Shivat Zion

IDF SERVICE FOR OLIM

Sherut Chova BeTzahal
שירות חובה בצה"ל
Last updated: 02.07.2023
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Enlisting in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) is mandatory for all Israeli citizens of a certain age, for both men and women.

Olim from age 18 may be drafted, depending on various factors such as medical health and physical fitness. Marital status also affects the obligation to serve.

The duration of mandatory service depends on your age at the time of Aliyah and personal status. See the following charts for details:

Men

Age Upon AliyahSingleMarriedMarried with children
Up to age 1932 Months32 MonthsExempt, but can volunteer for 24 months
20-2124 Months24 MonthsExempt, but can volunteer for 24 months
22-27Exempt, but can volunteer for 24 months
28+Exempt – considered too old to serve and ineligible to volunteer

Women:

Age Upon AliyahSingleMarriedMarried with children
Up to age 1924 MonthsExempt, but can volunteer for 24 monthsExempt
20-2124 MonthsExempt, but can volunteer for 24 monthsExempt
22-27Exempt, but can volunteer for 18 monthsExemptExempt
28+Exempt – considered too old to serve and ineligible to volunteer

 

Single or Married Women (ages 18-19 or 20-21) in certain roles (combat roles, for example), may be required to extend their service to 32 months.

Important Note: There are exceptions to the information above. If you have postponed your IDF service, received a deferment, or made Aliyah after having an A1 visa for a few years – the IDF may draft you for compulsory service despite being over 21.

The IDF understands that it takes time for Olim to adapt to living in Israel. Therefore, the IDF allows Olim one year to adapt to living in Israel before enlisting.

Some Olim decide to enlist into the IDF before that one year period is over. This is an option, although not required.

If you wish to enlist in the IDF, including during your first year of Aliyah, contact the IDF Meitav Overseas Recruitment Department for instructions, via whatsapp at 052-945-8579, email joinidf@mail.idf.il, or phone at 03-7387080.