, and needs.
There are four main placement organizations for Sherut Leumi. They are the Agudah LeHitnadvut (lit. "Volunteering Union"), Shlomit, Aminadav, and Bat Ami. Each volunteer is then assigned to a coordinator (rakezet) who serves as a supervisor and adviser for the youth throughout their time in Sherut Leumi.
Bnot Sherut (lit. female youth in the service) and Bnie Sherut (lit. male youth in the service) are entitled to a number of benefits during their service. Many of these benefits are the same as what a soldier serving in the army receives. They include:
* Monthly stipend for necessities. Amount varies on location and type of service, though usually is approximately 600 Shekels a month.
* Apartment housing in the city where they are serving.
* Intra-city bus pass (and inter-city pass if necessary)
* Discounts offered by various business establishments.
* Social Programs such as weekend getaways, tours, learning programs, and parties.
* Weekly classes are often available, and sometimes required, on various
* At the end of the service, the Israeli volunteers receive a grant that can be used for things such education, buying a house, or paying for a wedding.
National Youth Service
* [http://www.molsa.gov.il/MisradHarevacha/HomePageMenu/VolunteersInfo/NoationalService Sherut Leumi] on the Israeli Welfare Ministry website
* [http://www.sherut-leumi.co.il/ Aguda LeHitnadvut]
* [http://aminadav.org.il/ Amindav]
* [http://www.bat-ami.org.il/ Bat Ami]
* [http://www.nbn.org.il/students/sherut_leumi.htm Nefesh B'Nefesh guide to Sherut Leumi]
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