Israel's National Service Program To Enroll Chabad Shluchim

Chabad Shluchim serving abroad will meet National Service obligations


Israel's National Service Program To Enroll Chabad Shluchim

photo credit: Shturem.net.

by Staff Writer - Jerusalem, Israel

January 6, 2014

The Knesset’s committee to ensure equal participation in national service among all segments of Israel’s population accepted a proposal that would qualify the volunteer efforts of Israeli Chabad shluchim serving Jewish communities abroad for Israel’s National Service requirements. 

Proposed by Knesset Member Eliezer Stern (Hatenuah), the initiative won limited approval, excluding Chabad shluchim serving in Western Europe and North America. MK Stern said that enrollment will be limited to 100 volunteers, and is not intended to dissuade Chabad students who do serve in the IDF. Volunteers, he said, will be trained in Israel or by its foreign offices or Israel’s Red Cross. 

Lubavitch.com reported on this development in early November, when Knesset Member Stern attended the Annual International Conference of Chabad Shluchim in New York. "I believe that the State of Israel ought to formally recognize shlichut [the outreach activities of Chabad emissaries] as part of its national service, and I am working on this,” he told lubavitch.com. 

If the proposal passes law, Chabad will join Magen David Adom, Zaka, the Israel Police, and other volunteer or security groups who fulfill their national service obligations through these volunteer associations. 

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