Hundreds participate in ‘Olim Al Madim’ fair to explore enlistment options

Representatives from IDF and civilian organizations offered valuable information to the young immigrants who are expecting to draft within the next two years.

Young Olim meeting with Meitav, the IDF unit responsible for supervising new soldiers. Photo by Yonit Schiller.
Young Olim meeting with Meitav, the IDF unit responsible for supervising new soldiers. Photo by Yonit Schiller.

As the “Swords of Iron” war continues, hundreds of olim from various countries have been called up for army duty and more are expected to enlist in the coming months as part of the country’s mandatory requirement for military service.

To make the enlistment process more accessible to these newcomers, Nefesh B’Nefesh, in partnership with “Wings,” a joint program of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Merage Foundation Israel, the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration and the Israel Defense Forces’ Meitav unit, hosted Olim Al Madim at the Nefesh B’Nefesh Aliyah Campus in Jerusalem. More than 500 participants, aged 16 to 22, who have made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) either on their own or together with their families, and are now required to enlist in the IDF, attended the fair.

Meitav, the IDF unit responsible for supervising new soldiers, established a mobile-recruitment office with multiple stations set up for attendees to submit relevant enrollment documents and receive information on recruitment and placement options, psychological evaluation exams, Hebrew proficiency tests, military-service conditions, academic degree track options and more.

Additionally, representatives from the Nefesh B’Nefesh Lone Soldiers Program, “Wings,” the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, the Ministry of Construction and Housing, and the IDF Human Resources Department were on-site to personally engage with participants, as well as answer any questions they might have in preparation for their army service.

More than 10 IDF units, including Paratroopers, Golani, Nahal, Maglan, Combat Engineering Corps, Border Defense Police, Artillery Corps and the Home Front Command, presented valuable insights into the roles of the IDF units and enlistment criteria, thereby assisting them in exploring which units are available to them.

“I salute and thank the young olim who will soon become soldiers and serve in the IDF,” said minister of Aliyah and Integration and Knesset member Ofir Sofer. “You left your homes and families in far-off countries and will now enlist and defend the State of Israel, out of firm belief in the fulfillment of the Zionist dream, while our country is at war in Gaza and up north.

“While Israel is expected to face many challenges, you have chosen to take an active part and play an important role here,” Sofer said. Together with all of our partners and the various aliyah organizations who have taken part in today’s event, I wish you all much luck in your service. We will continue working to provide you with all the support needed in your pre-enlistment stage, as well as during and following your service with rent subsidies, special grants and guidance.”

“It was a privilege for us to host on our campus these hundreds of young, inspiring olim as they embark on their journey to serve and protect our homeland,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, co-founder and executive director of Nefesh B’Nefesh. “Our staff is dedicated to supporting these incredibly motivated and zionistic young men and women before, during and after their service in the IDF. We will continue to provide the resources, support, and guidance necessary to ensure their smooth acclimation to Israel and support them throughout their mandatory army service.”

“These young people making aliyah are not alone. We all make an effort to embrace them,” said Yaron Shavit, deputy chair of the Jewish Agency for Israel. “The Wings program of the Jewish Agency, Merage Foundation Israel and the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration accompany the young men and women before they draft, during their service and after their discharge from the IDF. For me, this exciting event with the hundreds of olim enlisting in the IDF is a double closing of the circle—as the deputy chair of the Jewish Agency that supports these olim, and also as a host family for two lone soldier olim who have become members of our family. Like their brothers and sisters—they became members of our Israeli nuclear family.”

Nicole Hod Stroh, CEO of the Merage Foundation Israel, said that “the young individuals immigrating alone, especially following the Oct. 7 attack, are proudly supported during these challenging times by the Merage Foundation in partnership with the Wings program. These dedicated young Zionists chose to relocate and stand with Israel in these difficult circumstances. We salute you and are honored to accompany you throughout this journey, from the moment of aliyah, through your army service and beyond.”

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Founded in 2002, Nefesh B’Nefesh, in cooperation with Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael and JNF-USA, strives to facilitate and celebrate aliyah, and advocate for olim. By minimizing financial, professional, logistical and social obstacles, new arrivals are able to actualize their dreams and continue building a stronger Israel. The support and comprehensive social services provided by Nefesh B’Nefesh to its 75,000 new immigrants have ensured that 90% have remained in Israel.

See more at: https://www.nbn.org.il/.

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